Peter Bondanella

Photo of Peter Bondanella

Professor Emeritus of French

Research Areas

  • Renaissance and modern literature
  • Comparative Literature and literary theory
  • Italian cinema; Hollywood images of Italian Americans


  • PhD, Comparative Literature, University of Oregon, 1970
  • MA, Political Science, Stanford University, 1967
  • BA, French and Political Science, Davidson College, 1966


After undergraduate and graduate training in literature and political science, I became interested in translation and Italian film. Eventually, I divided my teaching and research time between both literature and film and published a number of works in both fields, including English versions of Italian classics (Dante, Boccaccio, Machiavelli, Cellini, Vasari); monographs or collections of essays on Machiavelli, Guicciardini, the image of Rome, Umberto Eco, the Italian novel; and works on Italian film (its history plus studies of Fellini and Rossellini). I arranged the purchase by the Lilly Library of some thirty previously unpublished manuscripts related to the career of Italian film director Federico Fellini, the only such archive on his work preserved in the United States. Toward the end of my career, I developed an interest in Hollywood images of Italian Americans. I also founded the Indiana University Summer Program in Florence and chaired the Department of Western European Studies for ten years. I served as President of the American Association for Italian Studies from 1984 to 1987 and was Mellon Visiting Professor at Tulane University in 2001.

Publication Highlights


A History of the Italian Cinema. New York: Continuum, 2009.

New Essays on Umberto Eco. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

Hollywood's Italians: Dagos, Palookas, Romeos, Wise Guys, and Sopranos. New York: Continuum International, 2004. 352 pages and 55 still photographs.

The Cinema of Federico Fellini. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992. "Foreword" by Federico Fellini. 396 pp. Translations into Italian and Chinese.

The Eternal City: Roman Images in the Modern World. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1987. 286 pp.


Dante Alighieri. The Paradiso. The Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Translation. Illustrations by Gustave Doré. Introductory essay of 20,000 words plus a critical commentary of approximately 75,000 words. New York: Barnes & Noble, 2006 [Co-editor with Julia Conaway Bondanella].

Dante Alighieri. The Purgatorio: The Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Translation. Illustrations by Gustave Doré. Introductory Essay of 19,000 words plus commentary of 65,000 words. New York: Barnes & Noble, July 2005. 325 pages. [Co-editor with Julia Conaway Bondanella].

Niccolò Machiavelli. The Prince. A completely new English translation and critical edition based on the new Italian critical edition with extensive notes and critical commentary. Introductory essay by Maurizio Viroli of Princeton University. Oxford: Oxford University Press World's Classics Series, February 2005. 160 pages.

Articles and Book Chapters

"La Dolce Vita und die Folgen. Fellini und das Weltkino." In Thomas Koebner and Irmbert Schenk, eds. Das goldene Zeitalter des italienischen Films: Die 1960er Jahre. Munich: Richard Boorberg Verlag, 2009. Pp. 156-77.

"Fellini." In Action!: How Great Filmmakers Direct Actors. Ed. Paolo Bertetto. Rome: Fondazione Cinema Per Roma, 2007. Pp. 225-31.

" La presenza di Fellini nel cinema contemporaneo: Considerazioni preliminari/Federico Fellini's Presence in the Contemporary Cinema: Some Tentative Observations." Federico Amarcord: Rivista di studi felliniani VII, 1-2 (2007), 35-60.

"New Directions in Teaching Film in Italian Studies Programs." Italica 83, #1 (2006), 7-21.

"Gli italo-americani e il cinema." In Gian Piero Brunetta, ed., Storia del cinema mondiale . Vol. II: Gli Stati uniti. Turin: Einaudi, 1999. Pp. 911-38.

Honors, Fellowships, and Awards

  • Election to European Academy for the Sciences and the Arts (2009)
  • Mellon Foundation Emeritus Fellowship (2008-2010)
  • Indiana University Distinguished Research Lecturer (2005-06)
  • Fellow, Australian National Humanities Centre (2001)
  • Senior Fellow, American Council of Learned Societies (1988)
  • Senior Fellow, National Endowment for the Humanities (1980—81)
  • Distinguished Service Award, University of South Florida
  • Open Fellow, Lilly Foundation (1987—88)
  • Younger Humanist Fellow, National Endowment for the Humanities (1972—73)
  • President's Award from the American Association for Italian Studies for Italian Cinema: From Neorealism to the Present (1984)
  • Gianni Agnelli Foundation Award for Best Work in Italian Studies for The Cinema of Federico Fellini (1993)
  • Mellon Visiting Professor and Mellon Lecturer, Tulane University (2001)
  • Pulitzer Prize Nomination for The Eternal City: Roman Images in the Modern World (1987)
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