Curriculum vitae


The Cultural and Social History of Quattrocento Florence

History of the Book and Popular 15th-century Florentine Manuscripts

Women in the Renaissance Epistolary Tradition

Gender and Sexuality in Medieval and Renaissance Europe

Jewish History in Early Modern Europe and the Mediterranean



2006   Ph.D.University of California, Berkeley.

Examination fields: History of Early Modern Europe, Medieval Europe,  Italian Literature

Ph.D. Dissertation: “Copying Culture: Fifteenth-Century Florentines and Their Zibaldoni”

Based on a survey of hundreds of  manuscripts, an interdisciplinary study of the cultural practice of copying informal vernacular literary anthologies known as “zibaldoni,” shared by a broad spectrum of Florentine society

Committee: Randolph Starn (Chair), Gene Brucker, Steven Botterill, Maureen Miller

M.A. Italian Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 2000

B.A.  Comparative Literature, University of California, Berkeley, 1982



2011-2012  Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grant, Medici Archive Project , Florence

2010-2011  Harvard University, Villa I Tatti Fellowship, Florence, Italy

2007-2010  National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship Medici Archive Project

2006            Founders’ Prize, First Place  Medieval Association of the Pacific

2005-2006  Allan Sharlin Fellowship in Social History, University of California, Berkeley

2003-2004  Fulbright Research Fellowship  Florence, Italy



2011–present   Visiting Professor University of California EAP, Florence, Italy

Courses taught:  “ ‘What’s Love Got to Do with it?’ The Social History of Quattrocento Florence”;  “Machiavelli & Friends”;  “Renaissance Florence: the ‘New Athens on the Arno’ “

Courses in development: “The Infernal World of Dante Alighieri”; “ ‘In the Name of God and Profit’ The Economy of Renaissance Florence”; “The Medici Dynasty 1360-1734″; “Italian Opera in Social and Historical Context 1600-1900″;  “Renaissance Narratives: History, Fiction, (and everything in between)”

2014   Visiting Professor  University of Minnesota EAP, Florence, Italy

Course taught:  “A Paradise Inhabited by Devils: Florence in the eyes of Anglo-American writers from Geoffrey Chaucer to Edith Wharton”

2014-present  Lecturer   British Institute of Florence, Italy in the following Art History lecture series:

Dawn of the Renaissance; Early Italian Renaissance; High Italian Renaissance; Renaissance Art at the Italian Courts; Women in Renaissance Art; Florence in Festival; Art in Renaissance Florence

2011–2012   Director of Academic Affairs. Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grant  at the Medici Archive Project, Florence Italy. Promoted digital humanities technology through articles, online postings, and live presentations at RSA conference in Washington DC, University of California, Santa Cruz, and Internet Archive; coordinated academic outreach team; wrote NEH and ERC grants; helped design, test, and launch the BIA online interactive software platform. Wrote online user manual, created help videos.

2010-2011    Jean-François Malle Fellow. Villa I Tatti, Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, Florence, Italy. Pursued research on quattrocento Florentine manuscripts as one of fifteen international post doctoral scholars, with a project entitled  Desire and Imagination in Renaissance Florentine Zibaldoni. Organized the interdisciplinary conference Thought Worlds of Renaissance Readers held 31 May, 2011.

2007-2010   National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow.  Medici Archive Project, Florence, Italy. Working with an international research team onsite in the Archivio di Stato in Florence, transcribed and contextualized hundreds of archival documents, primarily in Italian, from the Mediceo del Principato (1537-1743) archival corpus. Read all material concerning Giovanna d’Austria (1547-1578), many volumes of Florentine avvisi (handwritten news reports) and diplomatic reports from Stuart London, as well as ambassadors’ correspondence from the court of Louis XIV.

2006-2007       Visiting Lecturer. Department of History, University of California, Berkeley. Taught two courses: “Italy in the Age of the Renaissance: 1300 to 1630,” a  survey course on the social and cultural history of Italy from the rise of the communes to the Baroque era and “Queens, Courtesans, Witches and Wives: Women in the Renaissance,” a proseminar for upper division history majors on women’s lives in the Europe during the early modern era.

