Department of Spanish & Italian

Roberta Morosini

Roberta Morosini

Professor of Italian
Ph.D. in Medieval Italian Literature and Culture, McGill University

Office: Greene Hall 521
Phone: (336) 758-7181


Roberta Morosini received her Ph.D in Italian Medieval Literature  from McGill University. She is the 2019-2020 Charles Speroni Endowed Chair in Italian at UCLA. She is on the Advisory board of The Mediterranean Seminar and  Ente Nazionale Giovanni Boccaccio. She has been twice vice president of the American Boccaccio Association;  Fellow of the “Villa I Tatti”, the Harvard Center of Renaissance Studies in Florence and the “Liguria Study Center” in Bogliasco. She is also a 2012 Fellow scholar for the NEH Mediterranean Summer Institute, and the recipient of the Luigi De Lise Culture Award (2015).

Her research is centered around Medieval  and Early Modern Italy in and of the Mediterranean and mainly inquires on storytelling, reception and modalities of narration with a constant attention to the relation between text and image and the representation of spaces where stories and legends unfold. She is interested in literary geography and cartography from Dante to the Renaissance island books and in the effort to articulate a poetics of the Mediterranean, she recently published  the book Il mare salato. Il Mediterraneo di Dante, Petrarca e Boccaccio 2019, that is a geocritical study of the sea through texts and images.

She has written numerous articles on mobility and crossings in the Medieval Mediterranean (What a Difference a Sea Makes in the Decameron, 2019; “The widest expanse of water”. Space and Itineraries of Mediterranean Dante. With a note on the voyages of Medusa and Ysiphile, 2019) and co-edited a volume on the Franciscan historian and geographer Paolino Veneto. Storico, Narratore e Geografo, 2019.

Her pan-mediterranean research interests include the study of Christian-Muslim Relations  (Brill 2010). Morosini’s recent publication on representation of Islam in Dante and Filippino Lippi ‘s paintings is in Dante, il Profeta e il Libro. La leggenda del toro e del libro sacro dalla Commedia a Filippino Lippi tra sussurri di colomba ed echi di Bisanzio , 2018.

Her motto is the Renaissance Festina lente with her favorite image of the lightness of the dolphin wrapped around a steady anchor, also the emblem of the XVI Century Venetian publisher Aldo Manuzio.


09 /1998: Ph.D. (with the mention “Dean’s honour list”) in Medieval Italian Literature at McGill University Montreal, Canada. Thesis directed by Prof. M. Bendinelli Predelli.

07/1998: “The School of Criticism and Theory”, with Prof. Hayden White. Cornell University

04/1998: Ditals (Didattica dell’italiano a stranieri) organized by the “Università per stranieri di Siena” (University for foreigners, in Siena, Italy) and the Italian Cultural Institute of Montreal.

09/1995 : Diplôme d’Etudes Approfondies (D.E.A.) in “Litératures françaises”, Dissertation on Les personnages féminins dans les Fables de   Marie de France,directed by  Emeritus prof. C. Lozachmeur Université de Rennes II, France.

03/1994 : Italian Laurea (110/110 cum laude) in Modern Languages and Literatures, Dissertation in  Romance Philology directed by  Prof. C. Di Girolamo Università degli Studi di Napoli  « Federico II »,  Italy.

1991-1992: « Erasmus student » : Italian Philology with Prof. Giulio Lepschy and Dante studies with Prof. Zygmuńt Barańsky, University of Reading, UK.



2012  NEH summer scholar :  Mediterranean Seminar Summer Institute 2012 on  “Networks and Knowledge: Synthesis and Innovation in the Muslim-Christian-Jewish Medieval Mediterranean”

2012 WFU Office of the Dean, Dingledine Funds and Faculty development fund

WFU Office of the Provost of Global Affairs : Funds to publish Sindibad, proceedings of Casa Artom Symposium 2008.Publisher: Pensa Multimedia, Expected 2012.

2011 WFU Humanities Institute WFU, faculty seminar on Material Culture in the Medieval and Early Modern Mediterranean.

2010 Bogliasco Fellowship, Liguria Study Center, Genova, Italy (six weeks)

2009 WFU Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Publication and Research Fund Award to publish with Ente Nazionale G. Boccaccio: Boccaccio Geografo (Florence: Polistampa, 2010).

2009-2010 WFU Office of the Dean, Reynolds Research Leave (1 year) to complete Whispers of the Dove. Representation and misrepresentation of of Islam in XIV and XV Century Italy.

2008  WFU Provost’s Office grant to organize the WFU Symposium, Between East andWest. Topography of Memory: Traveling with Sindbad between Space and Time in the Mediterranean, held in Venice, June 24-25.

