Dr. Brittany Asaro
Overlooking my favorite Italian city from the church of
San Miniato al Monte
Benvenuti alla mia pagina web! Welcome to my web page! My name is Brittany Asaro and I am a Professor of Practice and the Acting Program Director of Italian at the University of San Diego. On this page you will find information about me as an instructor of Italian language, literature, and culture as well as a scholar of Italian Renaissance literature.
I received my Ph.D. in Italian from UCLA in 2013. Before coming to USD in 2016, I initiated the Italian program at California Lutheran University in the new Department of Languages and Cultures. I also taught Italian language and literature at California State University Northridge, Intermediate Italian at Scripps College and all levels of Italian language at UCLA.
I am currently working on a book based upon my dissertation research on love by hearsay in early modern Italian literature as well as on a translation and critical edition of a sixteenth-century dialogue by Luc'Antonio Ridolfi.
My favorite Italian food is gelato al pistacchio, and my favorite Italian word is asciugacapelli.
Robocop star Peter Weller
While teaching a course on Italian Renaissance literature at California State University Northridge in Fall 2014, I invited fellow UCLA alum Peter Weller to talk to my class about Leon Battista Alberti. Dr. Weller is not only a Renaissance art historian but also the star of the original Robocop film as well as director of FX's Sons of Anarchy. Two university publications covered the event.
My Italian class in The Echo
A New Take on a Classic
In my latest article, published in the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies' journal Comitatus, I examine how Boccaccio's unorthodox treatment of the poetic topos of amor de lonh contributes to his redefinition of literature.
Man, it must stink to love someone who is already married
This was a seventh grader's reaction to courtly love when I lectured on medieval knights at Valley View Middle School in Simi Valley, California. Accompanied by some well-clad lords and ladies from the Society for Creative Anachronism, I gave six lectures to over 600 young students as part of the history program's Soldiers: Past and Present unit.
More proof that a degree - even a doctorate in Italian - can lead to opportunities you never imagined! In summer 2014 and 2015 I served as an interpreter at Comic-Con International in San Diego, Calif., promoting the first Italian fantasy novel to ever hit the U.S. mainstream market - Fabio Scalini's Mordraud - and the short film based on the book. Along with translating audience questions and author and director responses during film panels and promotional events at the convention, I also interpreted during an interview with the The Coast News.
With the Mordraud crew after Comic-Con International's short film festival - their film was a finalist! (July 2014)
With the Special Olympians from San Marino, after interpreting during a tour of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Thousand Oaks, Calif. (July 2015)
Interpreting at the Special Olympics
I was honored to serve as interpreter for the athletes from
San Marino participating in the 2015 World Games in Los Angeles. I accompanied them to all of the activities taking place in the Host Town of Thousand Oaks, including a tour of the Reagan Library (pictured, left), a community parade and BBQ at Conejo Park, and a magic show at Westlake Village Yacht Club. The athletes were inspirational; the experience one to treasure.
Truly, at times a man is a lover
without seeing his beloved
This is a translation of the first two lines of a sonnet by the thirteenth-century Sicilian poet Giacomo da Lentini. In my research, I examine cases in Italian literature of falling in love with some one sight unseen. You can read more about my work on this topic in my dissertation, The Unseen Beloved: Love by Hearsay in Medieval and Early Modern Italian Literature.
A Night at the Movies
As part of the International Film Festival put on by California Lutheran University's Languages and Cultures Department, in November 2014 I showed the award-winning Italian film Cesare deve Morire (Caesar Must Die) at Muvico Theaters in Thousand Oaks' The Oaks Mall. The event was a big hit, attracting over 150 viewers from the university as well as the community!
Selected Current and Past Courses
- Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Literature: Love Italian Style - University of San Diego (Fall 2016)
- Food, Diversity Culture - University of San Diego (Fall 2016)
- Contemporary Italy: Culture, Politics, Society - University of San Diego (Fall 2016)
- Literary Masterpieces of Italian Humanism and the Renaissance - California State University Northridge (Fall 2015)