Franco Costantini is a poet, teacher (professeur agrégé), and researcher in the fields of medieval Italian literature, literary theory, comparative literature, and the relationships between literature and philosophy. He works primarily on medieval and twentieth century thought and literature, with a particular focus on poetic language and comparative approaches. He has worked as a teacher of Italian literature and culture for several years in high schools and universities in France (Sorbonne University, École normale supérieure of Paris).

He has studied comparative literature at the universities of Bologna and Strasbourg and holds a PhD in Italian literature from Sorbonne University; he serves on the editorial board of the Revue des études dantesques. His doctoral thesis studied the relationship between the textual form of collections of love poetry in the Italian Middle Ages and the construction and representation of the lyrical subject that informs this poetry.

Non-scalability of Love: Subjectivities and Nature through Poetry in the Middle Ages
ICI Project 2024-26

In Dante’s Comedia, Love is the moving force of the universe. The love for a human being can become for the author a ladder to the love of God; all physical, metaphysical, and ethical laws are explicable in terms of degrees and inclinations of Love. Love therefore seems to be used as a scalable feature, capable of describing the structure and functioning of everything, from the microcosm of the human body and soul to the macrocosm of astrological movements. However, in love there is always something resistant to reduction and expansion: through the lyric language, Love reveals itself as a non-scalable feature, always linked to an individual, irreducible, corporeal aspect, for humans, as for all other beings.

This project seeks to fill the gap between the human subject and nature considering poetry as a pertinent epistemological tool to investigate different metaphysics and anthropologies. This project aims to explore the relationship between the human subject and nature in Dante’s Commedia; in doing so, it focuses on the ability of poetic language to ‘jump’ between different scales and to relate heterogeneous orders.