Gina Psaki

Gina Psaki profile picture
  • Title: Professor Emerita of Italian
  • Additional Title: Professor, Romance Languages
  • Phone: 541-346-4042
  • Office: 224 Friendly Hall
  • Office Hours: via e-mail: Tues. 7–9 p.m., Wed. 10 a.m. – noon
  • Departments: Romance Languages
  • Affiliated Departments: Humanities Program
  • Interests: Italian and French literature of the Middle Ages; comparative medieval literature; medieval lyric and romance; Dante; Boccaccio; translation; medieval feminist scholarship; discourse analysis; metadisciplinary issues in medieval literary study; history of

M.A. Program

Italian Period 1 and French Period 1


Ph.D., Medieval Studies, Cornell University, 1989;

M.A., Medieval Studies, Cornell University, 1986;

B.A., 18th- and 19th-c. Studies (independent major), Dickinson College, 1980.


Having done a Ph.D. in Medieval Studies, I divide my research about equally between Italian and French literature of the Middle Ages and medieval feminist scholarship. In Italian I focus on Dante’s Comedy, including topics such as the role and nature of his love for Beatrice, and the way different translations inflect how English-language readers interpret Dante. Boccaccio is another focus, with projects in progress on both his Decameron and Corbaccio. In both languages I work on chivalric romance, particularly the Roman de Silence, the Roman de la Rose ou de Guillaume de Dole, and the Tristano Riccardiano. A current project in both French and Italian is "The Traffic in Talk About Women: Misogyny and Philogyny in the Middle Ages", a study of non-fiction writings in praise and blame of women. Overall I tend to privilege questions of alterity and continuity between medieval and modern; textual transmission and context; translation of / and medieval material; and metadisciplinary issues in medieval literary study.

Projects in progress

Articles submitted:

• “Yesteryear, Yestermorning, Yesterday: Two Tributes to Villon’s Ballade des dames du temps jadis.” 8000 words.

• “Decameron IV.6.” For American Boccaccio Association’s Lectura Boccaccii series, ed. Michael Sherberg, University of Toronto Press. 7000 words. 8600 words.

Projects in progress: 

• The Traffic in Talk About Women: Praise and Blame of Women in Medieval French and Italian

• “Nineteen Ways of Looking at Dante’s Francesca: New English Translations of Inferno

• “Madonna Filippa and the Metanovelle of the Decameron

• “A Canon of Dante’s Women in Boccaccio’s Later Corpus.” Submitted October 2017. 14,000 words.

• In Her Own Time: The Roman de Silence. A new edition and prose translation of the romance, with a selection of reprinted essays by other scholars.

Recent publications

• “Medieval Misogyny and the French of Italy: The Chastiemusart and the Proverbia que dicuntur super natura feminarum.Medieval French Literary Culture Outside France: Studies in the Moving Word, eds. Dirk Schoenaers and Nicola Morato. Medieval Texts and Cultures of Northern Europe, 28. Turnhout: Brepols, 2019. 101–139.

• “Misogyny, Philogyny, Masculinities: Antonio Pucci’s Il Contrasto delle donne.” Rivalrous Masculinities: New Directions in Medieval Masculinity and Gender Studies, eds. Ann Marie Rasmussen and Christian Straubhar. University of Notre Dame Press, 2019. 102–130.

• “Teaching Dante, Beatrice, and ‘Courtly Love’ in the Divine Comedy.” For Approaches to Teaching Dante’s Comedy, eds. Christopher Kleinhenz and Kristina Olson, MLA Approaches to Teaching Series. Spring 2019.

• “Compassion in the Later Boccaccio: The Opening Sequence.” I Tatti Studies in the Italian Renaissance, Fall 2019. 10,400 words.

• “Voicing Gender in the Decameron.” The Cambridge Companion to Boccaccio, ed. Guyda Armstrong, Rhiannon Daniels, and Stephen Milner. Cambridge University Press, 2015. 101–117.

• The Arthur of the Italians, co-edited with Gloria Allaire. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2014; paperback edition, spring 2017.

• "'Alcuna paroletta più liberale': Contemporary Women Authors Address the Decameron's Obscenity." Medievalia, 34 (2013), 241–66.

• “Giving Them the Bird: Figurative Language and the ‘Woman Question’ in the Decameron and the Corbaccio.” Studi sul Boccaccio, XLI (2013), 207–37.

• “The One and the Many: The Tale of the Brigata and Decameron Day Four.” Annali d’Italianistica, 31 (2013): Boccaccio’s Decameron: Rewriting the Christian Middle Ages, ed. Dino Cervigni. 217–56.

• “‘Women Make All Things Lose Their Power’: Women’s Knowledge, Men’s Fear in the Decameron and the Corbaccio.” Reprinted in Heliotropia 700/10: A Boccaccio Anniversary Volume, ed. Michael Papio. Milan: LED, 2013. 179­–90.

• “Dante and the Contemptus Mundi Tradition.” ‘Legato con amore in un volume: Essays in Honour of John A. Scott, eds. John J. Kinder and Diana Glenn. Florence: Olschki, 2012. 87–104.

• “The Book’s Two Fathers: Marco Polo, Rustichello, and Le Devisement dou Monde.Medievalia, 32 (2011), 69–97.

Selected courses taught

ITAL 150 Cultural Legacies of Italy ITAL 317 Avviamento alla letteratura italiana: Medioevo e Rinascimento ITAL 341 / HUM 300 Dante in Translation ITAL 441/541 La Divina Commedia ITAL 444/544 Boccaccio and his Influence ITAL 407/507 Immagini dell’altro: Medioevo e Rinascimento ITAL 491/591 Il Nuovo Romanzo Storico ITAL 498/598 Italian Women Writers RL 407/507 Word and Music: Poetry in Performance RL 620 From Parchment to Postmodern: Theory and Practice of Medieval Studies COLT 464/564 Misogyny Medieval and Modern MDVL 399 War / Stories: Medieval Narratives of Armed Conflict