My primary scholarly contributions have centred on Michelangelo and the literary and religious culture of medieval and early modern Italy. By examining the central elements of early modern devotion, such as prayer, lauda singing, the contemplation of religious images, and lay religious sociability, I have offered through my published work a more nuanced understanding of Michelangelo’s spirituality and how it functioned, for I have explored the subtleties of his sacramental approach to life and to art. My current project builds on my previous analysis of Michelangelo’s poetry in the context of the Italian Reformation and traditions of lay piety to explore the habits of religious reading and writing of sixteenth-century female poets in Italy.
Michelangelo’s Christian Mysticism: Spirituality, Poetry and Art in Sixteenth-Century Italy. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014. [won the MLA 2013 Scaglione manuscript award]. Reviewed in: Romanistisches Jahrbuch 67, 1 (2016): 195-198 [in German]; Sixteenth Century Journal 46, 4 (2015): 1106-1107; The Catholic Historical Review 101, 3 (2015): 644-646; Renaissance Quarterly 68, 2 (2015): 634-635; Renaissance and Reformation / Renaissance et Réforme38, 1(2015): 191-192; The Catholic Library World 85, 2 (2014): 129
Friulians in Canada. Udine: Forum, 2014.
McCue Gill, Amyrose and Sarah Rolfe Prodan, eds. Friendship and Sociability in Premodern Europe: Contexts, Concepts and Expressions. Essays & Studies Series. Toronto: Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 2014. Reviewed in: Renaissance Quarterly69, 2 (2016): 744-745; Continuity and Change 30, 3 (2015): 427-429; French Studies 69, 3 (2015): 389-390; Parergon 32, 2 (2015): 297-298; Comitatus: A Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies 46, 1 (2015): 236-238
“Religious Desire in the Poetry of Vittoria Colonna: Insights into Early Modern Piety and Poetics.” In Vittoria Colonna: Poetry, Religion, Art and Impact, eds. Virginia Cox and Shannon McHugh. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2019. (accepted for the publication; forthcoming in 2019 pending the volume’s final peer review)
“Michelangelo Reading Landino? The ‘Devil’ in Michelangelo’s Last Judgment.” Quaderni d’italianistica 30, 2 (2009): 19-38.
“Introduction.” Friendship and Sociability in Premodern Europe: Contexts, Concepts and Expressions. Eds. Amyrose McCue Gill and Sarah Rolfe Prodan. Essays & Studies Series. Toronto: Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 2014. 17-41.
Chance, Jane. The Emergence of Italian Humanism, 1321–1475. Medieval Mythography 3. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2014. Speculum 92, 3 (2017): 802-803.
Dillon, Anne. Michelangelo and the English Martyrs. Farnham, UK and Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2012. Renaissance and Reformation/Renaissance et Réforme 38, 4 (2015): 183-185.
Caravale, Giorgio. Forbidden Prayer: Church Censorship and Devotional Literature in Renaissance Italy. Trans. Peter Dawson. Catholic Christendom, 1300–1700. Farnham, UK and Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2011. In Renaissance and Reformation/Renaissance et Réforme 37, 2 (2014): 155-157.
Sluhovsky, Moshe. Believe Not Every Spirit: Possession, Mysticism, & Discernment in Early Modern Catholicism. Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press, 2007.In Renaissance and Reformation/Renaissance et Réforme 35, 1 (2012): 224-246.
Wackernagel, Martin. The World of the Florentine Renaissance Artist: Project and Patrons, Workshop and Art Market. Trans. Alison Luchs. Toronto/Buffalo/London: University of Toronto Press, 2011. In Quaderni d’italianistica 33, 1 (2012): 136-138.
Fontes Baratto, Anna. Écritures et pratiques de l’amitié dans l’Italie médiévale. Arzanà. Cahiers de litérature médiévale italienne, 13. Paris: Presses Sorbonne Nouvelle, 2010. In Annali d’italianistica 30 (2012): 472- 474.
