Jo Ann Cavallo

Jo Ann Cavallo (Yale, Ph.D. 1987) is Professor of Italian and Chair of the Italian Department at Columbia University, where she has taught since 1988 (See profile). Specializing in Italian Renaissance literature and culture, she is the author of Boiardo’s Orlando Innamorato: An Ethics of Desire (1993), The Romance Epics of Boiardo, Ariosto, and Tasso: From Public Duty to Private Pleasure (2004), and co-editor of Fortune and Romance: Boiardo in America (1998). Her most recent book, The World beyond Europe in the Romance Epics of Boiardo and Ariosto (2013), received the 2011 Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Publication Award for a Manuscript in Italian Literary Studies. She has also published articles on early Christian and gnostic literature (the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Truth), on Italian authors from the medieval to the modern period (Dante, Petrarch, Boiardo, Ariosto, Castiglione, Machiavelli, Tasso, Giordano Bruno, and Elsa Morante), and on folk traditions that dramatize epic narratives (Sicilian puppet theater and the epic Maggio of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines). She filmed and edited a full-length documentary about the epic Maggio tradition (on DVD, 2003). On the creative side, she has adapted several episodes from Boiardo’s Orlando Innamorato into comedies that have been performed in various regions of Italy (2000-2006), and in English translation in New York City (Medieval Festival at Fort Tryon Park, 2003; Central Park's Naumburg Bandshell, 2006). She has also written a bilingual young readers' version of Boiardo’s poem, Orlando Innamorato per ragazzi (2001), and collaborated on scripts for the Emilian epic Maggio and Sicilian puppet theater.