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Machiavelli’s Tragic Geography
February 13, 2017 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Resident Fellow (2016-2017)
Italian and Art History, UW-Madison
Machiavelli’s writings substantiate more than their distillation into a political theory that stripped morality from politics. This seminar focuses on Machiavelli’s frequent recourse to images of the Italian terrain as a means of communicating knowledge in The Prince and his other literary works. My driving questions regard how Machiavelli’s descriptions and figurations of the land reveal the liminality of his thinking, which combined reasoned observation with a singular poetic imagination.
Kristin Phillips-Court is Associate Professor in the Departments of French and Italian and Art History at UW-Madison. She is the author of The Perfect Genre: Drama and Painting in Renaissance Italy (Ashgate, 2011), which was awarded the MLA Scaglione Prize. Her second book, Vasari’s Literary Art, provides close readings of seminal lives and episodes in Giorgio Vasari’s Vite (1550 and 1568) with attention to how Vasari negotiated the legacies of Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio. Professor Phillips-Court’s work has appeared in the Sixteenth Century Journal, MLN, Renaissance Drama, Annali d’ Italianistica and other peer-reviewed journals. After completing her Ph.D. at UCLA she was granted a Fulbright Fellowship to study 20th-c. Italian Visual Poetry, but has since focused primarily on 15th- and 16th- century Italian literature, visual art, and intellectual culture. Professor Phillips-Court currently holds a Vilas Associates Fellowship Award (2016-18) for her new research on Niccolò Machiavelli.