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Department of English Language and Literature


Lawrence Rhu

Title: Distinguished Professor Emeritus
Department: English Language and Literature
College of Arts and Sciences
Office: HUO 321
Resources: English Language and Literature
Lawrence Rhu


PhD, Harvard University


English and Italian Renaissance


   • William Joseph Todd Chair of the Italian Renaissance, USC
   • Fulbright Lecturer, University of Lisbon, 2005
   • Kingenstein Fellow, Columbia University, 1983-84

Current Research Projects

I am currently doing a translation of Il libro del cortegiano by Baldassar Castiglione, which is under contract with Hackett Publishing. I also have a number of essays under way on Stanley Cavell and on Italian and English Renaissance literature.

Selected Publications

The Genesis of Tasso's Narrative Theory: Translations of the Early Poetics and a Comparative Study of Their Significance (Detroi Wayne State University Press, 1993).
   • Stanley Cavell's American Dream: Shakespeare, Philosophy, and Hollywood Movies (New York: Fordham University Press, 2006).
   • Edition of William Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale, Cengage. (Forthcoming)

Essays and Articles
"On Cavell on Shakespear Losing Mamillius, Finding Perdita," Stanley Cavell and Literary Studies: Consequences of Skepticism eds. Eldridge and Rhie (New York: Continuum). (Forthcoming)
   • "Emersonian Affinities: Reading Richard Ford through Stanley Cavell," Stanley Cavell and the Idea of America eds. Taylor and Spinks (New York: Fordham UP). (Forthcoming)
   • "The Cavellian Turn in American Transcendental Thinking," The Oxford Handbook of Transcendentalism eds. Myerson and Walls (New York: Oxford UP). (Forthcoming)
   • "Beyond Adaptation: Stoicism, Transcendence, and Movie-going in Percy and Cavell," Analecta Husserliana 96 (Dordech Springer, 2008), 199-209.
   • "Under Any Moon? Melancholy, Skepticism, and Modernity in Shakespeare," Rubrica's Shakespeare Studies, ed. Irina S. Prikhod'ko (Moscow: Polygraph-Inform, 2006), 66-72.
   • "On Cheney on Spenser's Ariosto," Connotations 15.1-3 (2005-6), 91-6.
   • "Home Movies and Personal Documantaries: An Interview with Ross McElwee," Cineaste 29.3 (Summer 2004), 6-12.
   • "Paradise Lost as Biblical Interpretation," The Idea of Biblical Interpretation, eds. H. Najman et al. (Leiden: Brill, 2004), 485-512.
   • "Continental Influences," The Blackwell Companion to Renaissance English Drama, ed. Arthur Kinney (Oxford: Blackwell, 2002), 433-45.
   • "King Lear in Their Time: On Bloom and Cavell on Shakespeare," Harold Bloom's Shakespeare, eds. C. Desmet and R. Sawyer (New York: Palgrave, 2001), 227-46.
   • "Stanley Cavell: An American Philosopher at the Movies," DoubleTake 7.2 (Spring 2001), 115-119.
   • "Shakespeare's Ariostan Skepticism," Shakespeare Yearbook X (1999), 359-73.
   • "Chi non conosce Torquato Tasso? Genere e rinomanza nella Faerie Queene VI," Torquato Tasso e la civiltà estense ed. G. Venturi (Ferrara, 1999), 1:163-173.
   • "Romancing the Pop Tasso's Narrative Theory and Milton's Demonization of a Genre" in All in All: Unity, Diversity, and the Miltonic Perspective, eds. C. W. Durham and K. P. McColgan (Cranbury, NJ: Susquehanna UP, 1999), 128-37.
   • "Renewing the Renaissance and Its Literature," The World and I 13.12 (1998), 323-37.
   • "Romanzare sul Papa: La teoria narrativa del Tasso e la demonizzazione miltoniana di un genere," in Torquato Tasso e l'Europa ed. Daniele Rota (Bergamo: Centro Studi Tassiani, 1996), 49-59.
   • "Ariosto Moralisé: Political Decorum in Spenser's Imitations of Orlando furioso," Annali d'italianistica 12 (1994), 143-57.
   • "Romancing the Word: Italian Echoes and English Contexts in the Errour Episode," Spenser Studies XI (1994), 101-109.
   • "Agons of Interpretation: Ariostan Source and Elizabethan Meaning in Spenser, Harington, and Shakespeare," Ren. Drama n.s. 24 (1993), 171-88.
   • "Romancing Eliza: The Political Decorum of Ariostan Imitation in The Faerie Queene," Renaissance Papers 1993, 31-39.
   • "Young Tasso's Reckoning with the Orlando furioso" in Reconsidering the Renaissance, ed. M. di Cesare (Binghamton: MRTS, 1992), 271-86.
   • "After the Middle Ages: Prophetic Authority and Human Fallibility in Renaissance Epic" in Poetry and Prophecy: The Beginnings of a Literary Tradition, ed. James Kugel (Cornell UP, 1990), 163-84, 244-6.
   • "From Aristotle to Allegory: Young Tasso's Evolving Vision of the Gerusalemme liberata," Italica 65.2 (Summer, 1988), 111-30.
   • "Tasso's First Discourse on the Art of Poetry as a Guide to the Gerusalemme liberata," Journal of the Rocky Mountain Medieval and Renaissance Association 7 (1986), 65-81.

Selected Presentations

University Readings
"Shakespeare Italianate: Skeptical Crises in Three Kinds of Play," Tucci Lecture in Italian Culture, University of Pittsburgh, October 2009.
   • "The Cavellian Turn in American Transcendental Thinking," American Literature Association, Boston, May 2009.
   • "On Cavell on Shakespeare: Losing Mamillius, Finding Perdita," Invited Lecture, Symposium on Shakespeare and the History of Philosophy, Newberry Library, Chicago, March 2009.
   • "Hamlet and the End of Melancholy," International Shakespeare Conference, Stratford, England, August 2006.
   • "Reading Cavell Reading The Winter's Tale," Conference on Shakespeare and Philosophy, Budapest, March 2004.
   • "Chi non conosce Torquato Tasso? Genere e rinomanza nella Faerie Queene VI" (Invited Paper), Internat'l Tasso Conference, Instituto per studi rinascimentali, Ferrara (Italy), December, 1995.
   • "Romanzare sul Papa: La teoria narrativa del Tasso e la demonizzazione miltoniana di un genere" (Invited Paper), Internat'l Tasso Conference, Centro Studi Tassiani, Bergamo (Italy), May, 1995.

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