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Gina Psaki

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  • Title: The Giustina Family Professor of Italian Language and Literature
  • Additional Title: Professor, Romance Languages
  • Phone: 541-346-4042
  • Office: 323 Friendly Hall
  • Office Hours: Fall term 2017 Thursday 2–4
  • Affiliated Departments: Comparative Literature Department, European Studies, Humanities Program, Medieval Studies, Translation Studies, Women's And Gender Studies
  • 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
  • Curriculum Vitae

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 in press: 

“Voicing Gender in the Decameron.” Contracted for The Cambridge Companion to Boccaccio, eds. Rhiannon Daniels, Guyda Armstrong, and Stephen Milner. To appear in 2015. 7365 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

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

The Arthur of the Italians, co-edited with Gloria Allaire. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2014.

"'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.

“C.S. Lewis: More Maiorum.” In Makers of the Middle Ages: Essays in Honor of William C. Calin, eds. Richard Utz and Elizabeth Emery. Kalamazoo, MI: Studies in Medievalism, 2011 (77-81). 

“Boccaccio’s Corbaccio as a Secret Admirer.” Heliotropia 7.1-2 (2010), 105-132.

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

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