I am Assistant Professor of medieval and Renaissance Italian literature and the Managing Editor of I Tatti Studies in the Italian Renaissance.
Dante Society of America Liaison to the RSA Research specializations: Medieval-Renaissance Italian literature, Petrarch, Petrarchism in Italy and France, neo-Latin humanism, Querelle des femmes, comparative literature (Latin, French, Italian), gender and women’s studies
I am an associate professor of Italian language, literature and culture with twenty-six years of teaching & leadership experience at the university level. Since July 1st, 2020, I serve as Chairperson of the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at Saint Louis University. My areas of specialization are Medieval & Renaissance Italian literature and foreign (F/L2) language acquisition. Currently, my focus is on the applications of technology and digital media to language acquisition, in particular video game-based learning (VGBL). In fall 2016, as a recipient of the Saint Louis University (SLU) Reinert Center for Innovative Teaching, I developed Intensive Italian for Gamers. The course was successfully taught in the SLU state-of-the-art Learning Studio in spring 2017. I have presented my research and results in workshops and presentations, at conferences and in publications (in print and forthcoming). I have an extensive and eclectic background in Classics (Greek and Latin, Philology, Literature), Ancient and Medieval History, Theology, Philosophy; but also in Cinema Studies, International Studies, Communications and Journalism. I definitely enjoyed the variety of my studies. I am a firm believer in multidisciplinary approaches to both learning and teaching.
A Kentucky-bred Francophile, aside from my passion for French Renaissance literature and French & Italian cinema, I enjoy traveling, genealogical research, cooking and various forms of football (rugby, association and American).
I am a PhD candidate in Literary Studies at Ghent University. Before enrolling in the PhD program, I studied French and Italian Linguistics and Literature and graduated (with a BA) with a dissertation on Gabriele d’Annunzio’s war rhetoric. I then went on to achieve my Masters in Comparative Modern Literature writing a dissertation on short story collection theory. My research interests lie primarily in modern Italian narrative, literary theory and the history of ideas, with a particular focus on the interaction between tradition and modernity. My current project focuses on the link between the Italian Renaissance and Italian national identity in the prose works of Gabriele d’Annunzio (1863-1938).
Since 2014, I have served as director of the Office of Programs and director of the Association of Departments of Foreign Languages at MLA. For the Office of Programs I oversee projects relating to the profession, such as departmental reviews, the ongoing examination of faculty rights and responsibilities, monitoring educational and curricular changes, and the development of statements of best practices. As director of ADFL, I oversee the Language Consultancy Service, the MLA Language Map, the language enrollment database, survey, and report, and other projects focused on languages other than English. From 1986 to 2013, I taught Italian at the University of Pittsburgh, with secondary appointments in classics and philosophy. I was chair of the Department of French and Italian for eleven years and assistant dean of the humanities for three years at Pitt. Publications include Compromising the Classics: Romance Epic Narrative in the Italian Renaissance (1996), which received honorable mention in the 1996–97 joint Howard R. Marraro Prize and Scaglione Award in Italian Studies from the MLA, and Freedom Readers: The African American Reception of Dante Alighieri and the Divine Comedy (2011), which received the American Association of Italian Studies Book Prize (general category) in 2011. With D. Mark Possanza, I am co-editor and translator of Ludovico Ariosto’s Latin Poetry, I Tatti Renaissance Library, Harvard University Press (2018). Some key research interests: Renaissance Studies; comparative literature; reception of the classical tradition; vernacular classicism; history of the book; Italian; Latin; Greek; Medievalisms; Dante; Divine Comedy; Matteo Maria Boiardo; Ludovico Ariosto; Torquato Tasso; romance/epic; Neo-Latin poetry; Herodotus.
2020-21 Postdoctoral Fellow at Freie Universität Berlin, Cluster of Excellence “Temporal Communities: Doing Literature in a Global Perspective,” Project: “Opera without Borders: The Multicultural Libretto in the Age of Nations” 2020-21 Ahmanson Research Fellow for the Study of Medieval and Renaissance Books and Manuscripts at UCLA, Project on pilgrimage guides and geopolitical representations of the eastern Mediterranean in Italian epic poetry Research interests: early modern literature and culture (specializing in Italy); the relationship between art and diplomacy; women’s and gender studies; opera and performance studies; cultural transmission, translation, and transnationalism
Scholar with research interests ranging from the Didactics of Spanish Language and Literature, SLA and Linguistics, to the Comparative literature between Spanish Golden Age, Latin Humanism and Italian Renaissance. Teaching experience in USA (Saint Louis U), Sweden (Stockholm U), South Korea (Hankuk U Foreign Studies, Korea U), Italy (MAEC-AECID) and Spain (UNIR, UOCx, U of Barcelona). Granted a six-year period of quality research by ANECA-CNEAI (2011-2017). Official DELE examiner (Instituto Cervantes).
Teaching and doing research on Late Medieval & Early Modern Mediterranean Literature, Iberian News of “Conquest,” Theater and Diplomacy. Currently a Berenson Fellow at I Tatti (The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies). Board Member of Directors of SNAP (The Spain-North Africa Project), Officer at PAMLA (Pacific Ancient and Modern Languages Association) and member of Diversifying the Classics, UCLA.