Paola De Santo
Assistant Professor of Italian

Contact Information

370K Gilbert Hall
Office Hours:
Monday 11am-12pm; Thursday 2-3pm

Ph.D. Harvard University (2014)



The literature and culture of early modern Italy, particularly the emergence of the body in literary discourse; gender; the formation of cultural subjects;  the interactions and transactions between Europe and the East. 

Secondary interests center on Italian colonialism and contemporary Italian culture as they pertain to national identity formation; aesthetic rendering of the body; discussions of race and gender;  negotiations of "italianità". 


«Un uso non raro»: Rape, Rhetoric and Silence in Sibilla Aleramo’s Una donna".  Italica (forthcoming)



(Ne) habeas corpusThe Body and the Body Politic in the Figures of the Ambassador and the Courtesan in Renaissance Italy, is a book-length project that studies comparatively two key figures of the Italian Renaissance ­–the ambassador and the courtesan– in order to examine the formation of cultural subjects at the intersection of political and literary discourse. 


"Lingua interrupta:  Language, Race and Geography Between the Lines of the Rivista Coloniale".  (under revision)

"Church, State and Lepanto:  (Re)collecting the Battle of Lepanto in Pisa's Chiesa Nazionale dei Cavalieri di Santo Stefano".  (In progress)

"Ars amatoria et politica:  The Triumph of Tasso's Armida" (In progress)


Fall 2014:

ITAL 1001:  Elementary Italian

ITAL 4120/6120:  Tra sogno e “reality”: Identities in and of Contemporary Italy.

Spring 2015:

ITAL 2002: Intermediate Italian

ITAL 4060/6060:  Italian Literature and Culture from 1400 to 1700

Future offerings:

ITAL 4120/6120 Topics in Italian Culture, Language and Literature:

• The Renaissance Corpus: The Body in Italian Renaissance Culture

• In Epic Proportions: Tasso and the end(s) of the Renaissance

• Cuisines and Costumes: Food and Fashion in the Italian Renaissance





Research Interests:

Early modern Italy, Italian colonialism, Gender Studies