Grandgent Award Winners

In 1961, the Dante Society of America established an annual award for the essay on a subject related to the life or works of Dante Alighieri by a graduate student enrolled in an American college or university. The award is named for Charles Hall Grandgent, professor of Italian and Romance linguistics at Harvard University who served as president of the Dante Society from 1915-1932. For further information and submission guidelines, please consult our Prizes page.


2017   Andrés Amitai Wilson (University of Massachusetts, Amherst), “‘For the Love of God’: The Centrality of Bernard of Clairvaux’s Song of Songs Commentaries in Dante’s Divine Comedy

2016   Thomas Graff (University of Notre Dame), “A Rhetoric of Suspension: Rethinking Salvation in the Commedia

2015   Nicole Madeleine Adair Jones (University of California, Berkeley), “Knowledge, Commentary, Pane orzato: Dante’s Defensive Praise of the volgare in Convivio

2014   [not awarded]

2013   Joshua Reid (University of Kentucky), “Softening the Brows of Dread Renown: Rossetti’s Revision of Dantean Portraiture”

2012   Leah Schwebel (University of Connecticut), “‘Simile Lordura,’ Altra Bolgia: Authorial Conflation in Inferno XXVI”

2012   (honorable mention) Katie Guida (Pennsylvania State Unversity), “Fellini and Dante: Life and Death in La dolce vita

2011   Julie Van Peteghem (Columbia University), “The Vernacular Roots of Dante’s Reading of Ovid in the Commedia: Two Examples from Purgatorio”

2010   Christiana Purdy Moudarres (Yale University), “Devouring Selves in the Circle of Gluttony: A Gloss on the contrapasso of Inferno VI”

2009   (shared) Maria Clara Iglesias (Yale University), “The Rain of Hope: Theology and Exile in Paradiso XXV”

2009   (shared) Zakhar Ishof (Yale University), “Introduction to Poetry in the Form of Poetry: Dante Read by Mandelstam”

2008   Stanley Levers (Yale University), “The Ethics of Solomonic Verse in Dante’s Paradiso

2007   Kristen Allen (University of Toronto), “‘The Foot Fails’: Isidore’s Etymology of Despair and the Opening Canto of the Divine Comedy

2007   (honorable mention) Davide Bolognesi (Columbia University ), “Di alcune ramificazioni dell’Arbor vitae di Ubertino da Casale nella Commedia

2006   Kathleen Chen (University of Minnesota), “I Heard Cries of ‘Mary, Pray for Us’: The Role of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Dante’s Purgatorio

2005   Zane Mackin (Columbia University), “Saint Peter Damian: Dante’s contemplativus militans

2004   Robert Di Pede (Seton Hall University), “The Sensual Pilgrim, Transfiguration and the World: The Poetics of Society in the Dantean Vision of Love”

2003   Heather Webb (Stanford University), “‘Per core un marmo’: Dante’s Stone Cold Rhymes”

2002   Patrick Gardner (University of Notre Dame), “A People with Whom I Must Not Be: Dante’s Relation to the Sodomites”

2001   Martin Eisner (Columbia University), “Meaning’s Order: Putting a ciascun’almain its Place”

2000   Paul Carranza (University of Pennsylvania), “Philosophical Songs: The ‘Song of Iopas’ in the Aeneid and its Presence in the Divine Comedy

1999   [not awarded]

1998   [not awarded]

1997   Joseph Luzzi (Yale University), “Dante’s Use and Abuse of Poetry”

1996   George Trone (Yale University), “The Cry of Dereliction in Purgatorio XXIII”

1995   Courtney Cahill (Princeton University), “The Limitations of Difference in Paradiso XIII’s Two Arts: Philosophy and Poetry”

1994   Claudia Rattazzi Papka (Columbia University), “‘Tra feltro e feltro’: Dante’s Metatextual Apocalypse”

1993   (shared) Lawrence Warner (University of Pennsylvania), “The Dark Wood and the Dark Word in Dante’s Commedia

1993   (shared) Tobias Foster Gittes (Columbia University), “The Veglio di Creta: Headstone for a Hubristic Humanity”

1992   [not awarded]

1991   Mary Refling (New York University), “The Hendecasyllable in the Divine Comedy

1990   Stan Benfell (New York University), “Nimrod, the Ascent to Heaven, and Dante’s ‘ovra inconsummabile’”

1989   Bradley Dick (New York University), “Guido da Montefeltro and the Doctrine of Repentance”

1988   Jayne Blankenship (Columbia University), “Biblical Tradition and the Third Dream of Dante’s Purgatorio

1987   [not awarded]

1986   [not awarded]

1985   [not awarded]

1984   [not awarded]

1983   [not awarded]

1982   [not awarded]

1981   Giulio Silano (University of Toronto), “The Ecclesiology of Dante’s Works”

1980   [not awarded]

1979   [not awarded]

1978   [not awarded]

1977   [not awarded]

1976   [not awarded]

1975   Roberto Giacone (Harvard University), “Ugo Capeto e Dante”

1974   Donald Gilman (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill), “Classical Convention and Dante’s Concept of Poetic Inspiration”

1973   Laura Hager (University of California, Berkeley), “Dante’s Stylistic Pilgrimage”

1972   Rev. Louis M. La Favia (Harvard University), “Per una reinterpretazione dell’episodio di Manfredi nel Canto III del Purgatorio

1971   Corinne Black (University of California, San Diego), “Names and Naming as Poetic Strategy in Dante’s Vita nuova

1970   Miriam Rappaport (Columbia University), “Dante and the Antichrist”

1970   (honorable mention) Margherita S. Frankel (New York University), “Le immagini di Dio nel Paradiso

1969   Kenneth A. Bleeth (Harvard University), “Narrator and Landscape in the Commedia: An Approach to Dante’s Earthly Paradise”

1968   Franco Masciandaro (Harvard University), “Appunti sul tempo e eternità nella Commedia

1967   [not awarded]

1966   [not awarded]

1965   "Dabney Glen Park, Jr." (Tulane University), “Dante and the Idea of Poverty”

1964   Terence P. Logan (Harvard University), “The Characterization of Ulysses in Homer, Virgil and Dante: A Study in Sources and Analogues”

1963   Edward M. Hood (Harvard University), “The Condition of Ulysses: Expansions and Contractions in Canto XXVI of Dante’s Inferno

1962   James Applewhite (Tulane University), “Dante’s Use of the Extended Simile in the Inferno

1961   William J. De Sua (University of Michigan), “The Renovators: Dante’s 18th-century English Translators”