My primary scholarly contributions have centered on Michelangelo, lyric poetry, 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.

My current academic book-in-progress, Poetics of Piety, builds on this earlier work to consider the ways in which male and female poets of devotional verse engaged the Word in text, image, and imagination in the long sixteenth century.

At present, I am also writing a historical novel centered on Florence and the French descent into Italy in 1494. You may read more about both of these book projects in the Writing section of this site, where there is a link to listen to a professionally recorded reading of the first chapter of my novel.



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:

Albertiana 4, 1 (2019): 205-211                                                                                                                                                       Romanistisches Jahrbuch 67, 1 (2016): 195-198
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 Réforme 38, 1 (2015): 191-194
The Catholic Library World 85, 2 (2014): 129

Friulians in Canada. Udine: Forum, 2014.

Reviewed in:

AltreItalia 52 (June 2016): 142-145
El Boletin, 162 (June 2015): 11
Corriere Canadese (3 March 2015): 16
Corriere Canadese (24 February 2015): 16
Pagina Pordenonesi 14 (March 2015)
ilFriuli (24 February 2015)


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:

Revue d’histoire moderne & contemporaine 63, 3 (2016): 189-190                                                                                             Renaissance and Reformation / Renaissance et Réforme 39, 3 (2016): 193-195
Renaissance Quarterly 69, 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


“From Lover’s Glance to Pilgrim’s Gaze: Vision and Discernment in Michelangelo’s Rime.
(forthcoming, Sixteenth Century Journal)

“Between Repentance and Desire: Women Poets and the Word in Early Modern Italy.” Religion and Culture in Early Modern Italy: New Questions and Approaches, special issue of Religions 14, 608 (2023): 1–14.

“The Poet, the Artist, and the Word: Michelangelo in the Age of Religious Reform.” In Capricci luterani. L’opera figurativa e poetica di Michelangelo nel contesto del dibattito sull’interconfessionalità, eds. Hans Aurenhammer, Marc Föcking, Alessandro Nova, and Christine Ott. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2022. 239-267.

“Female Exemplarity, Identity, and Devotion in Lucrezia Marinella’s Rime sacre (1603).” Idealizing Women in the Italian Renaissance, eds. Elena Brizio and Marco Piana. Toronto: Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 2022. 163-181.

“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. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2021. 153-169.

“Hosting the Enemy: Accommodating the French King and his Troops in Florence, 1494.” Early Modern Hospitality, eds. David Goldstein and Marco Piana. Toronto: Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 2021. 61-83.


Colonna, Vittoria. Poems of Widowhood: A Bilingual Edition of the 1538 Rime, translated and introduced by Ramie Targoff, edited by Ramie Targoff and Troy Tower (The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe 82) Toronto: Iter Press, 2021. (forthcoming in Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal)

Morosini, Roberta. Dante, il Profeta e il Libro: La leggenda del toro dalla Commedia a Filippino Lippi, tra sussurri di colomba ed echi di Bisanzio. (Circolarità mediterranee 1.) Rome: L’Erma di Bretschneider, 2019. Speculum 97, 1 (2022): 228–230.

MacCarthy, Ita. The Grace of the Italian Renaissance. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2019. Renaissance Studies 36, 4 (2022): 610–611. (published online in May 2021)

Barnes, Bernardine. Michelangelo and the Viewer in His Time. London: Reaktion Books, 2017. Renaissance and Reformation/Renaissance et Réforme 41, 2 (2018): 149-151.



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.

Divenuto, Francesco. “The Role of Queen Maria Amalia of Saxony in Planning the Royal Palace of Caserta.” Trans. Sarah Melanie Rolfe. 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.

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.


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.