Meet Our Instructors
- Francesco Bagnardi
- Francesca Banchi
- Elena Baracani
- Nicola Bellini
- Paola Bonizzoni
- Ermelinda M. Campani
- Dario Donetti
- Veronica De Romanis
- Ali Aydin Karamustafa
- Marie Moïse
- Massimo Montanari
- Sean Nelson
- Silvio Pons
- Fiorenza Quercioli
- Serena Rovai
- Mackda Ghebremariam Tesfau'
- Timothy Verdon
Francesco Bagnardi holds a PhD in Social and Political Science from the European University Institute in Florence and is at present a postdoctoral research fellow at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa. His work intersects labor sociology, international political economy, and social movements. His research interests include labor movements and employment relations, economic and labor geographies, workers' mobility, and global production networks.
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.
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.
Dario Donetti holds an M.Arch. from the Università degli Studi di Firenze (2008) and a Ph.D. from the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa (2016) and is currently assistant professor of architectural history at the University of Verona. Previously, he served as an academic assistant at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz (2013-2019), a research associate at the Italian Academy of Columbia University (2017), and a collegiate assistant professor at the University of Chicago (2019-2022). The primary goal of his research is to understand the interdependence between draftsmanship and architectural production, with a focus on issues of authorship and materiality. Among the results of his studies are the exhibition catalog Giuliano da Sangallo: Disegni degli Uffizi (Giunti: 2017, coauthored with Sabine Frommel and Marzia Faietti) and the monograph Francesco da Sangallo e l’identità dell’architettura toscana (Officina Libraria: 2020). Donetti is also the editor of the volumes Architecture and Dystopia (Actar: 2019) and Building with Paper: The Materiality of Renaissance Architectural Drawings (Brepols: 2021, with Cara Rachele).
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).
Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Ali Aydin Karamustafa is a historian of the Ottoman and Safavid worlds, and his research focuses on oral and written traditions concerning origins, conquest, legitimacy, and rebellion which were produced and circulated by political communities from the fourteenth to the eighteenth centuries across Eurasia. He received his PhD from Stanford in 2020 and currently works and resides in Bologna, Italy.
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. 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 board member of 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, Blues Legacies and Black Feminism (2022) and 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).
Massimo Montanari teaches Medieval History and Food History at the University of Bologna. His research interests include labor, rural landscapes, agrarian and urban society, and the human-environment relationship in both the countryside and the city. He has published extensively on these topics and his work has been translated and published all over the world. Montanari has taught seminars and lectured in Europe, Japan, Canada, the United States and South America.
Among his many publications are The Culture of Food, Oxford UK - Cambridge USA, Blackwell, 1994 (paperback 1996). Food: A Culinary History, New York, Columbia University Press, 1999. Penguin Books, 2000 (edited with J.L. Flandrin). Italian Cuisine: A Cultural History, New York, Columbia University Press, 2003 (with A. Capatti). Food is Culture, New York, Columbia University Press, 2006. Cheese, Pears, and History in a Proverb. New York, Columbia University Press, 2010; Let the Meatballs Rest. New York, Columbia University Press, 2012; A cultural History of Food in the Medieval Age (editor), London-New York, Berg, 2012 [A cultural history of food, volume 2]; Italian Identity in Cooking, New York, Columbia University Press, 2013; Tastes of the Middle Ages. Food, cooking and the table, New York, Columbia University Press, 2014; A Short History of Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce, New York, Europa editions, 2019.
Sean Nelson’s research interests focus on cross-cultural dialogue between Early Modern Florence and the Islamic lands, predominantly the Mamluk Sultanate and the Ottoman Empire. He has received research fellowships and grants from the Kunsthistorisches Institute in Florence; the Max-Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin; the Getty Foundation, Los Angeles as a fellow of “Connecting Art Histories”; the USC-Early Modern Studies Institute at the Huntington Library, San Marino; the Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations, Koç University, Istanbul, co-sponsored by the Harvard Center for Renaissance Studies, Villa I Tatti, Florence; and the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Societies, and Humanities at the University of Cambridge (CRASSH).
He has published essays on the Medici collection of Islamic spoils in The Grand Ducal Medici and the Levant: Interlacing Cultures from Florence to the Eastern Mediterranean (1532-1743) (Brepols, 2016) among other related topics. He is also a contributor to the Marie Curie sponsored project Reading the Inventory: The Possessions of the Portuguese Merchant-Banker Emmanuel Ximenez (1562-1632) in Antwerp.
Silvio Pons is Professor of Contemporary History at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa and President of the Gramsci Foundation in Rome. He received his Phd in History at the University of Pisa. He has been a visiting Professor or Fellow at Columbia University, at the European University Institute, at the Hoover Institution in Stanford, at the Russian Academy of Sciences. He has extensively written on the Cold War, the Soviet Union, European Communism, and the global history of Communism. His main publications include Stalin and the Inevitable War (Frank Cass 2002); Reinterpreting the End of the Cold War (Frank Cass 2005); A Dictionary of Twentieth Century Communism (Princeton University Press 2010); The Global Revolution. A History of International Communism (Oxford University Press 2014). He is the General Editor of the Cambridge History of Communism (Cambridge University Press 2017). He has recently published I comunisti italiani e gli altri (Einaudi 2021).
Fiorenza Quercioli holds a degree in Modern Languages from the University of Florence and an M.A. in Teaching Italian as a Second/Foreign Language from the University of Venice. She received her PhD in Linguistics from the University of Florence in 2011.
Quercioli joined the Breyer Center for Overseas Studies in Florence in 1997, after teaching experiences with both international and American college students. She has served as a teacher trainer for both public and private institutions and, since 2003, she has been tutoring graduate students enrolled in the University of Venice’s M.A. Program in Teaching Italian as a Second/Foreign Language.
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 manual for beginners, “In alto! - A1” (Ornimi Editions, Athens, 2020) and “In alto! - A2” (Editions, Athens, 2021).
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’ 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.