I am interested in the intersection of different disciplines in literary works. In Reading Dante's Stars, I considered the poetic effect of Dante's use of astronomy. My recent volume, Vernacular Translation in Dante's Italy: Illiterate Literature, is about the precocious and voluminous phenomenon of vernacular translation in Italy and its bearing on original works of literature. My continuing research is in the area of the history of readership from the 13th to the 16th centuries. I teach Dante's Divine Comedy every year, both as an undergraduate lecture and as a graduate seminar, as well as courses on other major figures of Medieval and Renaissance Italian literature — Petrarch, Boccaccio, Machiavelli, Ariosto. I use opera and theatrical texts to integrate advanced training in the target language with the study of literature and its various uses.
Recent and Selected Publications
Vernacular Translation in Dante's Italy: Illiterate Literature.Cambridge, Eng.: Cambridge University Press, 2011 .
Reading Dante’s Stars. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000.
“Sons and Lovers: Guido in Paradise.” Modern Language Notes 124
“Embracing the Corpse: Necrophilic Tendencies in Petrarch.” Dead Lovers Erotic Bonds and the Study of Premodern Europe. Ed. Basil Dufallo and Peggy McCracken. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2007. Pp. 57-70.
“Translatio Galliae: Effects of Early Franco-Italian Literary Exchange.” Romanic Review 97 (2006): 309-330.
“‘Not like an Arab’: Poetry and Astronomy in the Episode of Idalogos in Boccaccio’s Filocolo.“ Annali d’Italianistica 23 (2005): 55-68.
Recent graduate seminars taught:
Dante's Divine Comedy: From the Perspective of Paradiso
The Culture of Cities in Medieval and Early Modern Europe (with Diane Owen Hughes)
Recent undergraduate courses taught:
Dante's Divine Comedy
Italian Through Opera: La traviata
Italian Through Opera: Elisir d'amore, Don Carlo
Italian Through Opera: Nozze di Figaro, Nabucco, Tosca
Italian Through Opera: Rigoletto, Don Giovanni
Italian Literature Elsewhere and Otherwise: Lorenzo da Ponte and the Mozart libretti
Italian Theater: Goldoni, Machiavelli, Pirandello
Introduction to the Study of Italian Literature