Meet the Florence Faculty

Classes at the Florence Program are taught by local faculty, the Director, and by one Stanford Faculty-in-Residence per quarter. The majority of our faculty are full professors with tenure at Italian universities, or, have served in prominent positions in local government, policy organizations, or research institutes.


Autumn 2018-19: Ken Goodson (Mechanical Engineering); Laura Dahl (Music)
Winter 2018-19: Pamela Karlan (Law)
Spring 2018-19Dan Edelstein (French and Italian)

Local Faculty

Maurizio Ambrosini


Maurizio Ambrosini is professor of Sociology of Migration at the University of Milan, Department of Social and Political Sciences, ISPI Scientific Advisor and chargé d’enseignement at the University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis (France). In his Department, he has furthered the creation of L.I.M.eS. (Laboratory in Immigration, Multiculturalism and Society). He is also editor of the journal Mondi Migranti, the first Italian journal in this field, member of the scientific committee of the Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies, and of several Italian sociological journals and periodicals.

He served as a consultant to the Italian Parliament and was a member of the National Advisory Board for the Integration of Immigrants at the Ministry of Social Solidarity. In July 2017 he was appointed member of the National Council of Economy and Labour (CNEL).

His main areas of interest are the labor market of immigrants, irregular migrations, migration policies, and refugee studies. He is the author of more than 200 books, articles, and essays in these fields, translated and published all over the world, and in leading scientific journals. His handbook, "Sociologia delle migrazioni", is used widely as a textbook at many Italian universities. Among his most recent publications are "Irregular Immigration and Invisible Welfare", published by Palgrave in 2013 and "Europe: No Migrants land?" (ISPI, 2016).

Elena Baracani


Elena Baracani is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Bologna, Department of Political and Social Sciences, where she currently teaches Comparative Politics. She is also a Lecturer at and the Scientific Secretary of the Ph.D. Program in Political Science at the Istituto Italiano di Scienze Umane in Florence.  She received her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Florence in 2006, and in 2008 won a post-doc research grant at the prestigious 'European Foreign and Security Policy Studies' Program funded by the Compagnia di San Paolo, the Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, and the VolkswagenStiftung.  She was Deputy Director of the Italian Research Centre for European Studies at the University of Florence and has taught B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. courses in Political Science at both Italian Universities (University of Florence, University for Foreigners in Perugia, Istituto Italiano di Scienze Umane, and LUISS in Rome) and American Universities (Rutgers University, Kent State University, and California State University). Her research interests focus on EU studies, democratization studies, and conflict studies.  She is the author of a monograph on the EU and Democratization in Turkey (Rubbettino, 2008), and of a forthcoming volume on the EU and the prevention of ethno-political conflicts.  She also edited a collection entitled '”Democratization and Hybrid Regimes: External Anchoring and Domestic Dynamics in European Post-Soviet Countries” (EPAP 2010), and has published many book chapters and articles on EU external relations with acceding and neighboring countries.

Nigel Bennet


Nigel Bennet is a British-American artist and educator specializing in photography, video and social-practice. As an undergraduate, he studied Southeast Asian Languages and Social Anthropology at the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies and he holds a postgraduate degree in Conceptual Photography from the Escuela de Fotografia Centro de la Imagen in Madrid. More recently he read for an M.A. in Continental Philosophy at Staffordshire University in the UK.

Although the outcome of Bennet's artistic practice is most frequently photographic, his work is largely collaborative in nature and is intended to instigate relationships of intersubjective reflection and exchange between himself, the participants and each other. This process often necessitates extended periods of social research 'in the field' before the production of images can commence.

Bennet has conducted long-term community art projects in many different countries - from Australia and Colombia to Italy and Japan - and his work has been shown in numerous galleries, museums and festivals the world over. Recent exhibitions include Hakuro an Itoshima Almanac at MACRO (Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome) as part of FOTOGRAFIA Festival Internazionale di Roma and the 2016 edition of the Singapore International Festival of Photography. Bennet has also written and directed several short films that have screened at prestigious international festivals such as the Cannes Film Festival in France and IFFR in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Bennet's current research interests include the parallel histories of anthropology and photography; the photographic representation of The Other; and the uses and distribution methods of photographic imagery. He has taught photography in various institutions from the Americas to Europe and the Asia-Pacific region and regularly writes on photographic matters for several international publications.

Ermelinda M. Campani


Ermelinda M. Campani has been Director of Stanford’s Breyer Center for Overseas Studies in Florence since 1993. A native of Emilia Romagna, she earned a Master’s degree and a Ph.D. both from Brown University. Prior to joining Stanford University, she taught courses at both Brown and the Rhode Island School of Design and served as acting director of the Brown University Program in Bologna, Italy. She has been a member of the steering committee of the Association of American College and University Programs in Italy from 1993 until 2010.

