Valeria Finucci

Professor of Italian Studies and Theater Studies Romance Studies

Duke University

Valeria Finucci received a "Laurea" summa cum laude from the University of Rome and a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She taught at Smith College and Gonzaga University before coming to Duke with stints at Penn and Johns Hopkins after. Her main interests are Renaissance literature and culture, theater, women's work, early modern medicine and pharmacy, psychoanalysis, and genre studies. And she loves everything connected to Venice. She has written on femininity and power in Renaissance discourses in The Lady Vanishes: Subjectivity and Representation in Castiglione and Ariosto (Stanford, 1992) and on issues of masculinity and paternity in The Manly Masquerade: Masculinity, Paternity, and Castration in the Italian Renaissance (Duke, 2003). She is the editor of Renaissance Transactions: Ariosto and Tasso (Duke, 1999); and co-editor of Desire in the Renaissance: Psychoanalysis and Literature (Princeton, 1994) and of Generation and Degeneration: Tropes of Reproduction in Literature and History (Duke, 2001). She is co-editor of the Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies and has edited two special issues of the journal: In the Footsteps of Petrarch (Fall 2005) and Mapping the Mediterranean (Winter 2007), as well as yearly open topic issues since 2005. Petrarch is also the subject of her collection, Petrarca: Canoni, Esemplarità (Bulzoni, 2006).

Her love of Venetian costume books and university students' alba amicorum has resulted in a co-edited book in English and Italian, Mores Italiae: Costume and Life in the Renaissance // Costumi e scene di vita del Rinascimento (Biblos, 2007). More recently, her research into early modern medicine and pharmacy has led to the writing of a book, The Body Natural: Duke Vincenzo Gonzaga and Renaissance Medical Practices,forthcoming with Harvard University Press. She is currently the director of a Medieval and Renaissance Focus cluster, and the director of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.