Meet Our Instructors
Francesca Banchi holds a B.A. in Foreign Languages and Literatures from the University of Florence, an M.A. in Chinese Language and Culture from the University of Venice, and a second Master’s in Teaching Italian as a Second and Foreign Language. Prior to joining the Breyer Center for Overseas Studies in Florence, Banchi lived in China and taught Italian as a foreign language to Shanghai Jiaotong University students. In her Italian language classes, culture, grammar, and vocabulary are always presented through a communicative approach and the use of teaching materials that are designed and customized for every class.
Elena Baracani received her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Florence and was the recipient of a European Union Institute for Security Studies Visiting Fellowship and a post-doc research grant in the framework of the European Foreign and Security Policy Studies Program. Baracani is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Bologna, where she teaches Europe in World Politics, EU Institutions, and the workshop on EU foreign policy. She is also Deputy Director of the M.A. Program in International Relations and part of the academic board of the Ph.D. Program in Political and Social Sciences. Her current research interests focus on EU foreign policy. She has taught B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. courses in Political Science at both Italian and American universities: The University of Florence, The University for Foreigners in Perugia, L'Istituto Italiano di Scienze Umane, LUISS, Rutgers University, Kent State University, and California State University, and has been Visiting Professor at Stanford's Breyer Center for Overseas Studies in Florence since 2011.
Nicola Bellini is Professor of Management at the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa, Italy. He has held Visiting Professorships at Stanford’s Breyer Center for Overseas Studies in Florence, the University of Sassari, the University of Pisa, GSSI L’Aquila, and the Grenoble Ecole de Management. From 2014 to 2018 he served as Director of the Tourism Management Institute at the La Rochelle Business School in France. From 2009 to 2011 he was the Director of the Regional Institute for the Economic Planning of Tuscany – IRPET. From 2007 to 2014 he was Director of the Galileo Galilei Italian Institute in Chongqing (PRC) and Co-Director of the Confucius Institute in Pisa. From 2012 to 2016 he also served as an expert for the EU Commission on Regional strategies for smart specialization. He is the author and editor of numerous books and articles on industrial policy, local and regional development, business support services, place branding, and tourism.
Paola Bonizzoni is Associate Professor at the University of Milan’s Social and Political Sciences Department, where she teaches Globalization, Diversity and Inequality and Society and Social Change. She has carried out research in several sub-fields of the sociology of migration, including: (il)legalization and family reunification policies (and migrants’ counter-strategies); the role of migrant, minority-ethnic churches in fostering integration at the local level; forms of immigration governance in small, peripheral, non-urban contexts; intra-EU Italian youth mobility in a time of economic crisis; and gendered and familial experiences of migration. She is currently exploring the role of volunteering activities in the refugee field. Her recent publications include Bonizzoni P., (2020), "The border(s) within: Formal and Informal Processes of Status Production, Negotiation and Contestation in a Migratory Context” in Migration, Borders and Citizenship: Between Policy and Public Spheres, edited by Jacobson, D., Cinalli, M., Ambrosini, M., published by Palgrave MacMillan.
Giulia Calvi served as Full Professor of Early Modern History in the Department of Scienze Storiche e dei Beni Culturali at the University of Siena (2002-2004; 2012-2015). From 2004 to 2012 she acted as Chair of Gender History in Europe and the World (XVI-XIX) at the Department of History and Civilization at the European University Institute in Florence. At present she is senior member of the European Research Council project, Luxury, Fashion and Social Status in Early Modern South-Eastern Europe (LuxFaSS).
Calvi is the recipient of Fulbright and British Academy fellowships, as well as one from Villa I Tatti, the Harvard Center for Italian Renaissance Studies. She was also Visiting Professor at Princeton University, Kratter Visiting Professor at Stanford’s History Department, and visiting professor at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris and Marseille. In 2012 she was appointed Chair of Italian Culture in the Italian Studies Department at the University of California (Berkeley).
Calvi’s main publications and research interests are in the field of early modern cultural and social history. She has studied medical practice in times of epidemics (Histories of a Plague Year: The Social and the Imaginary in Baroque Florence, California University Press 1989); family relations (Il Contratto Morale: Madri e Figli nella Toscana Moderna, 1994); women’s writings and autobiographies (Barocco al femminile, 1992; La Mujer barroca, 1995); court culture and female courts (with R. Spinelli (ed), Le Donne Medici nel sistema europeo delle corti, Firenze 2008). Her recent publications investigate the circulation of images, texts, and material culture in and beyond Europe.
