Robert W. Hanning

B.A., Columbia (1958); B.A., Oxford (1960); M.A., Oxford (1964); Ph.D., Columbia (1964).

Professor Hanning began teaching at Columbia in 1963. He also taught at Bread Loaf (Middlebury College), Yale, Johns Hopkins, NYU, and Princeton. He was director and professor at the Bread Loaf School at Lincoln College, Oxford in 1980, 1984, 1986, and directed NEH Summer Seminars for College Teachers in 1982, 1985, and 1989. He received ACLS, Guggenheim, and NEH Fellowships and a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship to the Villa Serbelloni, Bellagio. He was elected a Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America (1986) and a Trustee of the New Chaucer Society (1998–2002). He was the Biennial Chaucer Lecturer at the 1998 NCS Congress, at the Sorbonne in Paris.

His areas of expertise include medieval English literature, Chaucer, medieval French romance, medieval historiography, the Ovidian tradition in medieval European literature, and the works of the Italian masters Boccaccio, Ariosto, and Castiglione. At the undergraduate level, he taught courses on the constructions of “race” and ethnicity and the fortunes of immigrant groups in America, and for nearly three decades, co-taught (with David Rosand of Art History) a seminar on the art and literature of the Renaissance.

His major publications include The Vision of History in Early Britain (1966), The Individual in Twelfth-Century Romance (1977), The Lais of Marie de France, co-translated with Joan M. Ferrante (1978), Castiglione: The Real and the Ideal in Renaissance Culture, co-edited with David Rosand (1983), Serious Play. Desire and Authority in the Poetry of Ovid, Chaucer, and Ariosto (2010; based on the Leonard Hastings Schoff Memorial Lectures, 2005), The Romance of Thebes, co-translated with Joan M. Ferrante (2018). Reading Medieval Culture. Essays in Honor of Robert W. Hanning, edited by Robert M. Stein and Sandra Pierson Prior, was published in 2005.

2005–2006 was Prof. Hanning’s last year of teaching. He retired June 30, 2006 after 45 years of offering instruction at Columbia.

Last Updated: March 6, 2020