Anna Wainwright

Anna Wainwright

Office: Classics, Humanities, & Italian Studies, Murkland Hall, Durham, NH 03824

Anna Wainwright (Ph.D., New York University) is Assistant Professor of Italian Studies and Core Faculty in Women's and Gender Studies. Her research considers gender, race, politics, and emotion in medieval and early modern Italy. Her first book, “Widow City: Gender, Emotion, and Community in the Italian Renaissance,” (Delaware, 2024) investigates the cultural and political significance of widowhood in early modern Italy, stretching from Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio to the women poets of the Counter-Reformation; her publications include articles in The Italianist, Religions, and Spenser Studies. She is the translator of Leonora Bernardi’s pastoral tragicomedy "Clorilli", (University College London Press, 2023) and co-editor of the volumes "Innovation in the Italian Counter-Reformation" (Delaware, 2020), "Teaching Race in the European Renaissance: A Classroom Guide" (ACMRS, 2023), and "The Legacy of Birgitta of Sweden: Women, Politics and Reform in Renaissance Italy" (Brill, 2023). Her research has been supported by awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Research Council of Norway, the Renaissance Society of America, and the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation. She is a delegate to the MLA Assembly and chair of the Bibliography Committee for the Dante Society of America, and is on the editorial board of the journal Dante Studies.

Courses Taught

  • HUMA 511B: Medieval Humanities
  • ITAL 401: Elementary Italian I
  • ITAL 402: Elementary Italian II
  • ITAL 425: Intro to Italian Studies
  • ITAL 444B: Mamma Mia! Italian Motherhood
  • ITAL 444C: Honors/Feelings
  • ITAL 521: Mediev/Renaiss Italian Culture
  • ITAL 595: Practicum


  • Ph.D., New York University
  • M.A., New York University
  • B.A., University of Chicago

Research Interests

  • Gender and race studies
  • History of emotions
  • Italian women writers
  • Pastoral
  • Religious Studies
  • Renaissance History
  • Renaissance literature
  • Renaissance transnationalism
  • The Counter-Reformation
  • Early Modern rhetoric/literature

Selected Publications

  • Wainwright, A. (2022). Race in the European Renaissance: A Classroom Guide. A. Wainwright, & M. Chapman (Eds.), Arizona: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Retrieved from

  • Wainwright, A. (2021). Outdoing Colonna: Widowhood Poetry in the Late Cinquecento. In V. Cox, & S. McHugh (Eds.), Vittoria Colonna: Poetry, Religion, Art, Impact (pp. 95-113). Amsterdam University Press.

  • Wainwright, A. (2021). “Tied Up in Chains of Adamant”: Recovering Race in Tasso’s Armida Before, and After, Acrasia. Spenser Studies, 35, 181-212. doi:10.1086/711936

  • McHugh, S., & Wainwright, A. (2020). Innovation in the Italian Counter-Reformation. University of Virginia Press.

  • Wainwright, A. (2020). "The Fair Warrior in the City of Florence: Maddalena Salvetti's Poems to Christine of Lorraine". In A. Wainwright, & S. McHugh (Eds.), Innovation in the Italian Counter-Reformation. University of Virginia Press.

  • Wainwright, A. (2018). Teaching Widowed Women, Community, and Devotion in Quattrocento Florence with Lucrezia Tornabuoni and Antonia Tanini Pulci. Religions, 9(3), 76. doi:10.3390/rel9030076

  • Wainwright, A. (2017). A Simple Virgin Speaks: Authorial Identity and Persuasion in Isabella Cervoni's Oration to Pope Clement VIII. The Italianist, 37(1), 1-19. doi:10.1080/02614340.2016.1258877

  • Wainwright, A. (n.d.). Widow City: Gender, Emotion, and Community in the Italian Renaissance. Early Modern Exchange Series, University of Delaware Press. Retrieved from