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University of California, Rome Center Faculty

University of California, Rome Academic Director


hairston.jpgJulia L. Hairston

Julia L. Hairston earned her degrees from Vassar College, the University of Rome “La Sapienza,” and Johns Hopkins University. Her primary field of research is Italian literature of the Renaissance, and she specializes in women's writing. She has published articles in Renaissance Quarterly, Exemplaria, and MLN and co-edited three collections of essays, one devoted to gender issues in Italian culture (Peter Lang, 1996), another on the body in early modern Italy (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010), and an issue of I Tatti Studies in the Italian Renaissance (vol. 17, 2014) on gender in early modern Rome. She has won fellowships from Villa I Tatti, The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ. Her most recent publication includes a bilingual edition of the poems and letters of Tullia d'Aragona, a sixteenth-century Roman author and courtesan, for the Other Voice in Early Modern Europe series (CRRS & Iter, 2014). She is currently preparing the introduction and notes to a translation by John McLucas of d'Aragona's epic Il Meschino for the same series and writing an intellectual biography of d'Aragona. For 2017-2018, she  serves as President of the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women. 

Courses taught at UC Rome:

  • Rome & Renaissance Literature
  • Gender Wars in Early Modern Italy

Core Faculty

Screenshot_2016-05-24-11-07-33.pngPaolo Alei

Paolo Alei is an art historian from Rome specialized on Renaissance and Baroque art and architecture. He received his MA from Columbia University, New York, where he specialized in Venetian Renaissance painting with Prof. David Rosand, and his PhD from Oxford University with a dissertation supervised by professor Martin Kemp on a Plinian topos in Renaissance art—the Renaissance heritage of Timanthes' Sacrifice of Iphigenia. His articles have appeared in Artibus et Historiae and Venezia Cinquecento on Raphael and Titian, and he recently published an essay on Caravaggio. In the last fifteen years he has taught numerous courses on Rome between 1400 and 1700 for the most prestigious American academic programs in Rome and co-organized two conferences on Early Modern Rome (EMR and EMR 2) convened by the University of California, Rome Study Center. He is a member of the International Association for the Carnival of Venice and has served as a consultant for studies of the ancient Venetian Carnival. His book Venice Carnival appeared in 2002 (London, Artmedia) and in 2018 will publish a co-edited volume entitled Building Family Identity: The Orsini Castle of Bracciano from Fiefdom to Duchy (Peter Lang.) He is currently working on the poetics of terror in Michelangelo’s Last Judgment.

Courses taught at UC Rome:

  • The Age of the Giants: Bramante, Raphael, and Michelangelo in Renaissance Rome
  • A Celebrated Rivalry: Bernini e Borromini in the Making of Baroque Rome
  • A Vacation with the Popes: Villeggiatura in Early Modern Rome

Bauer Foto.jpgStefan Bauer

Stefan Bauer, MA (Aachen), MA, PhD (London), is a researcher in early modern history. He currently holds a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship at the University of York, UK, working on a project entitled “History and Theology: the Creation of Disinterested Scholarship from Dogmatic Stalemate (ca. 1525-1675)”. His special interests lie in the history of historiography as well Reformation and Counter Reformation Europe. Monographs: The Censorship and Fortuna of Platina’s Lives of the Popes in the Sixteenth Century, Turnhout, Brepols, 2006; Polisbild und Demokratieverständnis in Jacob Burckhardts Griechischer Kulturgeschichte, Basel & Munich, Schwabe & C.H. Beck, 2001.

Courses taught at UC Rome:

  • From the Blood of Christ to the Age of Confessions: Christianity Through the Ages

bernhardt.jpegElizabeth Bernhardt

Elizabeth Bernhardt is a historian of early modern Italy who earned her PhD at the University of Toronto in 2007. Her thesis on the life and legends of the Renaissance noblewoman Genevra Sforza de’ Bentivoglio from Bologna was awarded the annual dissertation prize by the Society of Italian Historical Studies. Her main academic interests revolve around early modern Italian women’s issues including the study of identity, family dynamics, marriage, letter writing, material culture, etc. Recently she has also been working on a project about artisans and crafts in early modern and contemporary Italy as well as a community art project in conjunction with Matera’s nomination as European Capital of Culture 2019. Since the completion of her PhD she has taught for the University of California, Rome, Washington University in St. Louis, Saint Louis University, and the Liceo Classico Giulio Cesare in Rome. She recently published an article on fifteenth-century family alliances in a collection published by Bologna University Press and is currently revising an article on a Bolognese noblewoman. Her main project is an upcoming monograph about the story of Genevra Sforza and her family life in Renaissance Bologna.

