Brenda Deen Schildgen receives the Helen and Howard Marraro Prize for “Dante and Violence”

Author: Notre Dame Press News

"Dante and Violence" by Brenda Deen Schildgen"Dante and Violence" by Brenda Deen Schildgen

The University of Notre Dame Press is proud to announce that Brenda Deen Schildgen, distinguished professor emerita of comparative literature at the University of California, Davis, received this year’s Helen and Howard Marraro Prize for her book Dante and Violence: Domestic, Civic, Cosmic. Awarded by the Society for Italian Historical Studies in conjunction with the American Historical Association, this prize is bestowed yearly upon three recently-published books that focus on Italian history, Italian culture, or Italian-American relations. The award committee said, “This persuasive, well-written, and meticulously researched work explores how Dante’s Commedia Divina approached the impact of violence, broadly conceived from warfare to forced marriage, on the household, especially women, ‘civic and political domains,’ and on ‘the divine or cosmic realm.’”
Although a number of articles have addressed particular aspects of violence in discrete parts of Dante’s oeuvre, a systematic treatment of violence in the Commedia has been lacking. This ambitious overview of Dante’s literary works and his world examines cases of violence in the domestic, communal, and cosmic spheres while taking into account medieval legal approaches to rights and human freedom that resonate with the economy of justice developed in the CommediaDante and Violence is a part of the William and Katherine Devers Series in Dante and Medieval Italian Literature. In collaboration with the Medieval Institute at the University of Notre Dame, the Devers Program is dedicated to publishing the most significant current scholarship in the field of Dante studies.
For more information, contact: Kathryn Pitts,, 574.631.3267.