- Dorothy Rooke McCulloch Professor of Italian
- Chair of Romance Languages and Cultures
Ombretta Frau is the Dorothy Rooke McCulloch Professor of Italian. Her scholarly interests include nineteenth and early twentieth-century Italian public intellectuals, Luigi Pirandello, and the material culture of literature. She has published extensively on Pirandello, Jolanda, Mantea’s Hawaiian journal, Sfinge, Mara Antelling, Annie Vivanti, Flavia Steno, Matilde Serao, Dacia Maraini, Aldo Palazzeschi, Vincenzo Cerami, Italian fascism, motherhood, the connection between language, gender and violence on the internet, and the relationship between fascism and culture. With Temple University’s Cristina Gragnani, she is the author of the critical edition of Luigi Pirandello’s Taccuino di Harvard (Mondadori, 2002) and Sottoboschi letterari. Sei case studies fra Otto e Novecento: Mara Antelling, Emma Boghen Conigliani, Evelyn, Anna Franchi, Jolanda, Flavia Steno (Firenze University Press, 2011). Her most recent publications include articles on the Giamatti Dante Collection at Mount Holyoke, and on Matilde Serao’s correspondence.
Frau has taught at Boston College, Rice University, and Harvard University, where she received excellence in teaching awards. At Mount Holyoke, she teaches both language and literature courses, including courses on Children’s Literature, Travel Literature, the Short Story, Italian Food culture, Literature and Fascism; Italian Theatre, and Elena Ferrante. Her classes incorporate many pedagogical tools, including film, music and museum collections, and she believes in creating a relaxed and friendly classroom atmosphere that encourages discussion and communication.
Frau is the recipient of the 2022 Meribeth E. Cameron Faculty Award for Scholarship at Mount Holyoke.
Areas of Expertise
modern Italian literature; Italian women writers; history of Italian culture; Luigi Pirandello
- Ph.D., A.M., Harvard University
- M.A., Boston College
- University of Cagliari, Italy, Laurea