2006 WFU Graduate School, Publication and Research Fund Award to publishMediterranoesis (Salerno editrice, 2007).

2004-2005 WFU Office of the Dean, Archie Fund Research Fellowship for Faculty Excellence tostudy at the BN, Accademia della Crusca, and Riccardian Library in Florence.

2003-2004  Fellowship, Villa I Tatti, Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, for “What about the ‘Franceschi romanzi?’ From France to Italy from Italy to France: FilocoloTeseidaFilostrato and the Sixteenth-Century French Le Philocope.

WFU Office of the Dean, Archie Funds, and Reynolds Research Leave to complete an edition and translation from Old French into Italian of Alexandre Du Pont’s manuscript (1258).

2003 WFU Graduate School, Publication and Research Fund, to publish ‘Per difetto rintegrare. ’Una lettura del Filocolo di Giovanni Boccaccio with Ravenna (Longo, 2004).

2002 WFU Office of the Dean, Archie Fund Research Fellowship to complete translation  of Marie de France’s Fables and start research on Du Pont’s manuscript, (1258) at the BN in Paris.

2001 WFU Office of the Dean, Archie Fund Research Fellowship for Faculty Excellence for research at the Biblioteca Marciana in Venice

1998 Scholarship, School of Criticism and Theory, Cornell and McGill Universities.



Commemoration of Allen Mandelbaum “Poca Favilla, gran fiamma seconda”

The exhibit of Delio Gennai  and the flyer of  talk in that occasion (see the PDFattached)

International conference: Boccaccio Veneto. 700 years of cultural crossing in Mediterranean Venice. 2 days, at WFU “Casa Artom”

October  24-26, 2013:  Université Sourbonne Nouvelle.  Paris 3.  (CERLIM – Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches sur la Littérature Italienne du Moyen-Âge). International Congress “Boccace et la France”. Temporary title: “Boccace et les images.”

October 4 2013:  Keynote speaker. University of Copenhagen and The Italian Institute of Culture. “Nella Moltitudine delle Cose… / In the Multitude of Things…” International Conference on Giovanni  Boccaccio, in the 700th  anniversary of his birth.

April 2013: University of Colorado at  Boulder: “ Goddesses and Penelopis traveling the Medieval Mediterranean in the Decameron and De Mulieribus.”

March 2013: Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. International symposium: Reescritura e invención en la literatura cristiana de controversia.

March 2013: Duke University. “From Dante’s Canto XXVIII  to Filippino Lippi.”

February 2013: College of Charleston. “Informing and deforming knowledge from Dante to Filippino Lippi.”

December 2012: Boccaccio e le donne in viaggio, a conference organized by Paolo Pirillo (Univ of Bologna) for the series “Medioevo per immagini,” Figline Valdarno, Florence, Italy.
Certaldo, Italy. A two days seminar on “Letteratura e musica intorno a Boccaccio” (17-18 December) organized by Ars Nova.

September 2012: Delio Gennai’s Ri/Affioramenti: Encountering the Other in Pisa and Visual ‘Echoes’ of Medieval Mediterranean Italy,  in occasion of “Of Paper,” an exhibition of Delio Gennai art work at Hanes Art Gallery, WFU, 26 September-October 7.  See more in

July 2012: As part of the NEH fellowship:  “Informing and transmitting knowledge?”, Barcelona, Spain.‘

June 2012.  Università di Benevento and Fondazione Gerardino Romano. Invited lecture on  Boccaccio and geography in XIV Century Italy.

April 2012. Princeton University. Invited speaker. “From mobile to static: Crossing from  the domestic into the foreign in the hybrid waters of the Mediterranean”  (to be submitted for publication by January 2013, published in a volume edited by Simone Marchesi, Princeton University Press).

March 2012. University of Bologna. DAMS: Invited speaker in Marco Veglia’s course on Boccaccio e il comico: il Decameron al cinema. Title: Sex, risate (‘riso amaro’?) in the  city. Per una topografia del desiderio o… ‘dove abita il comico’ nel Decameron.

March 2012. University of Bologna. Dept. of Romance Philology: invited speaker in a cyle of  invited talks on Cuore e Corpo. Title: “Corpi in movimento nel Decameron. Fra false partenze e mancati ritorni.”

February 2012.  University Complutense Madrid. Department of Italian.  “Secrets and lies. Utilitas, civanza and “recreantise” nell’Allegoria del  Buon e Cattivo Governo di Lorenzetti.”

February 2012.  keynote speaker.  University Complutense Madrid.  International Conference on “Los viajes de Pampinea: Novella y novela española de los siglos de oro.”

