Deborah Parker

Professor of Italian
Office Hours: 
On leave Spring 2024

Research Summary

Deborah Parker is Professor of Italian at the University of Virginia. Her research expertise and teaching focus on Italian and Mediterranean visual and print cultures in the medieval and early modern eras. She is the author of numerous monographs, articles, and collaborative projects in print and digital platforms. Her work has been supported by fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, Villa I Tatti—the Harvard Center for Italian Studies, Folger Shakespeare Library—and numerous others.


Ph.D., Harvard

M.A., University of British Columbia

B.A., University of Toronto



Sucking Up: A Brief Consideration of Sycophancy. .

Inferno Revealed: From Dante to Dan Brown. Co-authored Mark Parker (Palgrave Macmillan , 2013).

The DVD and the Study of Film: The Attainable Text. Co-authored with Mark Parker (Palgrave McMillan, 2011).

Michelangelo and the Art of Letter Writing. (Cambridge University Press, 2010).

Bronzino: Renaissance Painter as Poet (Cambridge University Press, 2000).

Commentary and Ideology: Dante in the Renaissance (Duke University Press, 1993).

Film & Digital Work

The World of Dante

Bronzino’s Erotic Imagination: The Lesson of ‘Del Pennello, Metropolitan Museum of Art, March 2011

A Hymn to Intellectual Beauty: Creative Minds and Fashion

Selected Articles

“Race and Foreign Languages,”  Insdie Higher Ed, 21 June 2018.

"JFK's Dante,"

"Bronzino’s Dante", Dante Studies 135 (2017): 156-78.

The Function of Michelangelo in Vasari’s Lives,

"Illuminating Botticelli's Chart of Hell," Modern Language Notes: Italian Issue 128 (2013):83-102. 

"Better than Giotto?" Source: Notes in the History of Art 32 (2013):1-4.

“Vasari’s Portrait of Six Tuscan Poets: A Visible Literary History,” Modern Language Notes 127 (2012):204-215.

“Bronzino’s Erotic Imagination: The Lesson of ‘Del pennello,’” forthcoming in Renaissance Studies in Honor of Joseph Connors, to be published with Olschki.

“Guidelines for the Evaluation of Digital Humanities Projects,” ADFL Bulletin 41 (2009):41-75.

“The Role of Letters in Biographies of Michelangelo,” Renaissance Quarterly 58 (2005):91-126.

“Bronzino and the Diligence of Art, ” Artibus et Historiae 49 (2004):1-14.

“New Perspectives on Japanese Prints: “The Moon Has No Home.” Japanese Color Woodblock Prints from the Collection of the University of Virginia Art Museum,” Virginia Quarterly Review 80 (2004):195-206.

“Directors and DVD Commentary: The Specifics of Intention,” co-authored with Mark Parker Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 62 (2004):13-22. Reprinted in The Philosophy of Film: Introductory Text and Readings (Blackwells: Oxford, 2005).

“Poetry of Patronage: Bronzino and the Medici,” Renaissance Studies 17 (2003):230-245.

“Italian Renaissance Art” Review article of Grove Encyclopedia of Italian Renaissance & Mannerist Art in Virginia Quarterly Review 78 (2002):175-77.

“Dante giocoso: Bronzino’s Burlesque Transformations of the Commedia,” Quaderni d’Italianistica 22 (2001):77-101.

“Edizioni e interpretazioni della Commedia nel Rinascimento,” in Pour Dante.

Dante et l’Apocalypse. Lectures Humanistes de Dante, ed. Bruno Pinchard (Paris, Honoré Champion, 2001), 295-303.

“The World of Dante: A Hypermedia Archive for the Study of the Inferno,” Literary and Linguistic Computing 16 (2001):287-297.

“Toward a Reading of Bronzino’s Poetry,” Renaissance Quarterly 50 (1997):1011-1044.

“Interpreting the Commentary Tradition to Dante’s Comedy” in Dante, Ed. Amilcare Iannucci (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997).

“Women in the Book Trade in Italy, 1475-1620,” Renaissance Quarterly 49 (1996):509-541.

Selected Grants & Awards

Sorensen Research Fellowship, John F. Kennedy Library (2015)

NEH Seminar for high school teachers on Dante’s Inferno: Influence, Adaptation, Appropriation (2014)

Visiting Professor, Villa I Tatti: Harvard Center for Italian Renaissance Studies (2009)
NEH Daniels’ Family Distinguished Teaching Fellowship (2008-11)

Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation (1993; 2006)

NEH Digital Humanities grant (2008-11)

University of Virginia Arts and Sciences Research Fellowship (2004, 2005, 2007, 2008)

Sesquicentennial Research Fellowship (1990, 1997, 2003)

Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, University of Virginia (1996)

University of Rome/Univ. of Virginia Fellowship (1987, 1992)

Villa I Tatti Fellowship (1992)

Folger Shakespeare Library (1990)

Last Name: 
Office Address: 
New Cabell Hall 429
Time Period: 
Faculty Type: