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Matteo Pace was born in Rome, where in 2011 he earned his Laurea Triennale in Lettere at Sapienza University of Rome, with a thesis in Romance Philology and Literatures, examining texts like the Historia Apollonii Regis Tyri, Thomas’ Tristan et Yseut, Martin Codax’s cantigas de amigo, and the anonymous Mare amoroso, from a cognitive and metaphorical perspective. In Fall 2012, he joined the Department of Italian at Columbia University as a Ph.D. Student, with a Concentration in Comparative Literature and Society from ICLS.
His research focuses on a comparative analysis of Medieval literatures (mostly Italian, but also French, Occitan and Latin), particularly about the philosophical implications of the concepts of love and nature, the presence of medical lexicon and imagery in vernacular literatures, and the blending between theological and mystical strives in the language of love. He is also interested in the intersection between the cognitive theory of metaphor and literary criticism, notably in the development of a body-centered and experiential semantics.
He is currently working on his dissertation on the intersections between Medieval medicine, science, and philosophy, and the early Italian lyric tradition, from the Scuola siciliana to 14th century.
He worked on Boccaccio, Cavalcanti, and Dino del Garbo, on William IX of Aquitaine and the Archpoet, on Thomas’ Tristan et Yseut, on Catherine of Siena, and on three entries for Brill’s Encyclopedia of Medieval Chronicles. He served as a Teaching Fellow and as a Teaching Assistant for the Italian department, and gave lectures on Dante's Commedia at the Sheen Center for Thought and Culture and at the Brooklyn Public Library. He is currently an Assistant Editor to the Dante Digital Project at Columbia University, and a Kluge Graduate Student Mentor at the Columbia Undergraduate Scholars Program.