October 2011. “La Polifonia di Partenope e i silenzi di Acciaiuoli.” International conference on Boccaccio Angioino, University of  “Federico II”, Naples, Italy.

March 2011. University of Chapel Hill: Keynote speaker, “What a Difference a Sea Makes: Fake Departures, ‘Superficial Metamorphosis,’ and Desired Returns in     Boccaccio’s Decameron.” 17th Carolina Conference on Romance Literatures: “Textual Journeys: Departure, Danger, and Destination,” University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

October 2010. Interviewed by Gabriele Parenti, Bookcase, Italian TV channel RAI 3 Florence, on Boccaccio Geografo.

University of British Colombia. Invited speaker, “Alexander the traveler in Medieval and Renaissance Italy. When the conquest is also a spiritual quest.” Symposium on Quest and Conquest.  Spiritual symbols and Myths in the Indo-Mediterranean and European Worlds (I could not attend as I had a guest speaker from Italy).

September 2010. Interviewed by Raffaele Gorgoni, Travels and Travel Literature, Italian TV. channel RAI.

“Adriatic and Mediterranean seas. The journey of XIV Century Bella Camilla and some other medieval Penelopes. International Conference, Adriatic  Literature, Women and Travel Logs, Capitolo, Monopoli, Puglia, Italy.

December 2009. Plenary lecture, “Secrets and lies. Utilitas, civanza and “recreantise” in Boccaccio’s Allegory of Good and Bad Government.” American Boccaccio Association, MLA Conference, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

September 2009. Invited to deliver a series of lectures on medieval Florence to secondary school teachers, XIII International Congress of Italian Studies, Amazonia, Brazil.

March 2009. “Firenze e Decameron III 4, ovvero un’allegoria del Buon e Cattivo Governo secondo Boccaccio.” An invited lecture, part of the Research Fellowship received by University of Rome II “Tor Vergata”, Rome, Italy.

September 2008. Invitation from the association Il Diario del Viaggiatore to participate in their 2nd Festival of Literature of the Campi Flegrei, “Libri di mare Libri di terra”, Naples. Italy.

June 2008. One day workshop, “Terre di mare: Nautica, viaggi e incontri dall’antichità
all’epoca moderna,” La Spezia, Liguria, Italy.

2007. Invited to attend an International roundtable on “Italian literature: Research and Teaching on the Other Side of the World,” University of San Paolo, Brazil.

July 2007. Plenary lecture, “Eco di Bisanzio e sussurri di colombe nell’ ‘altra’ Italia del XIV  secolo.” Middlebury College, Vermont.

April 2007.“Sussurri di colomba e … echi di Bisanzio:La leggenda ‘mediterranea’ di
‘Malcometto’ tra pregiudizi e tradizione: dai Commenti a Inferno XXVIII (XIV sec)  al ‘visibile parlare’ di  Filippino Lippi (XV sec).” John Cabot University, Rome, Italy.

March 2007.“Whispers of the Dove. Islam in XIV-Century Mediterranean Italy: Alexandre Du Pont, Dante, and the commentators to Inferno XXVIII.” UCLA, Los Angeles, California.

December 2006. “Nuove esegesi decameroniane: Metamorfosi mediterranee di Beritola e Alatiel.” Università  di Roma II Tor Vergata, Roma.

September 2006. “The novelle set in Lunigiana, La Spezia, Italy: Decameron I 4 e II 6.” International Congress on the 7th Anniversary of Dante in Lunigiana, Monastero del Corvo, La Spezia, Liguria, Italy. See (Spring 2006).

May 2006. Invited plenary lecture on “Il Mediterraneo nella geografia di Boccaccio: ‘come Alatiel va in sposa al re del Garbo’: Decameron II  7,” Ente Nazionale G. Boccaccio Villa di Maiano, Firenze, Italy.

November 2005. A series of conferences on different topics related to Boccaccio and Dante at University of Unama, Belem, and Academia Paraense in Amazonia, Brazil, for the 9th Convention of Literary and Linguistic Studies in Belem, University of  Salvador de Bahia, and University of San Paolo. For a report, see ABA newsletter, (Spring 2005). Travels sponsored by Ente Nazionale G. Boccaccio and the Italian government through the Italian Culture Institute in San Paolo, Brazil.

“Topography of Memory.” Wake Forest University Euzelian Society, Winston-Salem, NC.

October 2005. Lectura Dantis, “I poeti di Dante”: Purgatorio XXIV-XXVI. Università di  Roma II, Tor Vergata, Rome.

