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Tracy Barrett

Tracy Barrett
Senior Lecturer in Italian, Emerita







Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley


Professional Biography

When I came to Vanderbilt in 1984, I was a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, writing my dissertation on a medieval Italian poet. At that time, Vanderbilt offered only two sections of beginning Italian, and there was no minor in Italian.

I’ve enjoyed being part of the process that has now led to five bursting sections of Italian 101A this fall, and two minors: one in Italian and one in Italian Studies. While my interest in medieval literature remains strong, my primary focus in teaching is Italian language. I also created and teach an internet-based course on Italian Civilization, and this spring am teaching Vanderbilt’s first introductory course on Italian Literature.

I received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to study medieval women writers, and occasionally teach a course on that subject through the Women’s Studies and Humanities programs.

I retired in May 2012 in order to write full-time for children and young adults and to serve as Regional Advisor Coordinator for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

Representative publications

“‘Scamp,’ ‘Rogue’: The Poetic Persona of Cecco Angiolieri of Siena,” “Selected Papers from SEMA XIII” issue of Medieval Perspectives, Vol. III, no. 1, Spring 1988, pp. 48-59.

“Cecco Angiolieri: A Medieval Italian Humorist?”, Humor, Vol. 4-3/4, 1991, pp. 349-58.

English translation, “When Is a Woman’s Work Her Own? An Interview with Franca Rame,” by Serena Anderlini, Feminist Perspectives, Vol. 11, no. 1, Spring 1991, pp. 23-52.

English translation, “Prolegomena for a Feminist Dramaturgy of the Feminine,” by Serena Anderlini, Diacritics, Summer-Fall, 1991, pp. 148-160.

“The Narrator of Italo Calvino’s Il cavaliere inesistente,” Quaderni d’italianistica, Vol. 13, No. 1, Spring, 1992, pp. 57-70.

Instructor’s Manual and Testing Program to Accompany Insieme: An Intermediate Italian Course, McGraw-Hill, 1994.

Cecco, As I Am and Was: The Poems of Cecco Angiolieri, International Pocket Library, Branden Publications, Boston, 1994.

“Anne de Beaujeu,” “Anne of Brittany,” “Catherine of Siena,” “Clare of Assisi,”“Trotula of Salerno,” “Vittoria Colonna,”Women in World History, Yorkin Publications, 2000.