In This Section

Elisa Modolo

Lecturer, Italian

Jonathan Doe
Contact Elisa Modolo

Brittian Hall 222

Spring 2019 Office Hours
Mondays/Wednesdays 11:00am - 12:00pm;
and by appointment

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page” (cit. Feltham's English Enchiridion, paraphrasing S. Augustine)


Dr. Elisa Modolo was born in Venice, Italy, and holds a Ph.D. in Italian Studies from the University of Pennsylvania with two graduate certificates, in Cinema Studies and in Gender Sexuality and Women’s Studies.

Her dissertation, “Metamorphosis of the Metamorphoses: Italian Rewritings of Ovid between the Renaissance and the Baroque,” reveals the crucial role of Italian textual and visual rewritings of Ovid’s masterpiece in mediating the reception of the classics and in forging a new poetics. These texts reinvent the Ovidian model by deeply altering its inner structure, revising and updating its content, and transforming its genre, rhetoric, and style to fit a new context. By applying the tools of translation studies and literary criticism, Dr. Modolo examines the mechanisms of the rewriting process, the impact of contemporary aesthetics and readership, and the interplay between text and image that make these works not mere translations, but authentic rewritings that elaborate the model to create something new.

Her academic articles -published in Italy, England, and the U.S.- stem from her interests in women’s cultural production by examining movie director Marjane Satrapi, contemporary multilingual poet Luisa Zille, and Baroque prose writer Arcangela Tarabotti.


Ph.D., In Italian Studies, University of Pennsylvania, 2015

M.A., in Liberal Arts, University of Pennsylvania, 2010

M.A., in Philology and Italian Literature, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, 2007

B.A., in Italian Literature, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, 2005

Interesting Facts

  • She won the first prize on a national Italian poetry competition.
  • She speaks Venetian dialect.
  • She taught her illiterate grandmother (bon in 1895) how to write her name when she was in her 90s (it is never too late to learn!).

Teaching Areas

Italian language; Italian literature, cinema, and culture

Research Areas

Italian Renaissance and Early Modern culture, Rewritings of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Translation Theory, Women’s literature and cinema, Italian Cinema, Gender Studies, Venetian language and culture