Robert Hollander

Professor of European Literature and French and Italian, Emeritus
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C-5-L1 Firestone Library


Robert Hollander, Professor in European Literature, Emeritus, first taught in the Department of Romance Languages in 1961. He received tenure in 1967 and retired in 2003. He was also one of the founding members of the Department of Comparative Literature in 1975, and was its first Director of Undergraduate Studies (1975-78) and its second Chair (1994-98). His teaching included both introductory and graduate courses in literature. His courses included the two-semester sequence of "Great Books" of the Western tradition (Humanistic Studies 205-206, first offered in 1975) and the one-semester course on Dante's Commedia (in translation), which he taught almost every year between 1965 and 2003 and which, in 2009, enjoyed its 33rd reunion during Princeton's Reunion weekend. He has held visiting positions in several other academic institutions: Dartmouth College (Montgomery Professor in 1979; 1982 and 2006); Graduate Center, CUNY (1985); Università di Firenze, Cattedra di Filologia dantesca (1988); University of Dallas (2006, 2008, 2009).

He has served on a number of boards, including the National Council on the Humanities (1974-80; again 1986-92; Vice Chairman, 1978-80); the Council of the Dante Society of America (1976-85; President, 1979-85); Member, New Jersey Committee for the Humanities; Chairman, 1982-83; Board of Trustees, National Humanities Center (1981; Chairman, 1988-91; emeritus status, 1991-); Vice Presidente, Associazione Internazionale per gli Studi di Lingua e Letteratura Italiana (1985-94); La Scuola d'Italia ([NYC] 1986-92); Collegiate School ([NYC] 1990-96; President of the Board, 1998-2001); Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities (1991-98; Chairman, 1993-98}; International Dante Seminar (1991-2007; President, 1992-2003).


He is the author of fifteen scholarly monographs, editions, and translations, ten other books of various non-scholarly kinds (including one of his own poems), and more than one hundred articles on Dante, Boccaccio, and other writers. Recent work includes Paradiso (Doubleday, 2007), the third and final volume of a verse translation (done with his wife, Jean Hollander) of the Divine Comedy with facing Italian text and a commentary. (In 2008 their translation of the Commedia was honored by the Unione Fiorentina with the Gold Medal of the Comune di Firenze.) Hollander directs both the Dartmouth Dante Project ( and the Princeton Dante Project ( He is also the founding editor of the Electronic Bulletin of the Dante Society of America ( He has received many awards, including the Gold Medal of the city of Florence (1988, in recognition of his Dante scholarship), honorary citizenship in Certaldo (1997, in recognition of work on behalf of Boccaccio), the International Nicola Zingarelli Prize for Dantean philology and criticism (1999), membership in the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (2005), the Gold Florin of the Dante Society of America (2005), and Princeton University's Alumni Council Award for Service to the University (2007). Also in 2007 he was elected Honorary President of the Ente Nazionale Giovanni Boccaccio and to the Consiglio Direttivo della Società Dantesca Italiana.