Recently Awarded Ph.D.

Maria Clara Iglesias Rondina (Ph.D. ’13) received her Ph.D. in Italian from Yale University in May 2013. Her dissertation, entitled The Trinitarian Language of the Soul: Dante’s Theological Virtues and the Ethical Self, explores the role of the theological virtues in Dante’s Monarchia and Paradiso, its impact on language, moral theology, and political philosophy. Prior to Yale, she obtained a B.A. and M.A. in Italian Studies from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain), as well as a B.A. in Fine Arts from the Escuela Prof. Juan Mantovani of Santa Fe (Argentina). Maria Clara’s research interests include Italian medieval literature, Dante studies, Renaissance theology, ethics in Italian literature, and Italian-Spanish comparative studies. She has published articles and book chapters on Dante, Borges, Domenico Cavalca, and Leopardi. Currently she is working as Visiting Faculty at Fairfield University in Connecticut, while preparing several essays for publication and a book manuscript based on her dissertation.

Christopher Nixon (Ph.D. '13) recevied his Ph.D. in Italian from Yale University in May 2013.  His dissertation is on the pedagogical, utopian, and anti-utopian strains of thought in the philosophy and Giambattista Vico. He is also interested in Renaissance and Early-Modern poetics more generally. He is originally from Southern California, and developed a love for Italian literature while studying abroad at the University of Bologna.

Mattia Acetoso (Ph.D. '12) received his Ph.D. in Italian Literature from Yale University in May 2012. His dissertation, completed under the supervision of Professor Giuseppe Mazzotta, is entitled "In Two Voices: opera, melodrama and music in Umberto Saba and Eugenio Montale". This work analyzes the relationship between the tradition of opera librettos and Italian modernist poetry. His main areas of focus are Modernist Poetry, Contemporary and Political Cinema, 19th and 20th Century Novel, Opera Librettos, Romanticism.

Kenise Lyons (Ph.D. '12) is a graduate of both the University of Maryland, College Park (B.A 2001, Political Science) and the Catholic University of America (M.A 2005, Italian).  Kenise received her Ph.D. in Italian Literature from Yale University in May 2012.  Her dissertation, completed under the supervision of Professor Millicent Marcus, is entitled Beyond Blow-Up: Photographic Writing in Post War Italian Literature and Film. The beginning of a larger project that addresses the cultural import of photography in 19th, 20th, and 21st century Italy, this dissertation explores post-war texts from the 1950s and 1960s other than Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow-Up (1966) in which photography features prominently. It specifically explores the ways in which the inclusion of photographic language in the work of Rossellini, Calvino, Romano and Pasolini was more than the appropriation of the medium’s representational and narrative functions. It also served as means through which these filmmakers and authors could reflect upon their expressive medium of choice and articulate their contributions to the intense critical debates of the period surrounding the nature of art, its function.

Diego Bertelli (Ph.D. '11) received his Laurea from the University of Pisa in 2002 and his M.A. from Yale in 2004. After completing two years of research as a visiting scholar at the University of Freiburg and the University of Heidelberg in 2005 and 2008, Diego obtained his Ph.D. from Yale in 2011. Diego's main interests include Italian nineteenth and twentieth-century poetry and novel, and translation. He contributed for The Encyclopedia of Italian Studies (Routledge, 2005) and published articles and translations on both American and Italian literary journals. Diego was awarded The Premio Astrolabio Opera Prima for his poetry collection, L'imbuto di chiocciola, in 2008 and ranked as finalist at the Premio Alinari 2012, with the poetry collection Lo stato delle cose in sospeso. Diego is currently completing the official biography of the Italian poet, Bartolo Cattafi. He also curated all of the bio-bibliographical content of the poet's Official Website at

Andrea Moudarres (Ph.D. '11) received his Ph.D. in Italian from Yale University in May 2011. His dissertation, completed under the supervision of Professor Giuseppe Mazzotta and entitled The Mirror of the Enemy: Boundaries of Power in the Italian Renaissance, examines the question of violence with regard to both internal and external forms of hostility. Andrea is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor in Italian at College of the Holy Cross. His interests include Renaissance epic, Machiavelli, Humanism, Dante, political philosophy, and the presence of classical literature in late medieval and early modern culture. He has published articles on Dante, Pulci, Tasso, and Vico.

Daniel Leisawitz (Ph.D. '10) received his M.A. in Italian Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, and his Ph.D. in Italian from Yale in December 2010.  His dissertation, which he completed under the supervision of Prof. Millicent Marcus, is entitled, Rebirth on the Screen: Representations of the Renaissance in Italian Cinema.  Daniel’s interests include: adaptation theory; the intersection of technology, literature and the arts; twentieth- and twenty-first-century Italian film and literature; Renaissance literature and historiography; and Jewish-Italian literature and culture.   He is currently working on several articles based on his thesis and on the theater culture of the sixteenth-century Gonzaga court at Mantua. 

Christiana Purdy Moudarres  (Ph.D. '10) will be completing her MAR at Yale Divinity School this year (2011-12) while she begins work on a book manuscript based on her dissertation, “A Sacred Banquet: Medicine and Theology in Dante’s Inferno.”  This past year, she was awarded the Charles H. Grandgent Award by the Dante Society of America for her essay on Inferno 6, “Devouring Selves in the Circle of Gluttony” and published her first edited volume of collected essays, Table Talk: Perspectives on Food in Medieval Italian Literature (Cambrdige, U.K.: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2011). Together with her colleague Carol Chiodo, she is currently co-editing the proceedings of the Italian Department’s recent graduate conference on Dante, Dante’s Volume from Alpha to Omega (ACMRS, forthcoming).