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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of English Language and Literature

Faculty and Staff Directory

Lawrence Rhu

William Josesph Todd Professor of the Italian Renaissance
Department of English Language and Literature

Phone Number: (803) 576-5997
Office: HUO 218


PhD, Harvard University, 1987

Areas of Specialization 

   English and Italian Renaissance
   • American Studies

Recently Taught Courses 

   The Renaissance
   Classic Hollywood Films
   Themes in Literature
   Cavell and Percy
   • Emerson, Nietzsche, and Cavell

Professional Accolades 

   Russell Award for Research in Humanities and Social Sciences, USC, 2013
   William Joseph Todd Chair of the Italian Renaissance, USC, 2008-present
   Fulbright Lecturer, University of Lisbon, 2005
   Klingenstein Fellow, Columbia University, 1983-4

Current Research Projects 

   “Walker Percy and Robert Coles: Friendship and the Life of Writing” (in progress).
   Annotated translation of Baldesar Castiglione’s Il libro del cortegiano (under contract with Hackett Publishing).

Selected Publications 

   • The Genesis of Tasso's Narrative Theory: Translations of the Early Poetics and a Comparative Study of Their Significance (Detroit Wayne State University Press, 1993).
   • Stanley Cavell's American Dream: Shakespeare, Philosophy, and Hollywood Movies (New York: Fordham University Press, 2006).
   • Edition of William Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale (Cengage, 2011)

   • “Thoreau and Cavell: Unauthorized Versions” in Thoreau at Two-Hundred: Essays and Reassessments, eds. Kristen Case and K. P. Vann Anglen (New York:  Cambridge UP, forthcoming).
   • “’Plowing the Same Field’:  The Friendship of Walker Percy and Robert Coles,” in Skepticism and Conservatism, ed. Rui Romão (Lisbon, Pt: University of Lisbon Press, forthcoming).
   • “Shakespeare Italianate: Skeptical Crises in Three Kinds of Plays,” Shakespeare and the Italian Renaissance ed. Michele Marrapodi (Farnham, Surrey, UK: Ashgate, forthcoming).
   • “’All in War with Time’: Medium as Meditation in Sherman’s March” in The Philosophy of War Films ed. David La Rocca (Lexington, KY: Kentucky UP, forthcoming)."
   • "Emersonian Affinities: Reading Richard Ford through Stanley Cavell," Stanley Cavell, Literature, and the Idea of America ed. Taylor and Spinks (New York: Routledge, 2013), 217-29.
   • "Competing for the Soul: On Cavell’s Shakespeare," Stanley Cavell and Literary Studies: Consequences of Skepticism eds. Eldridge and Rhie (New York: Continuum, 2011), 136-51, 242-4.
   • "The Cavellian Turn," The Oxford Handbook of Transcendentalism eds. Myerson and Walls (New York: Oxford UP, 2010), 549-58.
   • "Beyond Adaptation: Stoicism, Transcendence, &  Moviegoing in Percy & Cavell," Analecta Husserliana 96 (Dordecht: Springer, 2008), 199-209.
   • "On Cheney on Spenser’s Ariosto," Connotations 15.1-3 (2005-6), 91-6.
   • "Home Movies and Personal Documentaries: An Interview with Ross McElwee," Cineaste 29.3 (Summer 2004), 6-12.
   • "Paradise Lost as Biblical Interpretation," The Idea of Biblical Interpretation, eds. H. Najman et al. (Leiden: Brill, 2004), 485-512.
   • "King Lear in Their Time: On Bloom and Cavell on Shakespeare," Harold Bloom’s Shakespeare, eds. C. Desmet and R. Sawyer (New York: Palgrave, 2001), 227-46.
   • "Stanley Cavell: An American Philosopher at the Movies," DoubleTake 7.2 (Spring 2001), 115-119.
   • "Shakespeare's Ariostan Skepticism," Shakespeare Yearbook X (1999), 359-73.
   • "Chi non conosce Torquato Tasso? Genere e rinomanza nella Faerie Queene VI," Torquato Tasso e la civiltà estense ed. G. Venturi (Ferrara, 1999), 1:163-173.
   • "Romancing the Pope: Tasso's Narrative Theory and Milton's Demonization of a Genre" in "All in All": Unity, Diversity, and the Miltonic Perspective eds. C. W. Durham and K. P. McColgan (Cranbury, NJ: Susquehanna UP, 1999), 128-37.
   • "Romanzare sul Papa: La teoria narrativa del Tasso e la demonizzazione miltoniana di un genere," in Torquato Tasso e l'Europa ed. Daniele Rota (Bergamo: Centro Studi Tassiani, 1996), 49-59.
   • "Ariosto Moralisé: Political Decorum in Spenser's Imitations of Orlando furioso," Annali d'italianistica 12 (1994), 143-57.
   • "Romancing the Word: Italian Echoes and English Contexts in the Errour Episode," Spenser Studies XI (1994), 101-109.
   • "Agons of Interpretation: Ariostan Source and Elizabethan Meaning in Spenser, Harington, & Shakespeare," Ren. Drama n.s. 24 (1993), 171-88.
   • "Romancing Eliza: The Political Decorum of Ariostan Imitation in The Faerie Queene," Renaissance Papers 1993, 31-39.
   • "Young Tasso's Reckoning with the Orlando furioso" in Reconsidering the Renaissance, ed. M. di Cesare (Binghamton: MRTS, 1992), 271-86.
   • "After the Middle Ages: Prophetic Authority and Human Fallibility in Renaissance Epic" in Poetry and Prophecy: The Beginnings of LiteraryTradition, ed. James Kugel (Cornell UP, 1990), 163-84, 244-6.
   • "From Aristotle to Allegory: Young Tasso's Evolving Vision of the Gerusalemme liberata," Italica 65.2 (Summer, 1988), 111-30.
   • "Tasso's First Discourse on the Art of Poetry as a Guide to the Gerusalemme liberata," Journal of the Rocky Mountain Medieval and Renaissance Association 7 (1986), 65-81.

   • “Skepticism and Shakespearean Tragedy” University of Porto, Porto, Portugal, January 2014.
   • “Stoicism and Tradition in the American South,” University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal, January 2014.
   • “Post-Apocalyptic Othello,” Last Lecture Series, USC Columbia, March 2010.
   • “Othello in Context,” African American History Month Lecture, South Carolina State University, Orangeburg, SC, February 2010.
   • “Shakespeare Italianate: Skeptical Crises in Three Kinds of Plays,” Tucci Lecture in Italian Culture, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, October 2009.
   • "On Cavell on Shakespeare: Losing Mamillius, Finding Perdita," Symposium on Shakespeare and the History of Philosophy, Newberry Library, Chicago, March 2009.
   • “Hollywood Movies and the American Scholar,” APPI (Associação Portuguesa de Professores de Inglês) Conference, Lisbon, April 2005.
   • "Chi non conosce Torquato Tasso? Genere e rinomanza nella Faerie Queene VI" (invited paper, in Italian), Internat'l Tasso Conference, Instituto per studi rinascimentali, Ferrara (Italy), Dec., 1995.
   • "Romanzare sul Papa: La teoria narrativa del Tasso e la demonizzazione miltoniana di un genere" (invited paper, in Italian), Internat'l Tasso Conference, Centro Studi Tassiani, Bergamo (Italy), May, 1995.