Professor of Italian Studies
Director Brown Center in Bologna
Director, Virtual Humanities Lab
Office: 190 Hope St., Rm 202
Phone: (Italian Studies): +1.401.863-3984
Courses Fall 2010
Courses spring 2011
Ph. D. Rutgers University (1986)
M.A. (Laurea quinquennale) University of Florence, Italy (1981) summa cum laude
18th-century literature, romanticism, literary maladies, nationalism in literature, modernism in literature and film, contemporary narrative forms, digital humanities.
Before joining Brown in 1990, M. Riva taught at the University of Sydney (Australia) and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Bologna, the IULM of Milan, the École Pratique des Hautes Etudes in Paris, France, and the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico in Mexico City. M. Riva is the author of two books on literary maladies and nationalism in 18th- and 19th-century Italian literary culture: Saturno e le Grazie (Palermo, 1992) and Melanconie del Moderno (Ravenna, 2001). More recently, his work on contemporary narrative forms and emerging technologies has led to the publication of Il futuro della letteratura, a book on the literary work in the age of its digital reproduction (Naples, 2011), and Pinocchio digitale, a collection of essays about post-humanism and the hyper-novel, forthcoming in March (Milan, 2012). He is the editor of: Italian Tales. An Anthology of Contemporary Italian Fiction (New Haven, 2004) and the co-editor of a forthcoming English edition of Giovanni Pico della Mirandola’s Oratio De Hominis Dignitate (Cambridge, 2012), as well as the co-editor of Renato Poggioli: An Intellectual Life, a collection of essays based on the proceedings of an international symposium held at Brown, Harvard and UMass Amherst in 2007 (Florence, 2012). M. Riva's engagement with information technology in both teaching and research has resulted in the creation of several award winning online projects, such as the Decameron Web, supported by two grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities (1999-2002), the Pico project, and the Virtual Humanities Lab, also supported by NEH (2004-06). His most recent work in the digital humanities is focused on the Garibaldi panorama on the Microsoft Surface, a collaborative endeavor between Brown's Computer Science Department and the Brown University Library, co-sponsored by Microsoft Research. An installation of the panorama was part of an exhibit on emerging technologies for humanities research held at the British Library in London (October, 2010- May, 2011) and is currently exhibited in the Sala del Risorgimento of the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena, Italy. M. Riva is the recipient of a ACLS Digital Innovation Fellowship for 2011-12. He is currently at work on a book about the genealogy of virtual realism in 19th- and early 20th-century culture.