Italian Literature with Nina Cannizzaro

Renaissance Forbidden Texts. Wednesdays 5-7pm, Cheney Room at the Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies. 6 sessions: March 13th and 27th. April 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th. No familiarity with the Italian language or literature expected or needed. Informal classes for the community. Free of charge and open to all. Registration is required by phone at 413-577-3600 or by email at Some of the topics to be broached include: Medieval condemnation of books and individuals vs. post-Reformation censorship; competing claims (between church and state) to cultural supremacy; Latin as a forbidden language; Vernacular as a forbidden language; prohibition against pursuit of knowledge into sacred things or of Bible outside of papally sanctioned intermediaries; tacit cultural prohibition to interpret Aristotle independent of Thomistic commentary; the new intellectual access to occult secrets of ancient hermetic, alchemical and magical doctrines via 15th-c. Florentine Platonism [For which we will read Marlowe's Dr.Faustus]; the processes of cultural control pre- and post- printing press; authority, copywrite, print privileges; correctors, expurgators, inquisitors; prohibition of single title vs. an author's opera omnia; prohibitions (obliterato memoriae); the merging of the Inquisition in 1542 with the Holy Office/Sant'Uffizio, the new congregation whose mandate was the compilation of the Index of Forbidden Books (1559); the foundation of the Jesuits and crises of authority and cultural legitimacy; license and the Renaissance private academy and forbidden societies (Areopagitcal, Rosicrucian; Academies of Secrets, of Night, etc.).

Program Type: 

Other - Program Type: 

Community Class -Adult

Impact Area: 

Program Participation: 

Open to the public. The community can choose to participate.

Program Start (and End Dates): 

March 13, 2013 to April 24, 2013


United States

Program Director: 

Alison Kiraly

Program Director's Email Address: 

Program Contact: 

Alison Kiraly

Contact Email: 

UNIT: Colleges, Schools, Departments, Centers, and Institutes: 

College of Humanities and Fine Arts/Renaissance Center

Assessment Mechanism: