Marilyn Migiel, professor of Romance studies and senior associate dean for arts and humanities in the College of Arts & Sciences, will receive the 24th annual Howard R. Marraro Prize from the Modern Language Association (MLA) for her book “The Ethical Dimension of the Decameron.” The prize is awarded biennially (alternating with the Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Italian Studies) for an outstanding book in the field of Italian literature or comparative literature involving Italian. The award will be presented on Jan. 7, 2017 in Philadelphia, during the MLA annual convention.
This is the second time Migiel has received the prize; her book “A Rhetoric of the “Decameron,” received it in 2004.
“The Ethical Dimension of the Decameron” is a “brilliant new reading of Boccaccio’s ‘Decameron,’” noted the award committee, offering “fresh perspectives on authorial authenticity, multiplicity of interpretations, and readers’ reception…Brilliantly written and richly annotated, this book revisits a canonical text from a new perspective and promises to revive its critical debate for new generations of scholars.”
Migiel teaches and works on a wide array of texts and authors from the Italian Middle Ages to the present day, though she is known primarily for her feminist readings of medieval and Renaissance Italian literature. In her recent and ongoing research, Migiel is especially interested in how literary works engage us in reflection about our ethical choices.
Her other books include “Gender and Genealogy in Tasso’s ‘Gerusalemme Liberata’” and, edited with Juliana Schiesari, “Refiguring Woman: Perspectives on Gender and the Italian Renaissance.” She is at work on a book-length study of authorial control and readerly judgment in Boccaccio’s “De casibus virorum illustrium (On the Fates of Illustrious Men).”