2006-2007       Adjunct Professor.  Department of History, Menlo College, Menlo Park, California. Delivered lectures and led discussion sections, as part of a team of four professors, for two world history courses in a year-long sequence:  “World Civilization 1,” world history from the Paleolithic era to 1500 and “World Civilization 2,” from the Renaissance through the present day.

Spring 2006        Graduate Student Instructor. Department of History, University of    California, Berkeley. Conducted discussion sections for Hist. 4B, “Origins of Western Civilization,” covering the Middle Ages from the    Fall of the Western Roman Empire through the 14th century.

2001-2002     Graduate Student Instructor. Department of History, University of  California, Berkeley. Conducted discussion sections for the following courses:

Hist. 1R, “The Practice of History” undergraduate historiography course.  Awarded Teaching Effectiveness Prize for this course:

Hist. 5 “European Civilization from the Renaissance to the Present” Won Outstanding Graduate Instructor Award for this course.

1998-2000      Graduate Student Instructor. Department of Italian Studies, University of  California, Berkeley. Taught three semesters of Italian 1, beginning Italian language, five days a week.  Led discussion sections for Italian Studies 30, “The Works of Dante in Translation.”




A Corresponding Renaissance: Letters Written by Italian Women 1375-1650, New York,  Oxford University Press, 2016.

 A Short History of Renaissance Italy, New Jersey, Prentice Hall, 2010.

Currently developing a book for Cambridge University Press with the working title Zibaldoni: The Florentine Vernacular Renaissance


“Florentine Avvisi and Diplomatic Correspondence from London, 1614-1622,” in The Grand Ducal Medici and their Archive (1537-1743), ed. Alessio Assonitis and Brian Sandberg, Brepols, 2016.

“Brigida Baldinotti and Her Two Epistles in Quattrocento Florentine Manuscripts,” in Speculum 87.3 (July 2012), 793-826.

“Expressing a Habsburg Sensibility in the Medici Court: The Grand Duchess Giovanna d’Austria’s Patronage and Public Image in Florence,” in Medici Women as Cultural Mediators 1533-1743, ed. Christina Strunck, SilvanaEditoriale, 2011, 89-109.

“Digitizing the grand dukes: The Medici Archive Project enters the second decade of the 21st century,” in Our Digital Renaissance: Cultural Development, Artistic Creation & Economic Growth, ed. Antonio Morena and Zachary Nowak.  December 2011, , 154-165.

“Transvestites, Anchorites, Wives, and Martyrs: The Lives of Female Saints as Read by Fifteenth-Century Florentine Women,” in Chronica, Spring 2006, no. 65

“Florentine Avvisi from the Court of James I Stuart,” in Grand Ducal Tuscany: Medici Power and Representation in Early Modern Florence, ed. Alessio Assonitis and Brian Sandberg, Viella, scheduled publication: May, 2014.

“What Giovanni Read in Bed: Ovid’s Ars amatoria as sex manual in a fifteenth-century zibaldone, ” in Reading Anthologies in Renaissance Europe, ed. Pollie Bromilow and Sara Barker, Brill Library of the Written Word series, forthcoming.

“Among rare men: Bronzino and homoerotic culture at the Medici court” in Festschrift for Janet Cox Rearick, ed. Louis A. Waldman. Refereed, awaiting publication details.


Review of Paleography, Manuscript Illumination and Humanism in Renaissance Italy: Studies in Memory of A. C. de la Mare, Robert Black, Jill Kraye, and Laura Nuvoloni, eds. London: 2016, in Renaissance Quarterly, Summer 2017.

Review of Vittore Branca, ed., translated by Murtha Baca. Merchant Writers: Florentine Memoirs From the Middle Ages and Renaissance. University of Toronto Press, 2015, in University of Toronto Quarterly, Summer 2017.

Review of Giovanni Ciappelli Memory, Family, and Self: Tuscan Family Books and Other European Egodocuments (14th-18th Century), translated by Susan Amanda George. Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2015, in Journal of Family History, June 2015.

Review of Letters to Francesco Datini / Margherita Datini (The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe: The Toronto Series, 16); translated by Carolyn James and Antonio Pagliaro. Toronto : Iter Inc. : Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies 2012, in Speculum, Vol 89, Issue 01, Jan. 2014, pp 185-186.



