Roberta Ricci

Professor and Chair of Italian on the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Chair in the Humanities
Roberta Ricci headshot


Phone 610-526-5048
Location Old Library 134


Ph.D. in Italian Studies, Johns Hopkins University
Laurea in Philology and Variantistica summa cum laude, University Pisa

Areas of Focus

Medieval and Renaissance Literature, Humanism, Classical Studies, Philology, Paleography, Byzantine Studies, History of Manuscripts, Ecdotics, Hodoeporics, Comparative Literature, Comparative Codicology, Reception Studies.


Ricci's research concerns philology, paleography, medieval and renaissance literature, with a focus on textual studies, critical editions, and manuscript tradition, and more specifically how the re(dis)covery of the classics impacted philosophical and rhetorical dimensions of knowledge within the relationship between readership and authorship.

She is the author of Scrittura, riscrittura, autoesegesi: voci autoriali intorno all’epica in volgare by ETS, Pisa, 2011; editor of Poggio Bracciolini and the Re(dis)covery of Antiquity: Textual and Material Traditions. Proceedings of the Symposium Held at Bryn Mawr College on April 8-9, 2016. Firenze Uiversity Press, 2020; and co-editor of two volumes: Approaches to Teaching the Work of Primo Levi, MLA Press, 2014; The Renaissance DialogueNeMLA Italian Studies Special Issue, 2016 . 

Ricci is the recipient of research grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Renaissance Society of America, The Bogliasco Foundation, Dumbarton Oaks, Harvard University, and Goodhart Gordan Fellowship for a project dedicated to early-modern Byzantine society and its extensions in mapping the presence of the Greek East within the Latin West.

This current project - titled The Pendulum of Identity: a Trans-historical Empire on the move - looks at transculturality that stems from migration of portabilia and memorabilia, aiming to contribute to scholarship that breaks new ground concerning Byzantium to better understand the complexity of early-modern Byzantine society and its extensions, both physical and imagined.


Poggio Bracciolini and the Re(dis)covery of Antiquity: Textual and Material Traditions. Proceedings of the Symposium Held at Bryn Mawr College on April 8-9, 2016. Firenze University Press, 2020

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The essays touch upon intertwined aspects of early Renaissance in its recovery of the classical tradition where the concept of humanitas extends to the manuscript itself, spanning across politics and historiography, material and print culture, philology and paleography. Ricci contributed with an essay titled: Shifting Times, Convergent Futures: Technologies of Writing Beyond Poggio Bracciolini. "With a powerful impact on readership and authorship, Bracciolini stands behind this groundbreaking entanglement, as we rethink textual transmission and modern scholarship in this digital age," says Ricci. Ricci describes her research in the below post: Italian Chair Roberta Ricci Travels to Italy to Study the Work of Poggio Bracciolini


The Renaissance Dialogue

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Mindful of recent studies on gender and feminist scholarship, cities and space, marginal groups, and broader critical articulation of public and private life in the analysis of constructing identity, this monographic volume reflects closely upon such textual and cultural intersections. The bulk of the essays elaborates on questions connected with geo-political issues, pluralism, diversity, and ongoing social and moral interactions, reflecting on how strongly they resonate in early-modern time and today. Ricci contributed with an essay titled: Umanesimo letterario, riforma grafica: Poggio Bracciolini editore, filologo e copista, pp. 2-38

Scrittura, riscrittura, autoesegesi: voci autoriali intorno all’epica in volgare. Boccaccio, Tasso, ETS Press, 2011

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For Scrittura, riscrittura, autoesegesi: voci autoriali intorno all’epica in volgare. Boccaccio, 
 --ETS Press, Pisa, 2011. The book has received reviews in Renaissance Quarterly, Symposium, Rassegna della letteratura italiana, Studi italiani, and Nemla Italian Studies

Approaches to Teaching the Works of Primo Levi MLA Press, 2014

book cover The first part of this volume provides instructors with an overview of the available editions, anthologies, and translations of Levi’s work and identifies other useful classroom aids, such as films, music, and online resources. In the second part, contributors describe different approaches to teaching Levi’s work looking at the place of style in Holocaust testimony and the reliability of memory in autobiography, questions of translation.

Product of courses

ITAL 303 Boccaccio, The Plague, and Epidemic Illness (Spring 2021)

ITAL 313 Primo Levi, the Writer (Spring 2022)

ITAL 325 Letteratura e cinema (Fall 2021)

Podcast: Letteratura e cinema

ITAL 304 Italian Renaissance: Epic and Romance (Spring 2016)

  • A symposium on Florentine Humanist Poggio Bracciolini brought more than 60 guests to campus on April 8 and 9 2016, including Bryn Mawr College President Emeritus and Italian Renaissance Scholar Nancy Vickers. “The conference was excellent with many distinguished scholars presenting new contributions on Bracciolini, this extraordinary figure, and a wonderful way to show our strong intellectual tradition in the humanities here at Bryn Mawr College,” says symposium organizer Roberta Ricci. For further information about the event, please visit Symposium web page

ITAL B308 · Rome as Palimpsests: from Ruins to Virtual Reality Roaming Roma (lost&found): Final Symposium (Spring 2021, Alessandro Giammei).

CSTS H222B · Creating Classics (Spring 2021, Alessandro Giammei)

ITAL B315 · A Gendered History of the Avant-Garde (Spring 2019, Alessandro Giammei)

ITAL 400 Towards a History of Italian at Bryn Mawr (Spring 2021, Alessandro Giammei)