Cogut Institute for the Humanities
Center for the Study of the Early Modern World

Massimo Riva

Royce Family Professor of Teaching Excellence, Professor of Italian Studies
Research Interests Boccaccio's Narrative Work, Pico Della Mirandola, Information Technology, Digital Humanities, Virtual Realism in the 18th and 19th Centuries


Educated in both Italy and the U.S., Massimo Riva has taught at Brown since 1990. His most recent books include Pinocchio Digitale. Post-umanesimo e Iper-romanzo (Digital Pinocchio. Posthumanism and the Hypernovel, Milan, 2012), and Il futuro della letteratura: L'opera letteraria nell'epoca della sua (ri)producibilità digitale (“The Future of Literature: The Literary Work of Art in the Age of its Digital [Re]production, Sriptaweb, 2011). He is the editor of Italian Tales: An Anthology of Contemporary Italian Fiction (Yale University Press, 2004) and the co-editor (with F. Borghesi and M. Papio) of Giovanni Pico della Mirandola Oration on the Dignity of Man. A New Translation and Commentary (Cambridge University Press, 2012). His NEH and ACLS-Mellon supported digital projects are now part of the Virtual Humanities Lab that he directs. They include the Decameron Web and the Garibaldi and the Risorgimento archive. This project was featured in the Italian pavilion at the 23rd general conference of the International Council of Museums, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2013. It was also part of various exhibits, at the British Library in London in 2010 and in museums and libraries in Italy in 2011. He is currently at work on a digital monograph tentatively entitled Italian Shadows. The Virtual Life of Casanova and Other Tales of Imaginary or Forgotten Media and selected for the Brown Digital Publication Initiative funded by a grant of the Mellon Foundation.