June 2005. “Il Calonacho di Siena: a ‘cantare’ wrongly attributed to G. Boccaccio.”
International Congress organized by M. Picone,  Zurich, Switzerland.


Morosini R. – Lee C., eds. Sindbad Mediterraneo. Per una topografia della memoria da Oriente a Occidente. Proceedings of the Symposium “Traveling with Sindbad from East to West”, Wake Forest U “Casa Artom”, Venice, 24-25 June 2008. Lecce: Pensa Multimedia, 2013.

Morosini R., ed. Boccaccio Geografo, Firenze: Polistampa, 2010.;

Critica del Testo, XV, 2 (2012)- 365-371
Scriptorium, 2 (2011)- 170
Annali d’Italianistica (forthcoming)
Albertiana 14 (2010)- 262-70.
Italian Culture 29.2 (2011)- 139-40.
Studi sul Boccaccio, 39 (2011)- 409-412.

Hardcastle A., Tarte K., Morosini R., eds. Coming of Age on Film: Stories of Transformations in World Cinema, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Scholar Publishing, 2009.

Perissinotto C., and Morosini R., eds. Mediterranoesis. Medieval and Renaissance voices of Mediterranean Italy, Roma: Salerno Editrice, 2007.

Monique O’ Connell, “The Italian Renaissance in the Mediterranean, or Between East and West,” California Italian Studies Journal, 1 (2010);
Francesca Dell’Acqua in Indice dei Libri del mese (

Morosini R., ed. and trans. Maria di Francia. Favole. An Italian translation from Anglo-Normand. Roma: Carocci, 2006.

Il giornale, 89, 15 April 2006.
Il Sole 24 ore, 144, 28-5-2006.
Medioevo, 10, 10 (2006): 8;

Vitti A., and Morosini R., eds. In Search of Italia. Saggi sulla cultura dell’Italia contemporanea. Pesaro: Metauro, 2003.

Italica, 2, 22 (2004): 48
Annali d’Italianistica, 22 (2004):509.

Morosini R., Per difetto rintegrare.’ Una lettura del ‘Filocolo’ di Giovanni Boccaccio. Longo: Ravenna, 2004.

Studi sul Boccaccio, 32 (2004): 294-96.
Italica, 1-2 (2006): 316-17.
La rassegna della letteratura italiana, 1 (2006): 127-28.

Articles and Contributions in Edited Volumes

I viaggi ‘statici’ di Pampinea tra ….false partenze e desiderati ritorni. In Los viajes de Pampinea: Novella y novela española de los siglos de oro, eds. I. Colón Calderón, D. Caro Bragado,  C. Marías Martínez y A. Rodríguez de Ramos, Madrid, Sial, 2013, 15-28.

“Perché Alexandro cercò molti istrani paesi.” I viaggi di Alessandro e la malattia di Aristotele. La crisi della conoscenza dall’ Alexandreis di Quilichino di Spoleto (1236) alTriompho Magno di Domenico Falugio (1521). In Sindbad mediterraneo. Per una topografia della  memoria da Oriente e Occidente, eds. C. Lee and R. Morosini,  Lecce: Pensa Multimedia, 2013, 157- 227.

“‘E lavorando semini ciascuno’: An interdisciplinary reading of Decameron III, 4.” Renaissance Studies in Honor of Joseph Connors, eds. M. Israëls & L. Waldman. Florence: “Villa I Tatti”, The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance, 2012, 385-393 (images pp. 688-689).

“La ‘bona sonoritas’ di  Calliopo: Boccaccio a Napoli, la polifonia di Partenope e i silenzi dell’Acciaiuoli.” In Boccaccio Angioino, eds. A. Periccioli Saggese and G. Alfano. Bruxelles: Peter Lang, 2012, 69-87.

“The ‘In-between Representational Spaces’ of Medieval  Mediterranean Legends: Arthur, Alexander, etc’. In Mapping the Medieval Mediterranean, c. 300-1550: An Encyclopedia of Perspectives in Research, eds by A. Law and J. Deahl. Leiden: Brill (forthcoming).

“Boccaccio and Christian-Muslim Relations.” In Christian-Muslim Relations. A Bibliographical History, 1200-1350, eds. J. Tolan and D. Thomas. Leiden: Brill (forthcoming).

“Legends of Alexander in Italy.” In Companion to Legends of Alexander, ed. D. Zuwyya,  Leiden: Brill, 2011

Mediterranean Dante
Mediterranean Boccaccio
Boccaccio’s Florence or …laughs and sex in the city
Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso and the Lord of the ring.
Performing Italies: from church to court.
Traveling in and to America…….. in space and time. A course on immigration.