2016   “The New Jerusalem: Florence, the Medici and the Jews during the Renaissance” Temple Emanu-el, NYC, December 15

2016  “Famines, Floods, Madonnas, and Miracles: The response to environmental crisis in Renaissance Florence” British Institute, Florence, November 4

2016    “Nature’s Secretaries: Renaissance Women and the Art of Writing Artless Letters” British Institute, Florence, January 27

2015    “Renaissance Women, in their Own Words, a roundtable discussion of letters written by Italian Renaissance women” University of California Study Center, Palazzo Guadagni, Florence, November 18

2014    “ ‘Having written the truth about the stars and praised your genius…’ The Correspondence of Margherita Sarrocchi with Galileo” Genius Loci: Florence and Galileo, Museo Galileo, Stony Brook, and Florence University of the Arts, Florence, Nov. 7

“Italian women’s letters of the Cinquecento: a “corresponding” Renaissance?” Scrivere lettere nel Cinquecento. Corrispondersi in prosa e in versi, Università di Roma 3, May 8-9

2013   “The Epicurean Machiavelli” Florence: A City of Many Appetites, Stony Brook and Florence University of the Arts, Florence, November 8-9

“Masculinity in Early Modern Rome”, Panel chair. Early Modern Rome 2 1341-1667 University of California Education Abroad Program, October 10

2012  “From the Accademia degli Humidi to the Accademia Fiorentina (1540–47):   Inside Cosimo I’s ‘Cultural Revolution’ ” Renaissance Society of America Annual Conference, Washington DC

2011   “ ‘Cultural Literacy’ in Quattrocento Florence: The Pollini family and their books” Thought Worlds of Renaissance Readers Conference, Villa I Tatti, Florence, 31 May

2010   “The social world of Renaissance Florentines as viewed through their zibaldoni   anthologies” Reading Anthologies in Renaissance Europe, Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Trinity College, Dublin, 20 July

“Relations between Tuscany and England under Cosimo I de’ Medici” Renaissance Society of America Annual Conference, Venice, Italy

“Among rare men: Bronzino and homoerotic culture at the Medici court” Special Lecture Series: Bronzino at the Court of Cosimo I de’ Medici, Bonnie J. Sacerdote Lecture Hall, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, 26 March

2009 “ ‘What news abroad?’ Florentine avvisi from London 1614-1622” Language, Culture, and Ideology in the History of Anglo-Italian Relations Gargnano del Garda,  Italy, 28 September

“An Italian’s observations of England in a seventeenth-century avviso” Renaissance Society of America Annual Conference, Los Angeles

2008  “Expressing a Habsburg sensibility in the Medici court: The patronage of Grand Duchess Giovanna d’Austria” Artful Allies, Medici Women as Cultural Mediators 1533-1743 Villa I Tatti, Florence, 16 October

“Johanna of Austria: A grand duchess asserts her authority at the Medici       court” Renaissance Society of America Annual Conference, Chicago

2005 “Transvestites, whores, wives and martyrs: Saintly role models for Florentine women”  International Medieval Congress, Leeds, England (originally at Medieval Association of the Pacific Annual Conference, SF State Univ.)

2002  “What Giovanni read in bed: Ovid’s Ars amatoria in a fifteenth-century zibaldone” Renaissance Society of America Annual Conference, Tempe, Arizona (originally at Northern California Renaissance Society, Davis, Calif., 2001)

2000   “Exploring legend and belief in a fifteenth-century sacra rappresentazione” Beyond Understanding: Reconsidering Knowledge and Belief, Berkeley

“Voyage to Senar: Cultural encounters in Barlam and JosefatMedieval Association of the Pacific Annual Conference, Victoria, British Columbia

1999  “Morals extracted from the writings of a heretic: Cecco D’Ascoli’s L’Acerba sweetened in a quattrocento popular book” Medieval Intellectual History: Heretical Versions, Berkeley



English (native speaker); Italian, French (excellent)

Spanish (proficient); German, Latin, Russian (competent)



 US passport with permanent residency in Italy and valid carta di soggiorno



2016  NADFAS  accredited lecturer

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