Lorenzo Filippo Bacchini earned a bachelor’s degree in literature and philosophy at the University of Bologna, and a master’s in journalism and a master of arts in Italian studies at Columbia University. His primary interest is in medieval and Renaissance Italian literature, but he is also interested in other countries’ literature, as well as history and cinema. Before coming to Johns Hopkins, he worked as a journalist in Rome, as a press agent for a cinematographic house of production in Bologna, and has taught in various different settings including Italy, India, and Ghana. He also has experience as an author and poet, having published several poems, some short stories, and two short movies in Italy.
Francesco Brenna earned a bachelor’s degree (2010) and a master’s degree (2013) in Italian at Università Cattolica in Milan, and he is now a PhD student in the Italian program at Johns Hopkins University. His dissertation project, temporarily titled There and Back Again: Milton and Italian Literature, studies the reciprocal influence of John Milton and Italian authors. His researches focus on Italian epic romances and the epic tradition (Pulci, Ariosto, Fonte, Tasso, Milton)—especially intertextuality and the relationship between poetry and knowledge. His other area of interest is the Italian Novecento, namely foreign influences on Italian poetry, the relationship between literature and sport, and Federico Fellini. He has taught Italian as a second language in Italy and he now teaches Italian courses at Johns Hopkins. He has also studied jazz piano and arranging and taken courses at Peabody Conservatory. He has worked both as a performer and as a piano teacher.
Alyssa Falcone is a third-year PhD student in the Italian section of GRLL. She obtained her BA from Gettysburg College in 2009 and her MA from Boston College in 2011. Her primary interest is the reception and marketing of Italian literature in the 16th century (particularly of Boccaccio’s Decameron). Other interests include literary forgery, the history of books, Renaissance Humanism, Italian-American culture, and teaching the Italian language. In addition to her academic work, Alyssa also enjoys writing creatively and hopes to write a fiction novel someday.
Rebecca Lee Gardner Green
Chris Geekie is a PhD student in Italian literature. He earned his BA in romance languages and literatures from Johns Hopkins in 2009. His current research is on 16th-century Italian literature and intellectual history, specifically the poetry and prose of Torquato Tasso. He is more generally interested in the intersection of poetry and rhetoric, the history of aesthetics, and the history of literary criticism. In 2013, he won a Fulbright grant to study Tasso’s marginalia at the Vatican Library in Rome. In 2014, he began working as a research assistant and transcriber for “The Archaeology of Reading,” a Mellon-funded digital humanities project involving Hopkins, Princeton, and the University College London. He is currently working on finishing his dissertation which analyzes the development of vernacular epic poetry, speficially epic language and style, in the sixteenth century.
Janet E. Gomez is a PhD candidate in the Department of German and Romance Languages and Literatures at Johns Hopkins University. Her dissertation focuses on the relationship between female figures in the prose and poetry of Torquato Tasso, and also the reception of his female protagonists in early modern women writings, and in 19th-century Tasso forgeries. She holds a BA (2007) in English literature, minors in Italian and French, as well as a certificate in translation studies from the University of Florida; and an MA (2010) in Italian studies from Florida State University. She is also a competitive runner and often in training for her next road race. She aspires to be an Ironman triathlete one day.
TeodoroKatinis Teodoro Katinis is a PhD Candidate and instructor of Italian language and culture. His dissertation is on Sperone Speroni and the rebirth of sophistry in the Italian Renaissance. He earned his first PhD in history of Renaissance philosophy (Università degli Studi Roma Tre) with an interdisciplinary research on medicine and philosophy between thirteenth and seventeenth century, which resulted in his book Medicina e filosofia in Marsilio Ficino (Roma 2007). He was awarded with post-doctoral fellowships at Fondazione Luigi Firpo (Turin) and Istituto Nazionale per gli Studi Filosofici (Naples), and taught humanities in several Italian high schools. His areas of interest include: Speroni and his influence on European culture; Ficino and his legacy; political philosophy from Dante Alighieri to the Counter-Reformation; skepticism and rhetoric in the Italian Renaissance; Rome as told in literature, arts, and film.
Troy Tower is a fifth-year PhD student in Italian literature. He is especially interested in the intersections of ecology, textuality, and authorship that dot the forests of early modern Italian narratives, and much else besides. The first complete critical edition of the great 16th-century virtuosa Gaspara Stampa’s poetry, which he co-edited, was published by University of Chicago Press in 2010. He will make films one day.
Michele Zanobini studied classics at the University of Florence (BA 2008, MA 2010). In 2011, he moved to the Johns Hopkins University where he began a doctoral program in Italian with a special emphasis on the medieval and humanistic literature. He has also been playing violin since he was a child at the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole (Florence, Italy), where he was an assistant teacher (2009–2011). Since fall 2013, he is enrolled in a BA in musicology at the University of Pavia (Italy) with the aim of writing a thesis on the XVII century Italian libretti.