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Luisa Nardini, Director MBE 3.602, Mailcode E3100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-2069

Alison K. Frazier

Associate Professor Ph.D., 1997, Columbia University

Alison K. Frazier



Medieval and Renaissance Europe, especially intellectual history, religion, hagiography, biblical exegesis, manuscripts and printing

MDV 392M • Italy Relig/Society: 1300-1500

40960 • Fall 2011
Meets TH 330pm-630pm GAR 1.122
(also listed as ITL 382, R S 390T, WGS 393 )
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This graduate reading course is designed to introduce new scholarship that has brought the study of religion on the Italian peninsula “out of the shadows” and into the mainstream. By examining topics ranging from institutional developments and civic practices to lived religion, students map the interaction of the new historiography with broader trends in the study of Gender, the State, the Papacy, the Emotions, Space/Place, Material Culture, Heresy & Crusading, Patronage, Intellectual History, and the Mediterranean World. Those interested will have opportunities to read primary sources in original languages and to work on paleography.  


Readings may include:

Articles by e.g. Bynum, Jenson, Rusconi, Zarri

Thompson, Cities of God

Muir, Civic Ritual

Miller, Bishop’s Palace

Bornstein, The Bianchi of 1399

Weinstein and Bell, Saints and Society


Requirements. Group-oriented participation in discussion is basic to this course (30%). Students write eight weekly 2 page analytic summaries of the hypotheses, methodologies, and sources relevant to readings (40%). In addition, students take turns introducing and summarizing discussion (20%), and presenting author and review reports (10%).   


Books & Articles

  • A Layman’s Life of St. Augustine: Patronage and Polemic” with edited text and appendix. Traditio 65 (2010): 231-86.
  • Possible Lives:  Authors and Saints in Renaissance Italy.  New York:  Columbia University Press, 2005.
    Winner of the 2006 Gordon Prize from the Renaissance Society of America for the best book in Renaissance Studies.
  • “Luca della Robbia’s Narrative on the Deaths of Boscoli and Capponi.”  In The Art of Executing Well:  Rituals of Execution in Renaissance Italy, edited by N. Terpstra.  Kirksville, MO:  Truman State University Press, 2008.
  • “Machiavelli, Trauma, and the Scandal of The Prince:  An Essay in Speculative History.”  In History in the Comic Mode:  Medieval Communities and the Matter of Person, edited by R. Fulton and B. Holsinger.  New York:  Columbia University Press, 2007.
  • “The First Instructions on Writing about Saints:  Aurelio Brandolini (c.1454-97) and Raffaele Maffei (1455-1522).” Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome 48 (2003).
  • “Katherine’s Place in a Renaissance Collection:  Evidence from Antonio degli Agli (c. 1400-1477), De vitis et gestis sanctorum.”  In St. Katherine of Alexandria.  Texts and Contexts in Western Medieval Europe, edited by Jacqueline Jenkins and Katherine Lewis.  Brepols:  Turnhout, 2003.


  • “Biography as an Ethical Genre” in D.A. Lines and S. Ebbersmeyer, eds., Rethinking Virtue, Reforming Society: New Directions in Renaissance Ethics (Turnhout: Brepols, forthcoming 2012).
  • “Who Wrote the First Life of Lorenzo de’ Medici?” in M. Isräels and L. Waldman, eds.,Renaissance Studies in Honor of Joseph Connors (Florence: Olschki, forthcoming 2012).
  • “Les Augustins patrons d’un humaniste laïc? Le cas de Giovanni Garzoni de Bologne” in C. Caby and R.M. Dessi, eds., Les Humanistes et l’Eglise. Pratiques culturelles et échanges entre les litterati laïcs et ecclésiastiques (Italie, début XIIIe-début XVIe siècle). Paris/Nice: CNRS, forthcoming. 
  • “Humanist Lives of St. Catherine of Siena” in J. Hamburger and G. Signori, eds.,  Catherine of Siena: The Creation of a Cult (Medieval Women: Texts and Contexts) (Turnhout: Brepols, forthcoming 2012)


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