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Academic Background

Simon Gilson studied Italian and French at Leeds University and took his PhD in Italian Literature at Cambridge University. He was lecturer in Italian at Leeds University (1998-99), and at Warwick University was Professor of Italian (2010-17) where he served as Chair of Italian (2006-09), Chair of the Sub-Faculty of Modern Languages (2012-14) and Chair of the Arts Faculty (2015-17). He has also taught at the Universities of Birmingham, Royal Holloway and at Keio University in Tokyo, Japan. He was the joint Senior Editor of the journal Italian Studies (2011-16) and has been an elected council member of the Dante Society of America, Harvard (2005-07). He is currently the General Editor of the monograph series 'Italian Perspectives' (Legenda, 2011-), a nominated honorary member of the Italian Dante Society in Florence (2008-), and Chair of the Society for Italian Studies (2018-23). He was made a Fellow of the British Academy in 2022.


Italian medieval and Renaissance literature and cultural history c. 1250-c.1600.


Simon Gilson’s research is focused on Dante, the reception of Dante, and Renaissance Italian literary, cultural and intellectual history. He has been involved in several collaborative funded research projects in the fields of medieval and Renaissance studies, including the recent AHRC-funded collaborative project 'Petrarch Commentary and Exegesis in Renaissance Italy, c. 1450-c.1650' and the current AHRC-funded collaborative project 'Envisioning Dante, c. 1472-c. 1630: Seeing and Reading the Early Printed Page'.

His publications include:

Science and Literature in Italian Culture From Dante to Calvino, ed. with Pierpaolo Antonello (Oxford: Legenda, 2004)

Dante and Renaissance Florence (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005)

Beyond Catholicism: Heresy, Mysticism and Apocalypse in Italian Culture, ed. with Fabrizio De Donno (New York: Palgrave, 2014)

Vernacular Aristotelianism in Italy from the Fourteenth to the Seventeenth Centuries, ed. with Luca Bianchi and Jill Kraye (London: The Warburg Institute, 2017)

Reading Dante in Renaissance Italy: Florence, Venice and the ‘Divine Poet’ (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018)

The Cambridge Companion to Dante's 'Commedia', ed. with Zygmunt G. Barański (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019)

Nudity and Folly in Italian Literature from Dante to Leopardi ed. with Ambra Moroncini (Florence: Cesati, 2022)

Petrarch Commentary and Exegesis in Renaissance Italy and Beyond: Genres, materiality, and reception, ed. with Guyda Armstrong and Federica Pich (Legenda: Oxford, 2023)