Lisa Kaborycha, Ph.D.
Born in New York City, I was raised in California, where I attended the University of California, Berkeley, receiving a BA in Comparative Literature and an MA in Italian Studies. In 2006 I earned my Ph.D. in Medieval and Early Modern History there with a dissertation on fifteenth-century Florentine manuscripts, based on research carried out in 2003/04, while on a Fulbright Grant. I moved to Florence in 2007 with a three-year National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship with the Medici Archive Project to research documents in the Florence State Archive. I remained in Italy, having won a fellowship in 2010 at Villa I Tatti, the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies. Since then I have lived permanently in Florence and authored two books: A Short History of Renaissance Italy, (Prentice Hall, 2010) and A Corresponding Renaissance: Letters Written by Italian Women 1375-1650, (Oxford University Press, 2016); I am currently writing a book for Cambridge University Press entitled Zibaldoni: The Florentine Vernacular Renaissance.
Along with research and writing, my great passion is teaching. For the past twenty years I have taught at American colleges and universities, first in California at the University of California, Berkeley and at Menlo College, then in Italy for a variety of institutions of higher education. What I love about teaching in Italy is being able to engage students with history through direct contact with the past. Whether it is visiting the Florentine State Archive to handle 600-year-old tax documents; going to convents to meet with cloistered nuns; or discussing Boccaccio’s Decameron in the actual countryside where those stories were set, the impact is immediate and meaningful in a way that cannot be achieved by simply reading about such things in a book. Students’ responses to these experiences are always powerful and insightful, and I emphasize the importance of expressing these ideas in good writing. I believe that a key goal in the study of the humanities is to hone critical thinking skills, while at the same time acquiring the ability to describe those thoughts with clarity and precision in good English. Clear thinking and clear writing go hand in hand.
In my free time I enjoy taking long walks in the Tuscan countryside, exploring the landscape and rich cultural heritage this region has to offer. A former singer, I like to go to the opera whenever I can. Recently I have also developed a passion for traditional archery, and have learned to shoot with a longbow.
- Western World in Modern Times
- Seminar in Academic Inquiry and Writing
- Art and Science in Renaissance Italy