Ermelinda M. Campani
Ermelinda M. Campani is the Spogli Family Director of Stanford's Breyer Center for Overseas Studies in Florence. A native of Emilia Romagna (Italy), she earned an M.A. in Italian literature and a Ph.D. with an emphasis in film studies from Brown University. Prior to joining Stanford University in 1993, she taught courses both at Brown and Rhode Island School of Design and served as acting director of the Brown University Program in Bologna. She has been teaching film to Stanford undergraduates since 1993. Her teaching and research focus on film history and criticism, film style and interpretation, film culture, modernism and film, feminist film theory. Her published works include a book on Bernardo Bertolucci, one on cinema and the sacred (translated into French in 2007), and a book on cinema's representations of the human body. She has written articles both on European and US film journals, has contributed entries to the encyclopedia of World Cinema and has lectured widely. Her current research revolves around iconology and the film image.
Veronica De Romanis
Veronica De Romanis holds a B.A. (cum laude) in Economics from La Sapienza University in Rome and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from Columbia University. She was a Member of the Council of Economic Advisors at the Ministry of Economy and Finance for over twelve years, focusing on macroeconomics and public finance, and was also in charge of relations with Eurostat, the European Commission, OECD, and the IMF. She currently lectures on European economic policy issues at The Breyer Center for Overseas Studies in Florence and at the Libera Università degli Studi Sociali Guido Carli (LUISS) in Rome (Department of Political Science, School of Government and MBA Program). She is a member of the Osservatorio per i Conti Pubblici at Milan’s Cattolica University, and an independent director of the Board, President of the Risks Committee and Member of the Compensation Committee at Cementir Holding (Rome). She is also a member of the International Committee of the Board of WE Women Empower the World and she is listed on 100esperte.it. In July 2019, she was awarded with the Profilo Donna Prize. De Romanis frequently writes on Italian and European Economic Policy for several newspapers, websites, and magazines, and is a frequent guest on television and radio shows. She is the author of a political biography of Angela Merkel, Il Metodo Merkel, (2009, Marsilio editori), Il Caso Germania, (2013, Marsilio editori) and L’Austerità fa Crescere (2017, Marsilio Editori).
John Hooper is the Italy and Vatican correspondent of The Economist and author of the best-selling book, The Italians, published in the US by Viking. He also writes on art for the Wall Street Journal and reviews books for the New York Times. Hooper has been based in Italy for a total of more than twenty years, first as Southern Europe Correspondent of the Guardian and Observer newspapers in the 1990s and, since 2003, for The Economist. Born in Westminster in the UK and educated at the University of Cambridge, Hooper traveled to the breakaway state of Biafra in his freshman year at college to help make a television documentary on the Nigerian Civil war. Since graduating with an honors degree in History, he has also worked for the BBC (as a reporter, foreign correspondent and presenter); for Independent Radio News, as the network’s Diplomatic Correspondent, and for the Daily Telegraph, Reuters and NBC. Over the course of his long career in journalism, Hooper has covered several conflicts, including in Northern Ireland, the Middle East, Algeria and Kosovo. In 2001, he was in Afghanistan covering the Battle of Tora Bora and the search for Osama bin Laden. His book, The Spaniards: A portrait of the new Spain, won the 1987 Allen Lane award for a best first work of history or literature. He later published two expanded and revised versions under the title of The New Spaniards.
Sebastiano Maffettone is Professor of Political Philosophy at LUISS University in Rome. He has served as President of LUISS’ School of Journalism, was Chair and Director of the Political Science Department at LUISS for seven years, and is the founder and first President of the Società Italiana Filosofia Politica. He has also served as the cultural attaché for the Campania Region and is currently the Director of Ethos, a public ethics center. Maffettone is the author of twenty eight books and three hundred articles, published in several languages. He has taught at a number of universities including Harvard, New York University, Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, Tufts, London School of Economics, University of Delhi (India), University of Mumbai (India), Shanghai and Beijing University (China), and Sciences-Po (Paris). Maffettone is also a columnist for some of Italy’s most important newspapers such as Il Mattino, Corriere della Sera, Sole 24 ore, and Il Messaggero. He has also worked for television and produced programs for RAI (Italian Public television). He is the founder of the philosophy journals, Notizie di Politeia, Filosofia e questioni pubbliche, and Philosophy & Public Issues; and of research centers: Centro per la Ricerca e lo Studio dei Diritti Umani and the Center for Ethics and Global Politics. Maffettone also works as a consultant for companies, the government, and for Confindustria. He just published an instant book on the Covid-19 pandemic entitled Il Quarto Shock: il virus che ha cambiato il mondo (Luiss University Press, 2020).
