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Gina Psaki

Gina Psaki profile picture
  • Title: Professor Emerita of Italian
  • Additional Title: Professor, Romance Languages
  • Phone: 541-346-4042
  • Office: 323 Friendly Hall
  • Affiliated Departments: Comparative Literature Department, European Studies, Humanities Program, Medieval Studies, Translation Studies, Women's Gender and Sexuality 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

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: 

“Medieval Misogyny and the French of Italy: The Chastiemusart and the Proverbia que dicuntur super natura feminarum.Medieval French Literary Culture Outside France, eds. Dirk Schoenaers and Nicola Morato. 13,000 words. In copy-editing. Brepols Publishing.

“Misogyny, Philogyny, Masculinities: Antonio Pucci’s Il Contrasto delle donne.” Beyond Heteronormativity: New Directions in Medieval Gender Studies, eds. Ann Marie Rasmussen and Christian Straubhar. 9000 words. In copy-editing. University of Notre Dame Press.

Articles submitted:

“Yesteryear, Yestermorning, Yesterday: Two Tributes to Villon’s Ballade des dames du temps jadis.” 8000 words. Submitted Sept. 2016.

“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. Submitted March 2017. 3000 words.

Decameron IV.6.” For American Boccaccio Association’s Lectura Boccaccii series, ed. Michael Sherberg, University of Toronto Press. 7000 words. Submitted April 2017. 8600 words.

“Compassion in the Later Boccaccio: The Curtain Rises.” FSubmitted July 2017. 8600 words.

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

“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.

“Arthur in Short Narrative, Verse and Prose,” The Arthur of the Italians, ed. Allaire and Psaki. 145–157.

"'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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