Courses taught at UC Rome:

  • The Italian Family from Early Modern to Contemporary Times.

eap1.jpgStefano Livi

Stefano Livi is an Associate Professor of Social Psychology and Coordinator of the PhD program in "Social, Developmental Psychology, and Educational Research" in the Department of Social and Developmental Psychology at University of Rome “La Sapienza,” where earned his PhD in Social Psychology. His main research interests are social and cognitive factors affecting human social behavior in two main areas: group processes in terms of socialization, leadership emergence, intergenerational transmission, and interpersonal perceptions in romantic relationships and attitude-behavior consistency in applied settings (e.g. marketing, medical, and information communication technology.) Livi has published in national and international journals, including Journal of Personality and Social PsychologyPersonality and Social Psychology BulletinLeadership Quarterly, and Personality and Individual Differences.

Courses taught at UC Rome:

  • Social Psychology and Social Influence


corrado.jpgCrispin Corrado

Crispin Corrado is a classical archaeologist specializing in Roman art, who received her Ph.D. at Brown University, and an M.A. in Art History and B.A. in Classics from the University of Chicago. She has fieldwork experience at Pompeii, and has worked in a curatorial capacity in the departments of ancient art at the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Museum of Art at the Rhode Island School of Design, and the Vatican Museums. While working at these institutions, she assisted in the creation and implementation of exhibitions of ancient art, co-authored catalogs, and presented guest lectures. Her major research interests include ancient Greek and Roman wall painting and sculpture, as well as funerary and domestic architecture. Her publications include an article on Roman wall painting published in the Rivista di Studi Pompeiani, and a 2013 monograph on the commemorative funerary practices of the Romans during the imperial period. Her current book project is a student-oriented guide to the ancient city, and she is writing an article on the monument of Eurysaces (the so-called "Tomb of the Baker"), in Rome. She currently teaches courses at several study abroad institutions in Rome, and serves as the Academic Director for the Association for Research into Crimes Against Art, the international organization dedicated to issues related to the loss and destruction of art and cultural artifacts. She is also the founder and an acting officer of the Rome Society of the Archaeological Institute of America, whose home is the University of California in Rome.

Courses taught at UC Rome:

  • Ancient Roman Civilization: The City and Culture of Rome
  • Ancient Roman Art
  • Art Crime & Cultural Heritage Protection
  • Ancient Romans at Work and Play: Reconstructing the Past


filippini.jpgCristiana Filippini

Cristiana Filippini earned her Italian degree (Laurea in Lettere in History of Art) from the University of Florence and her MA and PhD from Johns Hopkins University. Her primary field of research is medieval art in Rome, while her research and teaching interests also include 17th-century art in Rome, women’s presence in the art of Rome, and museum history and cultural heritage and preservation in Rome. She has given several papers and published articles on the subject of Roman art of the Middle Ages, in particular on the issue of narrative strategies in the painting of the Papal city. Her current projects are a monograph on the San Clemente frescoes, stemming from her doctoral dissertation, and a co-authored study of another important medieval Roman mural decoration, the frescoes of Santa Maria Immacolata at Ceri. Professor Filippini serves as the Academic Coordinatory for the When in Rome summer program.

Courses taught at UC Rome:

  • Rome and the Medieval World
  • Women and Art
  • Rome As Palimpsest: Language, History, Culture
  • Rome: The City of Museums and the Museum-City. Past, Present, and Future

barbie_bioshot.jpgBarbie Latza Nadeau

Barbie Latza Nadeau has lived and worked as a foreign correspondent in Rome since 1996. She has covered some of the most important stories in Italy over the last 20 years as bureau chief for Newsweek magazine and The Daily Beast news website, as an on-air contributor to CNN and as a science writer for Scientific American magazine. She has written several southern Italy travel guidebook chapters for Frommer’s and she regularly contributes to Departures Magazine. Her true crime book Angel Face: Sex, Murder and the Inside Story of Amanda Knox about the murder of Meredith Kercher and trials of Amanda Knox was adapted for cinema in 2014.