Marie Moïse holds a B.A. in History from the University of Milan, an M.A. in Gender Studies from the University of Paris 7, and a Ph.D. (September 2021) in Political Philosophy from the University of Padua and Toulouse 2, with a dissertation entitled, Not yet a woman, no longer completely a man. An afrofeminist reading of political subjectivation in Frantz Fanon. Her research focuses on the intersectionality of gender, race, class and political subjectivation. She is a member of the Jacobin Italia editorial board and associated expert for the antiracist association Razzismo Brutta Storia. She has co-authored several collections of feminist and afrofeminist essays and short stories such as: Introduzione ai femminsmi (Derive Approdi, Roma 2019), Féminismes dans le monde. 23 récits d’une révolution planétaire (Textuel, Paris 2020), and Future. Il domani narrato dalle voci di oggi (Effequ, Firenze 2019); She also co-translated into Italian, for Edizioni Alegre, Women, Race and Class by Angela Davis (2018) and In the Name of Women's Rights. The Rise of Femonationalism by Sara R. Farris (2019).
Fiorenza Quercioli holds a degree in Modern Languages from the University of Florence and a Master’s degree in Teaching Italian as a Second/Foreign Language from the University of Venice. In 2011 she earned her Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Florence. She joined the Florence Program in 1997, after a number of other teaching experiences both with international and American college students. She has served as a teachers’ trainer for several public and private institutions, and has been tutoring graduate students pursuing their Master’s in Teaching Italian as a second/foreign language at the University of Venice since 2003.
Quercioli has published several articles relating to the teaching and acquisition of Italian as a second/foreign language, as well as didactic material. She has co-authored an Italian language manual for intermediate students entitled L’Italiano all’Università (Edilingua, Roma, 2013) and, more recently, an Italian language textbook for beginners, In alto! - A1 (Ornimi Editions, Athens, 2020) and In alto! - A2 (in press).
Matteo Renzi has been the Senator of the electoral college of Florence since 2018. He served as Prime Minister of Italy from February 2014 to December 2016, and was Mayor of Florence from June 2009 to February 2014. He was the youngest Prime Minister in the history of the Italian Republic. Renzi participated in numerous international meetings including three editions of the G20 (Australia, Turkey, China) and three editions of the G7. He is the author of numerous publications and of a television series on the cultural, financial, and artistic beauty of Florence which aired in 2018-2019 on the Discovery Channel. Renzi holds a law degree from the University of Florence and serves on a number of advisory boards. He is currently the head of ItaliaViva, a political party he founded in 2019.
Serena Rovai is Director of the Europe-Asia Centre for Management and Innovation at and the doctoral Trium DBA program Grenoble Ecole de Management. She is also Director of the MSc in Fashion, Design and Luxury Management for GEM’s Grenoble and London Campuses. Rovai’s expertise focuses on the Chinese Market and new client attitudes and cultural behavior. She previously served as Director of the Uni-Italia Centre in Beijing - a joint venture between the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and that of Education and the Chinese Embassy – focusing on innovation and the internationalization of universities and academic institutions in Asia with a specific focus on Luxury and Art. She holds a doctoral degree in Business Administration and has taught at the University of International Business and Economics – UIBE - in Beijing. In the past, she designed and delivered executive training programs for Fortune 500 clients and international institutions. She currently conducts research on Chinese Business and Management at the Tongji University Glorad Research Centre and chairs academic conferences and forums. Her work has been published widely in management and scientific journals such as the International Journal of Human Resources Development, IO Management Magazine, and Economia e Management (SDA Bocconi University).
Mackda Ghebremariam Tesfau'
Mackda Ghebremariam Tesfau’ received her Ph.D. in Social Sciences from the University of Padua with a dissertation entitled, Why don't you bring them to your home? Stories of hospitality between refugees and locals. In her work, she explores racism and anti-racism, attempting in research to make explicit the link between daily practices and systems of domination. Currently, Dr Ghebremariam Tesfau’ is lecturer at UniverMantova, the university foundation of Mantua. She is also a member of the board of Refugees Welcome, an association committed to welcoming refugees into local families, and is an expert for the antiracist association, Razzismo Brutta Storia.
Timothy Verdon is an art historian (Ph.D. Yale 1975) a priest, and one of the canons of the Florence Cathedral. Widely published in the fields of Renaissance art and Christian iconography, he has been an official consultant for the Vatican Cultural Commission and a Fellow of the Harvard University Center for Renaissance Studies, Villa I Tatti. Director of the Cathedral Museum (Museo dell’Opera del Duomo), whose enlargement and re-installation he directed between 2012-15, Verdon is an honorary member of the two oldest academies of Florence, the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno and the Accademia di Belle Arti.