MHC's Mazzocco: To Rome and Back

Posted: February 6, 2007

Members of the Mount Holyoke community may run into a familiar face while browsing in the Williston Library stacks now that Angelo Mazzocco, professor emeritus of Spanish and Italian, is back from his research trip to Rome. Mazzocco was a visiting scholar at the American Academy in Rome during the fall (September-November) of 2006.

While at the academy he took part in the many cultural activities organized by this venerable institution and did research in the nearby Vatican library for his new book Biondo Flavio and Quattrocento Thought. Moreover, he took part in numerous conferences and symposia sponsored by Roman institutes and academies including the Istituto storico italiano per il medioevo (the Italian Medieval Institute), located in the center of the city. One of the highlights of his five-month stay in Italy was the opportunity to have dinner at the academy (organized by MHC alumna and academy librarian Christina Huemer '69) with Mount Holyoke graduates living in the Rome area.

In addition to spending a research period in Italy researching in the libraries of Rome and Florence, Mazzocco ventured as far south as Cairo and as far north as London and Groningen in the Netherlands. The Netherlands visit was prompted, in part, by the release of his new book, Interpretations of Renaissance Humanism(Leiden and Boston: EJ Brill), a volume that includes articles by some of the leading Renaissance scholars active today. Mazzocco edited the volume and contributed two pieces himself. The book is being honored with a special presentation at the forthcoming international meeting of the Renaissance Society of America, to be held in Miami in March of this year.

This book presentation is the culmination of a period of six years of intense work for Mazzocco in the context of the Renaissance Society. Not only was he elected (and then re-elected) discipline representative in Italian literature for the Renaissance Society for a period of six years, he was also elected and reelected a member of its Nominating Committee for vice-president. Moreover, he was asked to serve on the society's Gordan Prize Committee (2004), which awards the prize for the best book in the field of Renaissance studies written in a given academic year, and to chair the Nelson Committee (2003), which awards the prize for the best article published in the Renaissance Quarterly in a given year. In addition, he organized 12 panels for the society with topics ranging from Renaissance humanism to Italian sources in English Renaissance theatre, and he wrote articles in the area of historical linguistics and intellectual history and book and multi-book reviews for the Renaissance Quarterly and Speculum.

Even though Mazzocco officially "retired" from MHC in 2003 and enjoys his membership in the MHC Retired Professors/Society of Ancients (under the leadership of his colleague Robert Robertson, professor emeritus of economics), he still dedicates a great deal of his time to research.

Related Link:

American Academy in Rome