Latza Nadeau has covered two papal conclaves, the rise and fall of Silvio Berlusconi and the evolving migrant and refugee crisis from the frontlines in Sicily and Greece. She has followed Pope Francis across Europe and on his historic apostolic voyage to Cuba. She chronicled the complicated salvage of the Costa Concordia cruise ship on the coast of Giglio island and continues to follow the spread of the deadly Xylella Fastidiosa virus as it destroys ancient olive trees in Puglia for Scientific American. She is currently working on a nonfiction book about Nigerian sex trafficking, the Camorra and Catholic nuns in Castelvolturno near Naples as well as a novel based on a bridge linking Messina to Calabria.

Courses taught at UC Rome:

  • Italian Media: From Bread and Circuses to the Digital Age

Simon Martin

Simon Martin was awarded a PhD by University College London. His doctoral thesis was published as Football and Fascism in Mussolini's Italy in 2004 and won the British Society for Sport's History's Lord Aberdare prize for literary history. Translated as Calcio e Fascismo, it was published in 2006 by Oscar Mondadori. Continuing his research on sport in modern Italy his second monograph Sport Italia: the Italian love affair with sport was published by IB Tauris in 2011 and also won the Lord Aberdare Prize. He has taught at UCL, the University of Hertfordshire in addition to a variety of American University programs in Italy. A Research Fellow at the British School at Rome, he is currently working on Fascist material culture and memory in postwar Italy.

Courses taught at UC Rome:

  • History and Politics of Modern Italy
  • Sports and Society in Modern Italy
  • Italian Politics and History through Film

Petruccioli_photo.jpg
Guido Petruccioli

Guido Petruccioli was trained as a Classical art historian (BA, University of Pennsylvania; MPhil and DPhil, University of Oxford). He also received a degree in photography from the school CFP Bauer in Milan, and since 2005 he has been working as a freelance documentary photographer. His project on the architecture and urbanism of the Fascist era in Southern Italy was exhibited at the Venice Biennal in 2006 (Città di Pietra/Cities of Stone, Milan 2006). His academic research focuses on photography as an analytical tool in archaeological and art historical research. In between 2007 and 2013, he worked as field and studio photographer at the New York University archaeological excavations at Aphrodisias in Turkey. He is currently concentrating on the documentation of art collections, most recently the Museum of Classical Art of Mougins in France and the 17th century collection of Greek and Roman sculptures at Wilton House, United Kingdom. He has directed a three-year research project (2013-2015) on the collecting and trading of antiquities in early 20th century Europe based on the archive of John Marshall, art agent for the Metropolitan Museum of New York in between 1906 and 1928.

Courses taught at UC Rome:

  • Introduction to Photography: Theory and Practice


RinelliLorenzo Rinelli

Born in Rome where he obtained his JD and MA, Lorenzo Rinelli is the co-director of the “L’Osservatorio”—a research center on civilian victims of armed conflicts for the Italian Association of Civilian Victims of War. His research explores the transformation of migration control in the post 9/11 era. It looks at how border controls have become more diffuse in the face of increased human flows and presents a critical analysis of the dispositif of European migration control in particular l beyond and within Europe’s geopolitical limits. Since 2007, he has taught various courses with particular focus on International Law, European Politics and International Relations. His academic interests include urban border studies, migration theory, globalization and aesthetics in world politics. His recent publications include articles in Globalizations, African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal, and Italian Studies and a book entitledAfrican Migrants and Europe: Managing the Ultimate Frontier was published by Routledge in 2015.

Courses taught at UC Rome:

  • Globalization and Crisis in Modern Italy
  • The Changing Face of the Mediterranean: Migration in Southern Europe
  • History & Politics of Migration in Contemporary Italy


smith.jpgGregory O. Smith

Gregory Smith, D.Phil.(Oxon.) has lived and worked in Italy for many years. Born in Texas, he completed his graduate work at Oxford University before moving to Rome where he has held various academic positions, including Dean of Academic Affairs at the American University of Rome. He has taught at the University of California, Rome Center since its foundation in 2003, as well as at Temple University, Cornell University, The American University (Washington, DC), Loyola University of Chicago, and the University of Naples ‘Federico II’. He has worked for and directed British academic programs in Italy. His most recent book in Italian is La comunità e lo Stato. Antropologia e Storia nella Marsica del Novecento (Aleph). He is the coeditor of the volume Public Space in Rome through the Ages (Ashgate). He has published in important scholarly journals, including Planning Theory and Practice.

