Ambrogio Camozzi Pistoja

Ambrogio Camozzi Pistoja

Assistant Professor in Romance Languages and Literatures (Italian)
Undergraduate Advisor in Italian

Ambrogio Camozzi Pistoja is a Cambridge Scholar of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the former Keith Sykes Fellow in Italian Studies at Pembroke College, University of Cambridge. In this position, he conducted research in different areas of the Italian middle ages, at the intersections of literature, art and legal history. He completed two major book projects, both of which have grown out of work on the dissemination of texts, oral and visual materials relating to Alexander the Great in Italy from the end of the twelfth century to the end of the fourteenth century. His research is to be published in two books: Vita di Alessandro con figure (Brepols, 2018) and Dante and the Medieval Alexander (2019). 

Works in progress include a book dedicated to the literary, visual and criminal history of insults in Roman and medieval Italian societies. The project is focused around the key role of Italian city-states and the Bolognese school of law in the development of concepts such as defamation, injury, non-physical violence and freedom of speech. An important part of this project will involve an exploration of the broader impact of a reworked understanding of satirical and violent languages by instigating public dialogue on campus with policymakers, magistrates/lawyers and comedians/cartoonists.

Camozzi Pistoja is also developing a research project on parabolic epistemology and the novel concept of ‘text as Eucharist’, a text which eludes the hermeneutic attempts of the ‘wicked’, no matter how literate or clever they might be.

He is the Coordinator of “Dante@Harvard 1321-2021” a year-long programme of initiatives celebrating the tremendous diversity and longevity of Dante’s cultural legacy. The annus mirabilis (‘wonderful year’) will include research seminars and conferences, exhibitions, a film festival, memory, translation and photography contests, oral recitations and other public performances, and outreach activities. 

Prior to Harvard, Camozzi Pistoja sat on the Governing Body of Pembroke College administering complex employment processes and pastoral initiatives. He coordinated the Keith Sykes Annual Lectures (2013-18), which included the visit to Cambridge of Romano Prodi (10th President of the European Commission from 1999 to 2004 and twice Prime Minister of Italy).

Part of Camozzi Pistoja’s family is originally from Odessa. He grew up between Milan, the Lake Como and the Valtellina, a valley in the Italian Alps. He received his B.A. in Medieval and Humanist Philology from the University of Milan (Italy), his M.Phil. in European Literatures and Cultures, and his Ph.D. in Italian Studies from the University of Cambridge.

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