Gabriella Scarlatta, Ph.D.

Provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs; Professor of French
Gabriella Scarlatta
College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters
Language, Culture, and the Arts

Teaching Areas:

French Studies

Research Areas:

Early Modern Women Writers and Intellectuals, French and Italian literature of the Renaissance, French Culture / History, Gender

Biography and Education

I was born and raised in Italy, and went to university in France, and therefore, I consider myself a citizen of the world. I have been teaching at the University of Michigan-Dearborn for almost 20 years, and I love interacting with students and helping them learn about everything Francophone and Italian! I think learning a foreign language is very important as well as an exciting and rewarding process, especially now that our world is getting smaller. And by learning a foreign language, we also get to discover its peoples and cultures, whereby a whole new world opens up for us!

My research explores the intersections of gender and genre, mainly poetry, in early modern France and Italy. My current project closely examines Renée de France (1510-1575), second daughter of King Louis XII of France and Queen Anne de Bretagne, including her life, friendships with controversial figures such as John Calvin, and patronage, in both France, where she was born, and Italy, where she followed her husband, the Duke Ercole II of Este.  By looking at historical documents, such as letters, her accounting books and will, as well as literary works both written in her honor and dedicated to her, I trace her cultural, religious, and artistic influence and legacy.

Research And Teaching Interests: 

  • French and Italian literature of the Renaissance
  • Early Modern Women Writers
  • Translation
  • French and Italian Cultures


Ph.D. French and Italian Literatures, Wayne State University.

M.A. French and Italian Literatures, Wayne State University.

Licence and Maîtrise: Université de Savoie, Chambéry, France.

Selected Publications

Selected Publications: 

Portraits of Renée de France: Letters, Documents, and Literary Works, The Other Voice Series, Toronto University Press, with Kelly Peebles, (forthcoming).

Representing the Life and Legacy of Renée de France: from Fille de France to Dowager Duchess, Essay collection with Kelly Peebles, Palgrave, Queens and Power series, (under review).

  "Gender, Power, and Sexuality in Betussi’s and Brantôme’s Illustrious Women." In Royal Studies Journal, Ruling Sexualities Special Edition, 6, no. 2 (2019): 61-73.

Books: The Disperata, from Medieval Italy to Renaissance France. Medieval Institute Publications, 2017.

Representing Heresy in Early Modern France, with Lidia Radi. Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, University of Toronto, Essays and Studies 40, 2017.

Book chapter: "'Le soleil est devenu noir': Picturing Heresy in Late Renaissance Love Lyric," in Representing Heresy in Early Modern France.

Articles: "Beheading the Elegy: Gender and Genre on the Scaffold of Bologna," Italica, 93, 1 (Spring 2016).