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Nancy Canepa, Associate Professor of French and Italian, will receive the Howard R. Marraro Prize from the Modern Language Association of America (MLA) later this month for her book From Court to Forest: Giambattista Basile's Lo cunto de li cunti and the Birth of the Literary Fairy Tale.
The Howard R. Marraro prize is awarded biennially for an outstanding book by a member of MLA in the field of Italian literature or comparative literature involving Italian. It is presented jointly with the Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Italian Literary Studies.
Canepa's book is a critical and historical study of the beginnings of the modern literary fairy tale. Giambattista Basile's Lo cunto de li cunti, written in the early 17th century in the Neapolitan dialect, was not only one of the most original texts of the Italian Baroque, but was also the first integral collection of literary fairy tales to appear in Western Europe, and as such had a tremendous influence on the subsequent tradition.
The MLA committee praised Canepa's book as a "pioneering study of a little-known masterpiece of the Italian Baroque," and called it a "a major contribution to the reevaluation of the Baroque and an eloquent demonstration of its centrality in modern European culture."
Canepa is a scholar of 16th and 17th century Italian literature. Her special interests include Neapolitan literature, the intersections of popular and courtly culture, the poetics of the marvelous, literary fairy tales and children's literature. She joined Dartmouth's Department of French and Italian in 1989 after receiving her bachelor's degree from Cornell University and her master's and doctoral degrees from Yale University. Among her previous honors and awards are a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend (1999), a Burke Research Initiation Grant (1991-1994) and a Fulbright Overseas Research Grant (1986-1987).
In addition to her prize-winning book, Canepa has written numerous articles on 17th century literature and culture, authored essays for The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales and Encyclopedia of the Renaissance, and is editor of Out of the Woods: The Origins of the Literary Fairy Tale in Italy and France. Her forthcoming works include translations of Carlo Collodi's The Adventures of Pinocchio and Giambattista Basile's Lo cunto de li cunti, as well as a critical study on innovation and transformation of literary genres in the 17th century.
Established in 1883, the Modern Language Association of America is the largest and one of the oldest of American learned societies in the humanities and promotes the advancement of literary and linguistic studies.
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