Medieval studies, Dante, Boccaccio, Petrarch, medieval chronicles, historiography, gender studies
Sumptuous Literature: Clothing and Governance in Fourteenth-Century Italy, my current book project, explores the relationship between sumptuary statutes (laws which regulated clothing and displays of wealth) and the thematic treatments of luxurious dress and extravagant spending that can be found in the works of Italy’s “three crowns” of literature: Dante, Boccaccio, and Petrarch, as well as other poets and chroniclers of the period. In order to maintain social order, sumptuary legislation and ecclesiastical admonitions targeted various displays of luxury: excessive spending on clothing, jewelry, and rituals, such as funereal practices and exorbitant wedding dowries. Sumptuous clothing, a visual language of its own that signified status, became an essential part of a poetic language that addressed politics, gender and civic identity.
Courtesy Lost: Dante, Boccaccio and the Literature of History. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2014. http://www.utppublishing.com/Courtesy-Lost-Dante-Boccaccio-and-the-Literature-of-History.html
Boccaccio 1313-2013. Edited with Francesco Ciabattoni and Elsa Filosa. Ravenna: Longo Editore, 2015.
Open City: Seven Writers in Post-War Rome. Edited with William Weaver. South Royalton, VT: Steerforth Press, 1999.
"Shoes, Gowns, and Turncoats: Reconsidering Cacciaguida’s History of Florentine Fashion and Politics." Dante Studies: The Annual Publication of the Dante Society of America 134 (2016): 26-47.
"Uncovering the Historical Body of Florence: Dante, Forese Donati, and Sumptuary Legislation." Italian Culture 33:1 (March 2015): 1-15.
“Dante’s Urban American Vernacular: Sandow Birk’s Divine Comedy.” Special Edition: “New Voices in Dante Criticism,” of Dante Studies: The Annual Publication of the Dante Society of America 131 (2013): 143-169.
“The Language of Women as Written by Men: Dante, Boccaccio, and Gendered Histories of the Vernacular,” Heliotropia 8-9 (2011-12). Reprinted in Heliotropia 700/10: A Boccaccio Anniversary Volume (LED, 2013), pp. 217-236.
“Resurrecting Dante’s Florence: Figural Realism in the Decameron and the Esposizioni,” Modern Language Notes 124:1 (January 2009): 45-65.
Ph.D., Department of Italian, Columbia University (2006)
M.A., Department of Italian, Columbia University (2001)
B.A., Division of Languages and Literatures, Bard College (1998)
“Cowardice, Silence, and Activism: Spivak, Nussbaum and Dante’s Fraught Role in Feminist Thought.” Fordham University, New York, NY. April 27, 2017.
“Skirting the Issue: Clothing and Politics in Fourteenth-Century Italy.” Fenwick Fellow Lecture, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA. April 13, 2017.
“Finding the Celestial Rose in Mecca: Sandow Birk's Divine Comedy.” University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, VA. April 10, 2017.
“Im/material Girls: Paradiso 15, Commentaries, and Giovanni Villani.” Villanova University, November 2, 2016.
"Dante, Boccaccio and Sumptuary Legislation in Italy during the 13th and 14th Centuries." University of New Hampshire, October 14, 2016.
“Panni corti and Minos’s Tail: Boccaccio’s History of Fashion and Governance in Esposizioni 5.” The Triennial Conference of the American Boccaccio Association. Duke University, September 30-October 2, 2016.
"New Fenwick Fellow’s Research Explores 14th Century Fashion"