Parker, Deborah. Michelangelo and the Art of Letter Writing. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010. In Renaissance and Reformation/Renaissance et Réforme 34, 1-2 (2011): 286-288.
Anichini, Federica. Voices of the Body. Liminal Grammar in Guido Cavalcanti’s ‘Rime’. Voci del corpo. Grammatica liminale nelle ‘Rime’ di Guido Cavalcanti. Interkulturelle Begegnungen, 6. Munich: Martin Meidenbauer Verlagsbuchhandlung, 2009. In Quaderni d’italianistica 31, 2 (2010): 185-187.
Wallace, William E. Michelangelo: The Artist, the Man, and His Times. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010. In Quaderni d’italianistica 31, 1 (2010): 228-230.
Bellomo, Saverio. Filologia e critica dantesca. Brescia: La Scuola, 2008. In Quaderni d’italianistica 30, 2 (2009): 157-159.
Bino, Carla. Dal trionfo al pianto. La fondazione del ‘teatro della misericordia’ nel Medioevo (V-VII secolo). Milan: Vita e Pensiero, 2008. In Confraternitas 20, 1 (2009): 26-27.
Gittes, Tobias Foster. Boccaccio’s Naked Muse: Eros, Culture and the Mythopoeic Imagination. Toronto/Buffalo/ London: University of Toronto Press, 2008. In Quaderni d’italianistica 29, 2 (2008): 159-160.
Vettori, Alessandro. Poets of Divine Love: FranciscanMystical Poetry of the Thirteenth Century. New York:Fordham University Press, 2004. In Quaderni d’italianistica 28, 2 (2007): 187-189.
Gasparini, Len. The Broken World: Poems 1967-1998. Toronto/Buffalo/Chicago/Lancaster (UK): Guernica, 2005. In Quaderni d’italianistica. 28, 1 (2007): 184-187.
Martines, Lauro. An Italian Renaissance Sextet: Six Tales in Historical Context. Trans. Murtha Baca. Toronto/Buffalo/London: University of Toronto Press, 2004. In Quaderni d’italianistica 27, 2 (2006): 160-162.
ITALIAN to ENGLISH
Bueno, Irene. Defining Heresy: Inquisition, Theology and Papal Policy in the time of Jacques Fournier.Studies in medieval and reformation traditions, 192. Translated from the Italian by Isabella Bolognese, Tony Brophy and Sarah Rolfe Prodan.Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2015.
Parmegiani, Sandra. Ugo Foscolo and British Culture.Italian Perspectives, 20. Oxford: Legenda, 2011. Translation of Italian and French passages to English. Equivalent to 30 pages single-spaced.
Divenuto, Francesco. “The Role of Queen Maria Amalia of Saxony in Planning the Royal Palace of Caserta.” Trans. Sarah Melanie Rolfe. Forthcoming in Creating Women: Representation, Self-Representation and Agency in the Renaissance. Ed. Manuela Scarci. Toronto: Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 2013. 183-200.
Somigli, Paolo. “Gruppo 63 and Music: A Complex Relationship.” Trans. Sarah Melanie Rolfe. Neoavanguardia: Italian Experimental Literature and Arts in the 1960s. Eds. Paolo Chirumbolo, Mario Moroni and Luca Somigli. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2010. 254-282.
Giannetti, Laura. Leila’s Kiss: Imagining Gender, Sex and Marriage in Italian Renaissance Comedy. Trans. Sarah Melanie Rolfe. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009. Early manuscript version of chapters 1-4.
Bazzocchi, Mario. The Greatest Mysteries. Trans. Sarah Melanie Rolfe. Toronto: TLAC, 2009. 30 pages.
Prosperi, Adriano. “Consolation or Condemnation: The Debates on With-holding Sacraments from Prisoners.” Trans. Sarah Melanie Rolfe.The Art of Executing Well: Rituals of Execution in Renaissance Italy. Ed. Nick Terpstra. Kirksville, MO: Truman State University Press, 2008. 98-117.
