Francesca Leardini

Assistant Professor (Teaching) of Italian

Contact Information
E-mail: leardini@usc.edu
Phone: (213) 746-7479
Office: THH 176



  • M.A. (Honorary) Medieval and Early Renaissance Italian Literature, University of Rome "La Sapienza", Italy, 12/1995
  • Ph.D. Modern and Contemporary Italian Literature, University of California, Los Angeles, GPA 4.0, 8/2005

  • Description of Research

    Summary Statement of Research Interests
    Francesca Leardini conducts research in the areas of Medieval and Early Renaissance Literature (early Italian prose and poetry; Dante, Boccaccio, Petrarca), and in Modern and Contemporary Italian Literature (Leopardi, Verga, Pirandello, Ungaretti, Palazzeschi, Landolfi).

    New Courses Developed

    • Theatre, Spectacle, Drama and Performance in Italy. Humor and Comedy in Twentieth-Century Italian Theatre, French and Italian, This course will focus on modern and contemporary comic and humoristic theatre masterpieces by Italian writers such as Pirandello, P. De Filippo, Ginzburg, and Fo. It will explore their plays within the historical context in which they were written, and relate them to the tradition of Italian theatre throughout the ages. Students will also study the history of Italian theatre from the origins to modern times, and explore the theories of comic, humor, and laughter in Western culture. In addition, students will read theoretical writings, and watch video recordings of the plays they will study. They will be asked to interpret theatre texts through close reading, verbal expression and in the writing of essays on the works we will discuss in class. 1. History of the Italian theatre from the origins to modern times. 2. Theories of comic and laughter from the origins to modern times. 3. Monographic section on comic Italian theatre focused on Pirandello, P. De Filippo, Ginzburg, and Fo., Fall 2011   
    • Love in Italian Literature, French and Italian, In this course we will consider love as the guiding theme to detect the changes occurring in various periods of Italian literature, from the Middles Ages to modern times. We will read and discuss prose and poetry masterpieces by, among others, Dante, Cavalcanti, Boccaccio, Petrarca, Leopardi, Verga, Marinetti, Calvino, Maraini and Landolfi. Through the analysis of the theme and language of love, students will further develop their observation, interpretation and expression skills in Italian. They will discuss in detail the content and ideas of the text, engaging in a clear critical argument on the subjects studied. By focusing on the historical, social and political environments surrounding the texts we read, students will better understand Italian life and society., Fall 2010   
    • Italian Literature between Modern and Postmodern, French and Italian, This course will explore Italian literature between the nineteenth and twentieth-century through a reading of selected genres: novels, short stories, comedies and theoretical essays. We will focus on the works of three leading Italian authors – Verga, Pirandello and Palazzeschi – and place them in their historical, social and political contexts in order to better understand the large transformations occurring in Italian culture between the two centuries. Particular attention will be given to the central role of laughter as a tool for expressing the author’s perspective on life and cultural change in a modern and postmodern world as well as in response to European authors of the same periods. Students will be asked to interpret literary texts through close reading, verbal expression and in the writing of a few short essays on the works we will discuss in class., Spring 2008   

  • Department of French and Italian
  • Taper Hall 155 (THH 155)
  • 3501 Trousdale Parkway
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-0359