Cogut Institute for the Humanities

Reading the Decameron in the COVID-19 Era

This publication is part of a collaborative project devoted to analyzing the Italian philosophical response to the COVID-19 pandemic, developed in the Spring 2020 graduate seminar “Italian Thought: Inside and Out” taught by Laura Odello and Suzanne Stewart-Steinberg.

On May 26, 2020, Morris Karp and Francesca Zambon interviewed Brown University faculty members Ronald Martinez and Massimo Riva on the renewed interest in Boccaccio’s Decameron in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the historical parallels between the 14th century and the present time, the experience of isolation and love and what it reveals about social privileges and inequities, and the relation between the Decameron’s framing story and the collected novellas. Watch short excerpts and the full interview below!