Evangelisti, Valerio and Domenico Gallo. “Italian Science Fiction from 1952 to the Present.” Trans. Sarah Melanie Rolfe. Paper presented at the University of Toronto on 24 September 2007.
FRENCH to ENGLISH
Klapisch-Zuber, Christiane. “The Devil in Prison.” Trans. Sarah Melanie Rolfe. Power and Public Behaviours: Essays in honour of Richard C. Trexler. Eds. Peter Arnade and Michael Rocke. Toronto: Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 2008. 95-111.
Zinguer, Ilana. “Medical Disquisition as Female Identity Discourse: The Case of Hermaphrodites.” Trans. Sarah Melanie Rolfe. Originally intended for inclusion in Creating Women: Representation, Self-Representation and Agency in the Renaissance. Ed. Manuela Scarci. Toronto: Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 2013. Not yet published. 7 single-spaced pages.
MANUSCRIPTS IN PREPARATION
“Michelangelo and the Bible: Religious Reading and Writing in Sixteenth-Century Italy” (in progress)
“Michelangelo’s Octaves as Religious Allegory” (in progress)
Poetics of Piety: Religious Reading, Writing and Identity in Early Modern Italy (in progress)
“Women of the Italian Renaissance” (a four-part series). Columbus Centre, Toronto ON, Jan. 15, 22, 29, and Feb. 5, 2018 (forthcoming).
“Michelangelo: Gateway to the Renaissance” (a four-part series). Columbus Centre, Toronto ON, Sept. 11, 18, 25, and Oct. 2, 2018 (forthcoming).
“Michelangelo and the Bible: Religious Reading and Writing in Sixteenth-Century Italy.” Lauro de Bosis Fellowship Lecture, Harvard University, Cambridge MA, Apr. 27, 2017.
“Vittoria Colonna, Spiritual Patron and ‘Living Instrument.’” Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, CT, Mar. 9, 2015.
“Michelangelo: His Poetry and His World.” Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Toronto, Nov. 19, 2014.
“Michelangelo: Quest for Freedom” Toronto Renaissance and Reference Colloquium, University of Toronto, Oct. 7, 2014.
“Michelangelo and the Bible: A Digital Edition with Social Media Functionality.” Celebration of Early Modern Studies Day, Victoria University, Toronto, Mar. 7, 2014.
“Dante’s Homage to Arnaut Daniel.” School of Languages and Literatures, University of Guelph, Nov. 15, 2010.
“Hosting the Enemy: Accommodating the French King and his Troops in Florence, 1494.” Conference: “Early Modern Cultures of Hospitality.” Toronto Renaissance and Reformation Colloquium, Toronto, Oct. 26-27, 2018 (forthcoming).
“Female Exemplarity, Identity and Devotion in Lucrezia Marinella’s Sacre Rime (1603).” Canadian Society for Italian Studies (CSIS), Ottawa, May 11-13, 2018 (forthcoming).
“Religious Desire in the Poetry of Vittoria Colonna: Insights into Early Modern Piety and Poetics.” Conference (by invitation): “La prima donna del Rinascimento?” Vittoria Colonna (1490-1547): Poetry, Religion, Art and Impact.” Villa Sassetti – NYU, Florence, Italy, Apr. 20-21, 2017.
“Michelangelo, the Brucioli Bible (1532) and the Language of Reform Spirituality.” Renaissance Society of America (RSA), Chicago, Mar. 30-Apr. 1, 2017.
“Lover’s Eye Meets Pilgrim’s Gaze: Vision and Visuality in Michelangelo’s Rime.” Society of Italian Studies (SIS), Trinity College, Dublin, Apr. 29- 30, 2016
“Bridging Boundaries, Human and Divine: Material Culture and Religious Experience in Early Modern Italy.” Conference: “Un)human Relations/Relazioni (dis)umane.” University of Toronto, Toronto, May 5-6, 2015.
“The Creation of Adam: Michelangelo’s Hidden Allegory of Mystical Ascent.” Renaissance Society of America (RSA), New York, Mar. 27-29, 2014.
