Laurence Hooper is enthusiastic about Dante. As the most recent recipient of the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Research Fellowship he is currently in residence at the University of Chicago to work on a book based on his dissertation entitled Exile and Authorship in Dante. The Donnelley Fellowship is a unique postdoctoral exchange program for recent PhDs at the University of Chicago and Cambridge’s Corpus Christi College. The three-year fellowship allows early career scholars in the humanities, social sciences, and religious studies to focus exclusively on their research Hooper says, “It’s very different to have no teaching. It works well with the University of Chicago because there’s a very strong culture of workshops and seminars here. Earlier today, I was at a lecture on medieval music, which is obviously not something that my research focuses on, except for the medieval aspect. That kind of stimulus is wonderful.”
Hooper received his PhD in Italian Studies from Cambridge University in 2009. His book will explore changing views of authorship in the late medieval period by examining Dante’s treatment of the theme of exile. “There are whole reams of medieval scholarship that tend to put aside literary theory,” Hooper explains. “Many medieval scholars have read Dante as a kind of crypto-theologian who just puts out philosophical or theological [ideas], whereas I’m trying to look at how he gets those ideas across, via literature and literary theory.”
From the University of Chicago News Office:
“The Donnelley fellowship is an exceptional opportunity for our students and the campus as a whole,” said Cathy Cohen, Deputy Provost for Graduate Education. “First, our students are provided the chance to take time after receiving a PhD to really work out and refine the ideas in their dissertations, as they prepare for what often is their first major publication.
“Second, the broader campus is enriched by having extremely talented, young scholars from Cambridge working among us and contributing to the intellectual exchange that defines the University of Chicago. We are very honored to be a participating institution in the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Research Fellowship.”
To read more about the Donnelley Research Fellowship and Hooper’s work from the University’s News Office please click here.