An enthusiastic logophile, I have dedicated many years to the study of languages, literatures, and cultures. Much of my life, both personal and professional, has been spent in devotion to words – written, spoken, and sung. As a scholar, I research their historical contexts and the individuals and worlds to which they point. As a writer, I draw on them to create characters, voices, and imagined realities. As a singer-songwriter, I join my love of them to that of soulful expression and a deeply rooted passion for music.
I am a professor in the humanities at Stanford University. After completing my doctorate at the University of Toronto in 2011, I conducted research as a scholarly fellow in the Department of History at Harvard University and at the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies at Victoria University in the University of Toronto, where I designed and taught early modern cultural history courses and lectured on Italian language and literature.
My research interests center on Michelangelo’s poetry and his world, early modern social and religious culture, and the intersections of literature and art and interactions of men and women therein. Though I specialize in the wondrous realms of early modern Italy, the synchronicities of academic life and graduate advising have led me to work in other areas further afield, including modern and contemporary literature, Enlightenment prose, and migration history. I remain open to new and interesting projects that cross my path.
An award-winning scholar, I have participated in a number of international conferences as a speaker, organizer, moderator, and round table discussant. Invited in North America and overseas to present my work, I have given talks to both scholarly and general audiences. I have also consulted on special projects in film and art, and I have been interviewed for print, digital, and video media.
Teaching language, literature, culture, and history has both furthered and fueled my writing. I have taught in English, French, and Italian; in North America and Europe; in scholastic, academic, and corporate settings; in group and one-on-one contexts. This work has greatly stimulated my creativity as a writer and as a songwriter over the years. My academic and creative work has been complemented by leadership positions I have assumed along the way. I have served as the managing editor of an academic journal. I currently serve on the editorial board for academic journals and book series in my field.
I am passionately involved in two creative projects at the moment: recording original music for my next album, Little Bird, and polishing a historical novel set in fifteenth-century Italy, Imminence. You can listen to a professionally recorded reading of the first chapter of Imminence here.
My greatest sources of joy outside of research, writing, teaching, and music, are playing with my dogs, contemplating human experience and big life questions at the crossroads of here and there/then and now, and engaging in energizing repartee and meaningful conversation.
I dream of a kinder, wiser, and more compassionate world.