I received an M.A. in Philosophy at the University of Florence (Italy) and a Doctorate in Humanism and Renaissance Civilization at the National Institute of Renaissance Studies in Florence. For the past twelve years, I have taught Italian language and culture as well as world literature at all levels, in both English and Italian, serving a diverse student population. In June 2023, I earned a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Davis with a concentration in Italian literature and a Designated Emphasis in Classics and Classical Reception.
Acting Assistant Professor, French and Italian
M.A., University of Florence, Florence (Italy), Philosophy
Ph.D., Istituto Nazionale di Studi sul Rinascimento, Florence (Italy), Humanism and Renaissance Civilization
Ph.D., University of California, Davis, Comparative Literature
Curriculum and Instruction
Immigrants and Immigration
Literacy and Language
Race and Ethnicity
Current Research and Scholarly Interests
I study the ways religious and secular knowledge intersect in late medieval and early modern Italy and Europe; focusing on female spiritual literature and the reception of the three Italian “Crowns” (Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio), I investigate how gender bears an ideological and social relevance in the construction of the national literary canons. I have published on the intellectual history of fifteenth-century Florence and seventeenth-century Venice with a focus on the eclectic nature of the so-called “religious humanism,” the representation of otherness in early modern women’s spiritual experience, and the philosophical foundations of the European querelle des femmes. My research on female religious literature in early modern Italy proves civically engaged as it explores issues of gender within the contemporary debate on women’s dignity and critiques the very foundations of Western misogyny. My other research interest investigates the stereotypical perception of the indigenous populations of the New Indies within early modern European travel literature, which informs our understanding of the complex formation of Italian cultural identity, as being historically both the perpetrator and recipient of racial stereotyping.
My doctoral project focused on rediscovering the lyric voice of the Venetian writer Lucrezia Marinella (1571/9–1653), one of the most notable intellectual women of early modern Italy. Her varied corpus of spiritual and secular lyric poetry has been thus far largely neglected, yet it is foundational to understanding her renowned defense of women’s moral and intellectual excellence. My book project consists of the first modern edition, English translation, and commentary of Marinella’s Rime sacre (Sacred Verses, Venice, 1603), a collection of spiritual poetry that uniquely employs the Counter-Reformation’s model of heroic sainthood to support the author’s proto-feminist stance. A remarkable expression of late Petrarchism, Marinella’s lyric poetry harmonizes pro-woman discourse, affective writing, and personal devotion in an interdisciplinary dialogue among literature, fine arts, and theology. Thus, her work fully reflects the complex and syncretic nature of post-Tridentine culture, while also promoting a progressive and dynamic image of Marinella’s authorial persona within the male-dominated intellectual milieu of her time.
For the past twelve years, I have taught many courses at all levels, in both English and Italian, in Italian language and culture, as well as in world literature, serving a diverse student population. My teaching is rooted in learner-based instruction methods and embraces a transnational critical perspective that reflects my multidisciplinary and rigorous scholarly undertakings in medieval and early modern Italian and European culture, reception theory, gender and women’s studies, spiritual literature, translation, and Second Language Acquisition. In each of my classes, my primary goal is to foster transcultural awareness by challenging students to critically rethink their own cultural perspectives through student-directed investigation into Italy and Europe’s cultural landscapes.
- Innovation and Transformation of the Counter-Reformation: Religion and Culture in Early Modern Italy
ITALIAN 303 (Spr)
- Inventing Italian Literature: Dante, Boccaccio, Petrarca
ITALIAN 127 (Aut)
- The Italian Renaissance and the Path to Modernity
ITALIAN 128 (Win)
- Women's Voices in the Italian Literary Tradition: From Catherine of Siena to Elena Ferrante
ITALIAN 203 (Win)
- Note sul sonetto proemiale delle Rime sacre di Lucrezia Marinella: tra filigrane sapienziali e manierismo stilistico Letteratura Italiana Antica 2021; 22: 563–68
- ‘Colei che ’l mondo e ’l Cielo empie di luce:’ Mary’s Glorification and Poetic Fame in Lucrezia Marinella’s Spiritual Poetry Genealogìas. Re-Writing the Canon: Women’s Writing in XVI-XVII Century Italy ArCiBel Editores. 2018: 173–97