Gerard Passannante specializes in Renaissance literature and intellectual history. His first book, The Lucretian Renaissance, was awarded the 2014 Harry Levin Prize by the American Comparative Literature Association. The book argues that, long before it took on its familiar shape during the Scientific Revolution, the ancient philosophy of atoms and the void reemerged in the Renaissance as a story about reading and letters. He is currently at work on a second book project, Earthquakes of the Mind, a history of the disastrous imagination in literature and philosophy. His work has been generously supported by the American Academy in Rome, the National Humanities Center, and the Bogliasco Foundation. He will be on leave in AY 2014-15 at the New York Public Library's Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers.
B.A. Yale, 2000; Ph.D. Princeton, 2007
Comparative Literature; Medieval and Renaissance
The Lucretian Renaissance: Philology and the Afterlife of Tradition (Chicago, 2011)
"Reading for Pleasure: Disaster and Digression in the First Renaissance Commentary on Lucretius" (Dynamic Reading, Oxford, 2012).
"Homer Atomized: Francis Bacon and the Matter of Tradition," ELH76.4: 1015-1047.
"The Art of Reading Earthquakes: On Harvey's Wit, Ramus's Method, and the Renaissance of Lucretius," Renaissance Quarterly 61.3: 792-832
Honors and Awards
Harry Levin Prize, American Comparative Literature Association, 2014
Bogliasco Foundation Fellowship, 2013
National Humanities Center fellowship, 2010-11
Rome Prize, 2006-7
Porter Ogden Jacobus fellowship, Princeton University