Brandon Essary completed his PhD in Italian Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2012. His dissertation title was "The Economy and Parody of Matrimony in Boccaccio’s Decameron," and reflects several research interests: Boccaccio, the Decameron, and matrimony in medieval and early modern Italy. He also studies, writes on, and enjoys teaching the lives and works of Dante and Petrarch. He is interested in innovative approaches to teaching Italian language and literature. For instance, Prof. Essary teaches Italian language through paleography and calligraphy. He teaches medieval and Renaissance literature with video games (e.g. Dante's Inferno and the Assassin's Creed franchise, respectively).
Samuele F. S. Pardini holds a Laurea degree in Letters and Philosophy from the Universita' degli Studi di Pisa, Italy, and an M.A. and a Ph.D in Comparative Literature from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Dr. Pardini's teaching and research interests focus on 20th century Italian studies, Italian American studies, American studies, cinema and literary criticism. He edited and translated into Italian two collections of writings of the famed critic Leslie Fiedler title Vacanze Romane: Un critico americano a spasso nell'Italia letteraria (Donzelli 2004) and Arrivederci alle armi (Donzelli 2005). He also edited The Devil Gets His Due: The Uncollected Essays of Leslie Fiedler (Counterpoint 2008; paperback edition 2010).
Dr. Pardini's work appeared in Annali d'Italianistica, Italian Americana, Modern Fiction Studies, American Book Review, The Cambridge History of Christianity, The New Catholic Encyclopedia, Interdisciplinary Humanities, The Grapes of Wrath: A Reconsideration (Rodopi 2009; Michale Meyer editor) and other publications. He's currently writing a book called In the Name of the Mother, a study of the trope of the mother in 20th century Italian, Italian American and African American literature and popular culture. A second work in progress, called Modernity on Wheels: Speed and Automobile Culture from Futurism to Fascism and the New Deal, examines the theme of speed in automobile culture of the first half of the 20th century in Italy and the United States. Before coming to Elon, he taught at UCLA and Vanderbilt University.
Dr. Pardini is also the coordinator of the American Studies Program and Faculty-in-Residence of the Honors Pavilion.