Courses taught at UC Rome:

  • Culture & Identity in Modern Italy
  • The Sociology of Rome
  • Italy: Territory, Food, Anthropology

Italian Faculty

cacciafeste.jpgMario Cacciafeste

Mario Cacciafeste graduated in Italian Studies from La Sapienza University of Rome and earned a Diploma in Teaching Italian as a Second Language from DILIT International House of Rome. From 1999 to 2004, Mario taught Italian language and culture at the Università Popolare per la Terza Età. Since 2004, he has worked as an Italian teacher for many companies, embassies, and associations including the Parsec Association and the Center for Migration Studies (CSER). In 2006, Mario also began teaching Italian language for various American universities including Cornell, Rhode Island School of Design, and De Paul University. In addition to teaching for the University of California Rome Study Center, Mario is currently affiliated with CEA - University of New Haven in Rome.



coppotelli.jpgMaria Rita Coppotelli

Maria Rita Coppotelli earned her undergraduate degree in Literature and Music History from the University of Rome “La Sapienza”. Later she completed a specialist degree in Language Pedagogy from the Scuola di Specializzazione all’Insegnamento of Latium with a dissertation entitled “Sport, young people, and mass ideologies”. In collaboration with Italian Society of Musicology, the University of Pisa, and the Marco Besso Foundation, she published articles on the manuscripts of composers Alberto Franchetti and Giovanni Pacini and on the figure and myth of Beatrice Cenci in musical theatre. Since 1999 she has been teaching courses on Italian language and culture and began teaching for the University of California, Rome Study Center since its foundation in fall 2003. Her current research focuses on impresari between Italy and America in the 20th century.



divona.jpgFrancesca Divona Pianella

Francesca Divona Pianella graduated in Sociology from La Sapienza University in Rome and a specialization degree in Sociology, Environment, and Territory. She then completed a diploma in Teaching Italian as a Foreign Language from the “Centro di lingua e cultura italiana Torre di Babele” in Rome and, more recently, an MA in “The Teaching and Promotion of Italian Language and Culture to Foreigners” from the Ca’ Foscari University in Venice. Her MA thesis focused on techniques to develop oral skills, with particular focus on American students. She has taught for different institutions including the American University in Rome, Richmond in Rome, the University of Colorado, the University of Southern California, The American Institute of Roman Culture, Santa Barbara City College, and the Urbaniana Pontifical University. Currently she teaches at the University of California, Rome and the University of Minnesota. She is also a member of Italiano per te, a professional association that promotes new methodologies for teaching Italian to foreigners.


Nadia Martini

Nadia Martini graduated with distinction in History and Literature from the University La Sapienza of Rome. After completing her degree, she focused on foreign language acquisition studying at first at the Dilit international House of Rome, and then with the DITALS Certification, where she specialized in teaching Italian as a foreign language. In an endeavour to put theory into practice, she moved to Austria and experimented with comparative methods of language acquisition, studying German while teaching Italian. After some years abroad, she moved back to Italy and completed a M.A. in the Pedagogy of History at the University of Milan. Moreover, she did editorial work and wrote press reviews for weekly publications in German and cultural reviews for a literary magazine. She now lives and works in Rome and from 2004 has been teaching Italian at the University of California Rome Study Center.



Presutti.JPGStefano Presutti

Stefano Presutti earned an MA in Italian linguistics (with honors) from the University of Rome Tor Vergata in 2013. His thesis focused on the process of second language acquisition under the direction of Pietro Trifone. He has also earned a Ditals level II diploma and has specialized in e-learning for Italian as a second language. Since 2009 he has taught Italian for foreigners at all levels and types of courses in Rome and London (UK). In 2014 he began a PhD program in experimental phonetics – linguistics at the University of Aix-Marseille, France.



eap1.jpgCarlotta Silvagni

Carlotta Silvagni graduated in Literature of Cinema and Theatre at the University of Rome “La Sapienza” and, as a Fulbright Scholar, she earned a M.A. in Integrated Marketing Communication from Emerson College in Boston.
After working for eight years as a copywriter in several leading advertising agencies in Rome, she earned a diploma for teaching Italian as a Second Language from Dilit International House of Rome and then got the Ditals Certificate, Second Level. Since 2003 she has been teaching Italian for American Universities and foreign companies, including Villanova University, North American College, HBO, Merck and Cartier. She currently teaches for the University of California, Rome Study Center and other private students.