Associate Professor and Chair
Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University
Office: Thomas Hall 134
Office phone: 610 526-5048
Office fax: 610 526-7479
Roberta Ricci received her Ph.D. in Italian Literature from Johns Hopkins University, MD, after a Laurea in Lettere Moderne summa cum laude from the University Pisa in Philology. Her scholarly interests concern mostly philological issues connected with the varianti d’autore, paratextuality, commentary, reception, readership, authorship, in reference to the manuscript tradition of early modern Italian literature. She has published articles on the Latin Elegy, Medieval Poetry, Boccaccio, Ariosto, Tasso, Female Renaissance Epistolography, and on 20th century Italian authors, such as Alberto Savinio, Italo Svevo, and Carlo Emilio Gadda. Among her current projects are a new manuscript on Florentine Humanism, specifically on Poggio Bracciolini’s letters, and the completition of “Teaching Primo Levi” forthcoming with the MLA Teaching Series. For the project on Bracciolini she has been awarded the Renaissance Society 2013 Summer Grant and the BMC Faculty Grant. Ricci describes her research in the below post and video:
Since her arrival on campus, Roberta Ricci has created six new courses: ITAL 380 Modernity, Neurosis, and Psychoanalysis: Crossing National Boundaries in 20th Century Italy and Europe , ITAL 307 The Best of Italian Literature, ITAL 235 The Italian Women's Movement (Cross-Listed with Gender and Sexuality and Film Studies), ITAL 299 Grief, Sexuality, Identity: Emerging Adulthood (Cross-Listed with Gender and Sexuality and Film Studies), and ITAL 255 Uomini d'onore in Sicilia (Cross-Listed with Film Studies) (see the article on the Alumane Bulletin, August 2011), and Food in Italian Literature, Culture and Cinema (Cross-listed with Film Studies).
Outside the college, she has served as a member of the juries to select recipients of NEH Summer Institute grants and wrote entries on Italian authors for the Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism series and she serves as referee in the Nuova Rivista di Letteratura Italiana published by the University of Pisa. Her scholarly articles have appeared in the journals Modern Language Notes, Quaderni d’Italianistica, Filologia e Critica, Rivista di Studi Italiani, Orpheus, Italienisch, Misure Critiche, Rivista di Studi Italiani,and Italian Culture.
For her book, entitled “Scrittura, riscrittura, autoesegesi: voci autoriali intorno all’epica in volgare. Boccaccio, Tasso” --ETS Press, Pisa, 2011--Roberta Ricci has been awarded national grants (NEH, Renaissance Society of America), as well as fellowships (Bogliasco Foundation) and summer research grants from Bryn Mawr College (Faculty Grant, Center for International Studies). This study examines the presence and connections of four different literary codes --that of the author who writes, the author who comments his own work, of the reader, and of the literary critic—in two poems remarkable for their place within the cultural panorama of early-modern Italian literature: Boccaccio’s Teseida and Tasso’s Gerusalemme Liberata. The idea of reflecting upon one’s own art is probably as old as literature itself and has its sense of participation in a wider literary tradition because it serves to overcome the medieval distinction between those who agunt de arte (the critics) and those who agunt per artem (the writers). Comments and marginalia written by authors as explanations of their own work add a new literary dimension to the richness of the text itself because this exegesis opens up issues concerned with critical inquiry, questions of authorship and readership, and the complexity of reception. Such issues are especially relevant for the genre of the epic poem, which was authoritative and fertile through the centuries and yet also particularly problematic in the first centuries of the Italian language. In the history of the epics in Tuscan vernacular, Boccaccio’s public, prolix, and learned glosses written in the third person, on one hand, and Tasso’s private, complex, and ambivalent letters addressed to the intellectuals working at the Curia Romana, on the other, not only continue to raise philological, chronological, and theoretical issues connected to the genre par excellence, but also open a fruitful line of investigation on the authorial process of artistic invention and on literary self-consciousness. Both Boccaccio, the author of the first new epic poem in ottava, and Tasso, the author of the last canonical instance of this type, face difficulties in reconciling imitation of classical texts and innovation of that same tradition: difficulties that they both attempt to solve by the writing of these self-commentaries. These texts are examined focusing on the negotiations between such theories and practices, taking into account that they coexist and, simultaneously, clash.
For further information about Ricci's publications click here.
A review of Ricci's book was published on Renaissance Quarterly, vol. 64, n. 4, Winter 2011, pp. 1-3".
A second Review of Ricci's book came out in the NeMLA Italian Studies Journal (NIS), Vol. XXIV, 2011-12, pp. 153-55.
For more information about Ricci’s book, click here, http://www.edizioniets.com/Scheda.asp?N=9788846725752
Scrittura, riscrittura, autoesegesi: voci autoriali intorno all'epica in volgare Boccaccio, Tasso
Autore: Roberta Ricci