This article was written by Leslie Landis and featured in The Daily Bruin.
When Andrea Moudarres developed his doctoral dissertation at Yale University, he did not expect that it would one day turn into an award-winning manuscript. Moudarres, an assistant professor of Italian at UCLA, was recently awarded the 21st annual Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Publication Award for a Manuscript in Italian Literary Studies. He received the award for his manuscript “The Enemy in Italian Renaissance Epic: Images of Hostility from Dante to Tasso.” The manuscript examines the question of hostility and how it arises from ideas about politics or religion. Moudarres began developing his manuscript from his Ph.D. dissertation in November 2008. He completed his Ph.D. in 2011 and his dissertation a few months earlier. However, when he started working at UCLA in 2012, he had to take some time away from his manuscript. “When I started teaching I couldn’t dedicate time to the book. My first few years (as a professor) I wasn’t working on the book,” Moudarres said. “After 2015 I was able to come back to the manuscript and revise it significantly.” While the manuscript itself is an original analysis of Renaissance poetry, Moudarres said it is about how political dynamics can lead to conflict at its core. “It’s been said a community can only exist from conflict. I disagree with that,” Moudarres said. “History is what produced enmity but it’s not a necessary condition for human existence.”