Ombretta Frau is the Dorothy Rooke McCulloch Professor of Italian. Her scholarly interests include nineteenth and early twentieth-century Italian public intellectuals, modern philology, and Luigi Pirandello. She has published extensively on Pirandello, Vincenzo Cerami, Aldo Palazzeschi, Jolanda, Mantea, Sfinge, Mara Antelling, Italian fascism, motherhood, internet verbal violence against women, and Italian material culture. She has a blog on the Italian Huffington Post and she is former president of the Women’s Studies Caucus of the American Association for Italian Studies. 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).
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, Literature and Fascism; Liars, Pranksters and Jesters in Italian Theatre, and Elena Ferrante. Her classes incorporate many pedagogical tools, including film and music, and she believes in creating a relaxed and friendly classroom atmosphere that encourages communication.