“Vat. Lat. 3211: Michelangelo’s spiritual aesthetics?” Sixteenth Century Society Conference (SCSC), Cincinnati, Oct 25-28, 2010.
“The Ecclesia viterbiensis, or The Church as Inspired Instrumentality.” Conference: “Italian Literature and Religion.” University of Toronto, Toronto, Oct. 11-13, 2012.
“Goldoni’s Metatheatrical Masterpiece.” Canadian Society for Italian Studies (CSIS), Waterloo, May 26-28, 2012.
“Intersubjectivity and Historical Imagination in the Late Poetry of Alda Merini.” American Association for Italian Studies (AAIS), Charleston, May 3-5, 2012.
“Michelangelo, Dante and the Augustinian Intellectual Tradition.” Conference Title: “Dante and the Christian Imagination” St. Michael’s College (SMS), Toronto, March 9-11, 2012.
“Friendship as Accessory to Grace: Vittoria Colonna, Michelangelo and the amicus sponsi.” Conference: “Friendship in Premodern Europe.” Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies (CRRS), Toronto, Oct. 14-15, 2011.
“‘Conveniva partorirlo in qualche opera per amore’: Michelangelo’s G151-154 in light of Vittoria Colonna’s Letters to Marguerite de Navarre.” Canadian Society for Italian Studies (CSIS), Venice, June 24-26, 2011.
“‘Il mare e ’l monte e ’l foco colla spada’: Michelangelo’s Augustinian Soteriology?”American Association for Italian Studies (AAIS), Pittsburgh, April 7-9, 2011.
“Michelangelo and the Italian Mystical Tradition.” Renaissance Society of America (RSA), Venice, April 8-10, 2010.
“Dante’s Homage to Arnaut Daniel.” American Association for Italian Studies (AAIS), Manhattan, May 7-10, 2009.
“The ‘Devil’ in Michelangelo’s Last Judgment.” Conference: “The Devil in Society in the Pre-Modern World.” Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies (CRRS), Toronto, Oct. 17-18, 2008.
“Heresy and Confraternal Associations in Cinquecento Italy.” Conference: “Brotherhood and Boundaries/Fraternità e barriere.” Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa (SNS), Pisa, Sept. 24-26, 2008.
“Art, Poetry and Devotion in Italy I, II” (co-organized with Emily Fenichel). Renaissance Society of America (RSA), New York, March 27-29, 2014. Respondent: Paul Barolsky (University of Virginia).
“Cross-Contextual Adaptations and Innovations in Italian Spiritual Literature of the Renaissance.” Renaissance Society of America (RSA), Washington, March 22-24, 2012.
“Metaphors of Identity I, II, III” and “Sixteenth-Seventeenth Century/Sei-Settecento I, II, III.” Canadian Society for Italian Studies (CSIS), Venice, June 24-26, 2011 “Metaphors of Identity:” I. Photography and Metaphors of Migrant/Regional Identity; II. Evolving Metaphors of Italy and Italian Identity in Film and Narrative; III. Personal and Collective Identities in Contemporary Italian Literature. “Sei-Settecento:” I. Artificio, bugie e ribellione; II. La trasmissione e la difesa di cultura; III. Studi linguistici e filologici.
“Friendship in Premodern Europe” (co-organizer with Konrad Eisenbichler, Libby Cohen). Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies (CRRS), Toronto, October 14-15, 2011.
“Shaping an Identity: Adapting, Rewriting, Remaking Italian Literature” (co-organizer). Graduate Student Association of Italian Studies, University of Toronto, Toronto, May 6-7, 2011.
“To Have and To Hold: Marriage in Pre-Modern Europe, 1200-1700” (assistant organizer). Centre for Reformationand Renaissance Studies (CRRS), Toronto, October 16-18, 2009.
“Allegories of the Renaissance” (assistant organizer). Department of Italian Studies, University of Toronto, Toronto, April 28-29, 2006.