Anthony DiRenzo

Professor, Writing
School: School of Humanities and Sciences
Phone: 607-274-3614
Office: Smiddy Hall 426, Ithaca, NY 14850
Speciality: Professional and Technical Writing (PTW)

Faculty Profile

Dr. Anthony Di Renzo, a recipient of the Ithaca College Excellence in Teaching Award (2003), specializes in professional and technical writing (PTW). A former copywriter, medical writer, and publicist, he developed or codeveloped the five courses in the Writing major’s Professional Writing concentration: Writing for the Workplace (WRTG-21100), Technical Writing (WRTG-21300), Writing for the Professions (WRTG-31100), Science Writing (WRTG-31400), and Proposal and Writing (WRTG-31700). These courses serve not only students in the professions and sciences but also local businesses, government agencies, and nonprofits. He also teaches academic writing, classical rhetoric (both argument and satire), and composition theory with an emphasis on ethnic semiotics.

Dr. Di Renzo’s PTW scholarship explores the historical relationship between creative and professional writing. Descended from medieval and Renaissance chancery clerks and secretaries, he has published articles on such literary figures as Bacon, Cicero, Defoe, Machiavelli, and Kafka in the Journal of Technical Writing and Communication (JTWC) and coedited and contributed chapters to Design Discourse: Composing and Revising the Professional and Technical Writing Program (Parlor Press/ WAC Clearinghouse, 2010). He also edited and wrote the introduction to If I Were Boss: The Early Business Stories of Sinclair Lewis (Southern Illinois University Press, 1999). His critical study, American Gargoyles: Flannery O’Connor and the Medieval Grotesque (Southern Illinois University Press, 1993), a Choice Outstanding Book, remains in print.

Dr. Di Renzo also has written four books of creative nonfiction and historical fiction: Bitter Greens: Essays on Food, Politics, and the Ethnicity from the Imperial Kitchen (SUNY Press, 2010), Trinàcria: A Tale of Bourbon Sicily (Guernica Editions, 2013); Dead Reckoning: Transatlantic Passages on Europe and America, coauthored with Andrei Guruianu (SUNY Press, 2016); and After the Fair is Over: A Novel (under contract at SUNY Press). These works satirize the ongoing culture war between Italian humanism and American capitalism. Italy usually loses. His cultural essays in Il Caffè, Ovunque Siamo, River Styx, and Voices in Italian Americana form a colorful if ironic mural of Italian American history.

As Pasquino, Rome’s talking statue, Dr. Di Renzo writes a monthly humor column for L’Italo Americano, a bilingual newspaper based in Los Angeles but with 100,000 online readers in Italy and the United States. These columns will be published as a collection, Pasquinades: Comments on the Eternal City, Past and Present, from Rome’s Talking Statue, by Cayuga Lake Books.

Dr. Di Renzo lives in Ithaca, New York, an Old World man in a New Age town. When not teaching or writing, he sings opera in such regional companies as Savoyards Ithaca (formerly the Cornell Savoyards).