Cornell University

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Book Talk: The Ethical Dimension of the 'Decameron'

Wednesday, April 20, 2016 at 4:30pm to 5:30pm

Olin Library, Room 107
Olin Library, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA

Giovanni Boccaccio’s masterpiece The Decameron challenges the reader to look beyond the surface and offers us an opportunity to talk about the ethical choices we make. The dialogue is born of stories: the one hundred stories told by the ten Florentines who escape the Black Death of 1348, the stories the Author tells about the Florentines, the stories the Author tells about himself, and many more. By examining this dialogue to gain insights into our own values, our biases, and our decision-making processes, we discover how it complicates our moral views and responses.     

Join us for a Chats in the Stacks talk with Marilyn Migiel to her about her new book The Ethical Dimension of the 'Decameron' (University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division; September, 2015). According to Migiel, the Decameron catches us as we move through it, obligating us to reveal ourselves, inviting us to reflect on how we form our assessments, and calling upon us to be mindful of our responsibility to judge patiently and carefully. Migiel’s focus remains on the experience of readers, on the meanings they find, and on the ideological assumptions they have about the way that a literary text such as the Decameron works.

Marilyn Migiel is professor and chair of the Department of Romance Studies at Cornell University. She is also the author of A Rhetoric of the 'Decameron' , winner of the MLA’s 2004 Marraro Prize.

Refreshments served and books available for purchase. This event is hosted by Olin Library.

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Event Type

Author Appearance, Presentation, Lecture


Cornell University Library, Cornell University College of Arts and Sciences, Olin Library, Romance Studies


linguistics, cascal, history, Cornell University Library, CUL, book talk, olin library, comparative literature, artscal, languages


Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Lynn Bertoia

Contact Phone

(607) 255-4813


Marilyn Migiel

Speaker Affiliation

Department of Romance Studies at Cornell

Open To

Free and open to all

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