General Information

The Comic Renaissance in Italy is a conference hosted by Modern Languages and Classics' within the College of Arts and Sciences. It will be held on The University of Alabama campus February 28-29, 2020 at the Bryant Conference Center, 240 Paul Bryant Drive, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401.  Please join us for a two-day conference on comic culture in Renaissance Italy.  What, we will ask, were the perimeters of the comic in this period, and how and when did these lines expand, bend, or break? This conference will explore the ways in which humor, parody, play, and farce challenged or loosened conventional boundaries—of genre, discipline, language, gender, dogma, social identity, and medium—contributing to what might be roughly called an unorthodox culture or, alternatively, productively giving rise to new entries into an established cultural climate. We will weigh whether the comic is always a parody of official and high genres, or whether ‘elite’ culture may be considered a response and adaptation to issues brought forward by comic or irregular culture. We will also examine opposing efforts during the Renaissance to scale back or more heavily delimit the terrain of the comic. This interdisciplinary event will focus especially on intersections in the fields of literature, theater, music, art history, philosophy, and history.  Over two days of presentations and dialogue, we will trace the multifarious forms and meanings of comedic material in the verse, the sketch, the refrain, the staff, the punchline, and the square of early modern Italy. This conference will allow us to reassess the meaning and the value traditionally assigned to the comic, paving the way for a redefinition of it as inherently interdisciplinary.

Cancellations and Refunds

Cancellations made within fourteen days of the event will not be given a refund, a substitute participant may be designated at no additional cost. The University of Alabama reserves the right to cancel, post-pone or combine class sections; to limit registration; or to change instructors. 

Request for Accommodations

The University of Alabama is committed to complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Requests for accommodation of physical and/or dietary needs should be made at least 30 calendar days in advance of the program date. Please email your request to Pamela Harvey at