Arielle Saiber

Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures

Arielle Saiber is Professor of Romance Languages & Literatures at Bowdoin College (Ph.D., Italian Literature, Yale; B.A., Philosophy/Cognitive Science, Hampshire College; corsi singoli in Philosophy at the Università di Bologna).  Saiber's books include Images of Quattrocento Florence: Writings on Literature, History and Art co-edited with Stefano U. Baldassarri (Yale, 2000); Giordano Bruno and the Geometry of Language (Ashgate/Routledge, 2005); and Measured Words: Computation and Writing in Renaissance Italy (University of Toronto Press, 2017). Her current book project focuses on symmetry and transformation in Dante's Commedia.

Saiber has published articles on medieval and Renaissance literature and mathematics, topics in “literature & science,” Renaissance advice manuals, and early print history, as well as on Italian science fiction, genre theory, and experimental electronic music. 

She has co-edited a number of special issues of academic journals: for Configurations, “Mathematics and the Imagination” (2009) with Henry S. Turner; for Dante Studies, “Longfellow and Dante” (2010) with Giuseppe Mazzotta; for California Italian Studies, “Sound” (2014) with Deanna Shemek; and for Science Fiction Studies, “Italian Science Fiction” (2015) with Salvatore Proietti and Umberto Rossi.  She is currently co-editing with Giuseppe Lippi (editor at Mondadori) an anthology of Italian science fiction in English for Wesleyan University Press's Early Classics of Science Fiction series.

In 2006 she built the web-based archive, Dante Today: Sightings and Citings of Dante’s Work in Contemporary Culture, which she now co-edits with Elizabeth Coggeshall. In 2015 she built an extensive, on-going website for the World Science Fiction course she teaches at Bowdoin. 

Saiber has served on the executive council and as Vice President of the Dante Society of America; on the executive board of the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts; and on the executive committee of the Division of Literature and Science of the Modern Language Association.  She co-organized the 21st annual conference of the SLSA (Nov. 4-7, 2007), the theme of which was “code.” 

Her doctoral dissertation on Giordano Bruno won Yale’s Field Prize for "a poetic, literary, or religious work" (2000), and in 2004 she received the Karofsky Prize for teaching at Bowdoin (given to one assistant professor a year).  She has been a fellow at the Istituto Italiano per gli Studi Filosofici (1998-1999), the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study (2003-2004), and Villa I Tatti - Harvard’s Center for Renaissance Studies in Florence, Italy (2008-2009).  She also received an NEH Fellowship (2008), the MLA's Scaglione Publication Award (2016), the Newberry Library's Weiss-Brown Publication Award (2017) and The Bridge Award for Measured Words (2018).

Research Interests

• Dante
• Medieval and Renaissance literature and philosophy
• Intersections between mathematics and literature
• History of science and mathematics
• Science fiction
• Reception theory
• Visual culture
• Electronic music

Teaching Areas

• Dante
• Medieval and Renaissance Italian Literature
• Literature & Science
• Science Fiction

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Curriculum Vitae

Arielle Saiber

Education

  • BA Philosophy/Cognitive Science, Hampshire College
  • PhD Italian Literature, Yale University