Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
University of Delaware
Website URL
Renaissance Italy, early modern women, history of science, medicine, gender, convent history, epistolary culture, early modern feminism
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

I’m Professor of Italian in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at the University of Delaware, where I also teach courses in Women and Gender Studies and European Studies. I’ve been fascinated by the contributions of women to Renaissance literature and culture for as long as I can remember, and my research focuses on exploring the myriad aspects of early modern women’s experience, from literature to medicine, science, and politics.

My most recent work has explored in depth the ways in which women participated in scientific culture – as patrons and practitioners, authors and readers. My latest project explores connections between female intellectual networks in Italy and Eastern Europe, beginning with the fascinating queen Bona Sforza and her court in Krakow.

I also publish on convent culture in seventeenth-century Venice and, especially, the life and work of the radical Venetian nun Arcangela Tarabotti. Consigned to perpetual enclosure in the convent of Sant’Anna,  Tarabotti published a number of works denouncing this practice and, more generally, the other religious, political, economic and social factors that fostered the oppression of women.


Recent Publications

Margherita Sarrocchi’s Letters to Galileo: Astronomy, Astrology, and Poetics in Seventeenth-Century Italy. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.

Daughters of Alchemy: Women and Scientific Culture in Early Modern Italy. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2015.

Arcangela Tarabotti, Letters Familiar and Formal. Ed. and trans. Meredith K. Ray and Lynn Lara Westwater. The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe. Toronto: Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 2012.

Writing Gender in Women’s Letter Collections of the Italian Renaissance. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009.

Media Coverage,
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
Expertise by Chronology
Pre-17th century, 17th century, Early Modern
Expertise by Topic
Gender, Literary History, Medicine, Science, Women