Director of Graduate Studies of Italian
R. L. Canala Professor of Romance Languages & Literatures
Serena Professor of Italian Emeritus, University of Cambridge
BA (First Class Honours), University of Hull
Research and Teaching Interests
Dante; Dante's medieval and modern reception; medieval Italian literature; Modern Italian literature, cinema, and culture
Zygmunt Guido Barański was born in 1951 in Nottingham, United Kingdom. His mother was Italian and his father Polish. He graduated in Italian in 1973 at the University of Hull. Between 1976-79, he taught at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, and then at the University of Reading, where in 1992 he was elected Professor of Italian Studies. Between 2002 and 2011, he was Serena Professor of Italian at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Murray Edwards College. In addition, Barański has been Visiting Professor at the universities of Bari, Berkeley, Connecticut, Leeds, McGill, Monash in Melbourne, Notre Dame, the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, UCLA, Virginia, and Yale. In 2016, he was invited to the University of Basel to give the twenty-four “Lezioni basilesi,” while in 2018 Barański was appointed Honorary Faculty Research Fellow at the University of Oxford. He is on the advisory and editorial boards of sixty or so academic initiatives.
In 1990, the Fondazione il Campiello in Venice awarded him a medal in recognition of his work as an Italianist; in 1999 he was given the gold medal of the city of Florence for his studies on Dante; and in 2005 the Italian state nominated him Commendatore dell’Ordine della Stella della Solidarietà Italiana. Between 1981 and 2008 he was senior editor of the interdisciplinary journal The Italianist, and currently holds the same position with Le tre corone.
Barański has worked primarily on Dante, concentrating on Dante’s relationship to medieval literary theory and criticism and on his intellectual formation. In addition, he has published extensively on Dante’s reception in the fourteenth and twentieth centuries, on medieval Italian culture and literature (in particular, Cavalcanti, Petrarch, and Boccaccio), on modern Italian literature and culture, on Pasolini, on Italian cinema, and on Italo-Polish cultural relations. Among his books are: The New Italian Novel (with Lino Pertile) (1993); “Libri poetarum in quattuor species dividuntur”. Essays on Dante and ‘Genre’ (1995); “Luce nuova, sole nuovo”. Saggi sul rinnovamento culturale in Dante (1996); The “Fiore” in Context: Dante, France, Tuscany (with Patrick Boyde) (1997); Pasolini Old and New. Surveys and Studies (1999); Dante e i segni. Saggi per una storia intellettuale di Dante (2000); “Chiosar con altro testo”. Leggere Dante nel Trecento (2001; winner of the Valle dei Trulli prize for literary criticism); Cambridge Companion to Modern Italian Culture (with Rebecca West) (2001); Petrarch and Dante. Anti-Dantism, Metaphysics, Tradition (with Theodore J. Cachey Jr.) (2009); Dante in Context (with Lino Pertile) (2015).The Cambridge Companion to Dante’s “Commedia” (with Simon Gilson) (2019); Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio. Literature, Doctrine, Reality (2020).
“Luce nuova, sole nuovo”. Saggi sul rinnovamento culturale in Dante (1996)
Dante e i segni. Saggi per una storia intellettuale di Dante (2000)
“Chiosar con altro testo”. Leggere Dante nel Trecento (2001)
Dante in Context (with Lino Pertile) (2015)
Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio. Literature, Doctrine, Reality (2020)
Office: Decio 332
Office Hours: Tuesday 11:00-1:00, Thursday 11:00-Noon & Friday 9:00-10:00 (by Zoom)