Robert Hollander

Robert Hollander

Fellow: Awarded 1970
Field of Study: Italian Literature

Competition: US & Canada

Princeton University

Robert Hollander is Professor in European Literature Emeritus in the Department of French & Italian at Princeton. His previous university teaching had been at Columbia; he has also been visiting professor at Dartmouth College (1979, 1982, 2006) and in the chair of Filologia Dantesca at the University of Florence (May 1988). For forty-two years he has taught medieval Italian literature at Princeton, with particular attention to the work of Dante and Boccaccio.

He has received numerous awards for his work, including grants from Fulbright, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Rockefeller Foundation. In 1986 he received the Howard Behrman Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Humanities from his university. In 1988 he was awarded Il Fiorino d’oro del Comune di Firenze for his studies of Dante and the John Witherspoon Award in the Humanities, New Jersey Committee for the Humanities; in 1993, the Bronze medal of the City of Tours; in 1997 he was made an Honorary Citizen of Certaldo, birthplace of Boccaccio; in 1999 he received the Premio internazionale Nicola Zingarelli per la filologia e critica dantesca. In 2008 the translation he and his wife, Jean, have published of Dante’s Commedia was recognized with Il Fiorino d’oro del Comune di Firenze.

From 1979 to 1985 he served as President of the Dante Society of America and from 1992 to 2003 as President of the International Dante Seminar. He has twice been a member of the National Council on the Humanities, from 1974 to 1980 and from 1986 to 1992, and served once as Vice-chairman (1978-80). In 2007 he was made Honorary President of the Ente Nazionale Giovanni Boccaccio, 2007; in 2008 he was the first American elected to the consiglio Dirittivo della Società Dantesca Italiana.

He was founding director of three much-visited internet sites dedicated entirely to Dante: the Dartmouth Dante Project (, the Princeton Dante Project (, and the Electronic Bulletin of the Dante Society of America (

He is the author or translator of twenty-five books and more than one hundred articles on Dante, Boccaccio, and other writers (including Plato, Milton, Dostoievski, and Malraux). Among the books are Allegory in Dante’s Commedia (Princeton, 1969); Il Virgilio dantesco (Olschki, 1983); Boccaccio’s Dante: The Shaping Force of Satire (Michigan, 1997); and Dante Alighieri (Marzorati/Editalia, 2000; English version: Dante: A Life in Works [Yale, 2001]). The translations of the three cantiche of Dante’s Commedia were published between 2000 and 2008 (Doubleday/Anchor).


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