Brittany Asaro, PhD

Brittany Asaro
Phone: (619) 260-7801
Office: University Modular Offices #3 324

Assistant Professor, Italian

  • Ph.D., UCLA, Italian
  • M.A., UCLA, Italian
  • B.A., Claremont McKenna College, Foreign Languages (Spanish and Italian)

Brittany Asaro joined the Department of Languages, Cultures, and Literatures in 2016. She previously initiated the Italian program at California Lutheran University and taught Italian language and literature at California State University, Northridge, Scripps College, and UCLA. She is an affiliate of UCLA’s Center for Medieval and Renaissance studies and serves on the Executive Board of the Renaissance Conference of Southern California. At USD, she is affiliated with the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program as well as the Women’s and Gender Studies Program.

Scholarly Work

Dr. Asaro’s research focuses on erotic philosophies and love motifs as well as the depiction of women in medieval and Renaissance Italian literature. She examines how early modern Italian writers confront and challenge the heavy weight of a long literary inheritance. In her most recent scholarship, she investigates the discrepancies between the image of women as they are portrayed by male writers and women’s historical experience. Dr. Asaro has published and continues to write articles on Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron. She has also co-edited a volume of Carlo Goldoni’s comedies. One of her current projects is a translation and critical edition of a dialogue that has not been published since the sixteenth-century, and that has never been translated into English.

Areas of Interest

Along with teaching all levels of Italian language, Dr. Asaro has designed culture and literature courses on a wide range of subjects, such as children’s literature, love in literature, and is currently designing two different interdisciplinary courses on Dante. She has taught courses in Italy during summer and intersession, including a Second Year Experience course in Florence where students read from Dante’s Divine Comedy and then visit the places where he lived and wrote. She also regularly teaches her TLC course, “Literature and Civic Engagement in the Italian Renaissance,” for which she has organized guest speakers from a wide variety of expertise, as well as field trips to the university galleries and a local concert of Renaissance-era music.

In her teaching as well as her research, Dr. Asaro works toward a “reimagining” of early modern studies. In the classroom, she endeavors to teach early modern material in a way that is accessible to students and allows them to discover its relevancy to their own personal and professional lives. Through scholarship she aims to diversify the range of voices and ideas emerging from this period in history. She has initiated collaborative projects, such an interdisciplinary forum on Teaching Race in Premodern Classes, that emphasize the crucial role of early modern studies in fully comprehending contemporary issues, as well as the intrinsically interdisciplinary nature of early modern studies themselves.

Dr. Asaro has had the honor of serving as an interpreter at venues such as Comic-Con International San Diego and the Special Olympics. She also has worked at an artisanal chocolatier in Florence and at a medieval-fortress-turned-winery in Chianti.

Office Hours

Section 01R
8/21 - 11/13 M W F 10:30 am - 12:10 pmTBD - TBD
Section 02R
8/21 - 11/13 M W F 10:30 am - 12:10 pmTBD - TBD