Mario Sassi

Mario Sassi

Ph.D. Candidate, Italian Studies

by appointment or via Zoom

Mario Sassi graduated in Italian language and literature at the University of Rome “La Sapienza,” with a thesis on Italian Philology (“Authorial Philology: problems and examples of critical editions”). His current research focuses on Late Medieval and Early Modern thought by studying popular religious narratives. His work analyzes how anonymous vernacular miscellanies of exempla transmit entertaining narratives and a system of values, and mirror fears, hopes, and habits of ordinary people between the Trecento and Quattrocento. Additionally, he studies the contemporary reception (in movies, videogames, and TV shows) of Middle Ages literature and the formation of a literary Canon.

He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Italian Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, focusing on medieval Italian literature, sermons, and exempla in Italian, French, and Latin. In addition, he collaborates with the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies as an administrator of the Schoenberg Database of Manuscripts and Digital Scriptorium 2.0.

Dissertation: Bedeviled Clergy and Demonic Roosters: The Supernatural in Trecento and Quattrocento Exempla (Advisor: David Wallace)

Research Interests

Dante Alighieri; medieval literature; preaching; philology; lives of saints; Medievalism; reception studies; digital humanities.

Publications

Edited Books

Elisabetta Appetecchi, Maurizio Campanelli, Cristina Di Bari, Achille Giacopini e Mario Sassi, eds. I testi statutari del Commune d’Arcadia. Rome: Accademia dell’Arcadia, 2021.

Articles

“Strategies of Interpretation in French and Italian Exempla,” Medieval Sermon Studies, vol. 66 (2022). 

“The language of a preacher: Cavalca, Passavanti, and the first steps toward a national vernacular,” Rivista di storia e letteratura religiosa 58, no. 1 (2022): 27–49.

Online

Laboratorio Carte d’Arcadia. Esercizi di edizione.

Ms. 1, c. 7r: Alfesibeo Cario (Giovan Mario Crescimbeni), Liete, soavi, fresche e limpid’onde.
Ms. 1, c. 129v: Erasto Mesoboatico (Francesco Cavoni), Sylvestrem, precor, Erastus modo sumat avenam.

Awards

2021 Penfield Research Award, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (PA)

2021 Salvatori Research Award, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (PA)

2021 Frederic C. Lane Dissertation Grant, Medieval Academy of America

2019-2020 Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching by Graduate Students, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

2019-2020 Department of Romance Languages, Certificate of Excellence in Teaching, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

2019: Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship – Summer Institute in Italian Paleography, Newberry Library, Chicago.

Teaching experience:

University of Pennsylvania, Graduate Teaching Fellow (Instructor of Record), Philadelphia PA

•    Italian History: Dante (Spring 2023, forthcoming) (in Italian)
•    Dante’s Divine Comedy: through Hell with Love (Spring 2020)
•    Elementary Italian I (Fall 2018; Spring 2021; Fall 2021)
•    Elementary Italian II (Spring 2019; Spring 2022)
•    Intermediate Italian I (Fall 2019)
•    Intermediate Italian II (Spring 2020)

Conference Participation

“The language of a preacher – Cavalca, Passavanti, and the first steps of a national vernacular,” Cinque Corone? Rethinking the Early Italian Canon. UCC, Ireland, 18-21 June 2020. [Postponed]

Roundtable: “Marginalia and Annotations in the Early Italian Tradition,” Society of Textual Scholarship 2020 Conference, Philadelphia PA, March 21, 2020. [Postponed]

“Meaning over word: Domenico Cavalca between the text and its message,” VOICES: An Interdisciplinary Conference, Rutgers University, New Brunswick NJ, November 22-23, 2019.

“Presentazione del progetto di edizione dei testi statutari dell’Arcadia,” Convegno internazionale di studi “Canoni d’Arcadia,” Sapienza Università, Rome, June 8, 2018.

“Digitally-Enhanced Teaching and Learning for Language and Culture Teachers and Learners: Reflexive and Reciprocal Feedback,” in the panel “Technology in the Curriculum,” The Northeast Association for Language Learning Technology Conference, Philadelphia PA, April 6, 2019.

“Beyond Passion: Love between the Fiore and the Comedy,” in the panel “The Commedia: Text and Responses,” Medieval Academy of America Annual Conference, Philadelphia PA, March 8, 2019.