Nancy L. Canepa

Academic Appointments

Associate Professor of French and Italian

My teaching and research centers on early modern Italy (1550-1700). I'm particularly fascinated by the development of new literary forms and languages during this period, in genres that range from the fairy tale to the mock epic to the travelogue.  Related interests include seventeenth-century Naples, dialect literature, the history of the European fairy tale, and translation.  I regularly teach courses in beginning language, and on early modern Italian literature and culture, fairy tales, and translation.

337 Dartmouth Hall
HB 6087
Comparative Literature
French and Italian
Medieval and Renaissance Studies
Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
B.A. Cornell University
M.A. Yale University
M.Phil. Yale University
Ph.D. Yale University

Selected Publications

The Enchanted Boot: A Cultural History of the Italian Fairy Tale Through Its Tellers. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, in press.

Teaching Fairy Tales. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2019.

"The Formation of the Literary Fairy Tale in Early Modern Italy, 1550-1636." In Fairy Tale World. Ed. Andrew Teverson. New York, Routledge, 2019. 

Giambattista Basile, The Tale of Tales or Entertainment of Little Ones. (Translation, introduction, and notes.) New York: Penguin Books, 2016 (re-edition).

"What It Takes to Win in the Fairy Tale: Trickster Heroes in 'The Boy Steals the Ogre's Treasure.'" In Cambridge Companion to the Fairy Tale.  Ed. Maria Tatar.  New York: Cambridge UP, 2015.


"The Translation of Enchantment." In Marvelous Transformations: An Anthology of Tales and New Critical Perspectives. Ed. Jennifer Schacker and Christine A. Jones. Peterborough, ON: Broadview Press, 2013. 

"The Everyday Marvelous of G.B. Basile's Neapolitan Fairy Tales." The Folklore Historian 30 (2013).

"Literature in Naples, 1500-1800." In The Companion Guide to Early Modern Naples. Ed. Tommaso Astarita.  Leiden: Brill, 2013.

"Little Heroes, Epic Transformations: Giulio Cesare Cortese's Neapolitan Mock Heroic." California Italian Studies 3.1 (2012).

From Court to Forest: Giambattista Basile's "Lo cunto de li cunti" and the Birth of the Literary Fairy Tale. Detroit: Wayne State UP, 1999. Winner of Marraro and Scaglione Prize in Italian Studies (MLA) and Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award (ALA).

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Works in progress

Castore Durante, Il Tesoro della sanità  (The Thesaurus of Health, 1586). Critical translation (in progress).

Baroque Metamorphoses: Cultural Turns in Seventeenth Century Naples (in progress).