She teaches three film classes at the Stanford Center. Her areas of research include: contemporary Italian cinema, early silent cinema, 1930s and 40s cinema, classical Hollywood cinema, and post-structuralist film theory. Her publications include a monographic work on Bernardo Bertolucci, a book on cinema and the sacred (translated into French in 2007), and a book on cinema’s representations of the human body. She is currently working on filmic iconography and is also exploring interesting cross-pollinations between U.S. and Italian cinemas.

Veronica De Romanis


Veronica De Romanis received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from Columbia University. She is, at present, teaching undergraduates European Fiscal Policy at the Università Europea in Rome as well as an M.B.A. course, on the European Financial Crisis, at the Libera Università degli Studi Sociali (Luiss) in Rome. From 2001-2007 she served as a member of the Council of Economic Advisors for the Italian Ministry of the Economy and Finance.

She is the author of Il Caso Germania: Così la Merkel salva l'Europa(Marsilio Editori, 2013) and Il Metodo Merkel: il Pragmatismo alla Guida dell'Europa
(Marsilio Editori, 2010) and is a frequent contributor to Italian Newspapers, web sites and weekly magazines (Il Messaggero, Aspenia, Panorama, FirstonLine). De Romanis is also a member of the Financial Account Working Party (Eurostat), the Board of the Società per lo Sviluppo del Mercato dei Fondi Pensione (Mefop), and the Comitato di Indirizzo e Coordinamento dell'Informazione statistica (Istat).

Paolo Galluzzi


Paolo Galluzzi studied under Eugenio Garin at the University of Florence where he received his Ph.D. in 1968. From 1970 to 1980, he was a Researcher at the Lessico Intellettuale Europeo in Rome where he was in charge of digitizing Galileo’s monumental Lessico delle Opere. He was subsequently appointed Professor of the History of Science at the University of Siena and, from 1994 to 2010, he was a Full Professor of History of Science at the University of Florence. Professor Galluzzi has also held visiting professorships at Harvard University, Princeton University, UCLA, New York University, the University of Hamburg, the Centre Koyré, and the Ecole des Haute Etudes (Paris).

Galluzzi has been Director of Florence’s Museo Galileo (formerly the Institute and Museum of the History of Science) since 1982. He is a member of the Royal Academy of Science in Stockholm and the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei. His numerous publications focus on the activity of Renaissance scientists and engineers, on science during the Renaissance and the Scientific Revolution, on scientific terminology, on the activities of Galileo and his school, on the history of the European scientific academies and on the birth and history of the historiography of science. His studies have also included the history of scientific instrumentation, of scientific museums and of scientific heritage.

During the past 15 years he has been involved in the preparation of multimedia applications designed as resources and tools for researchers and the public alike.

Iside Gjergji


Iside Gjergji holds a Ph.D. in the Sociology of Migration and Cultures from the University of Salento and a law degree from the University of Bari. She is a lecturer at the University of Venice Ca' Foscari and is a lecturer and permanent member of the academic board of the M.A. Program in Immigration and Transformation of Society (University of Venice). Her research interests focus on various aspects of the migration phenomenon, such as administrative detention centers of immigrants in Europe, institutional racism, authoritarian management of migratory movements in Italy, as well as the legal and social conditions of immigrant minors in Italy, Spain, and France. More recently, her research has also focused on: the contradictions between the market economy's spread as a global and unique form of civilization and the giving out of its (abstract) universalism; “infra-law” issues and social consequences of these 'new' (neoliberal/postmodern) ways of producing rules; and institutional federalism and the way it has become a vehicle of new inequalities in Italy. In addition to migration studies, her research also includes studies of political and cultural issues in the Mediterranean area and social movements in North Africa following the 2011 uprisings. She has been invited to deliver numerous keynote addresses nationally and internationally and published a number of articles and books on governance, migration, and immigration. Gjergji has also worked as a criminal lawyer, consultant and senior expert for different Italian regional governments and is often called upon to participate in international collaborative projects concerning migration issues.

John Hooper

John Hooper was born in Westminster in the UK and educated at St Benedict’s School in London at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, where he obtained an honors degree in History. In his first year at university, he travelled to the breakaway state of Biafra to help make a television documentary on the Nigerian Civil war.

After graduating, Hooper worked for the BBC and in 1973 became Diplomatic Correspondent of the then newly established Independent Radio News. The following year he began his career as a foreign correspondent when he went to Cyprus after the Turkish invasion of the island to report for a number of news organizations including the BBC, the Guardian, The Economist and NBC.

In 1976, after the death of Spain’s dictator, Francisco Franco, Hooper was asked by the Guardian to become its correspondent in Madrid. Over the next three years, he covered the country’s transition from dictatorship to democracy.

After a spell on the London staff of the Guardian during which he also presented the BBC World Service program, Twenty Four Hours, Hooper returned to Spain as correspondent for the Guardian, Observer and Economist.

In 1994, he went to Italy for the first time as Southern Europe Correspondent for the Guardian and Observer. From 1999 to 2003 he was Central Europe Correspondent for the same two papers, based in Berlin.

Since 2003, he has been The Economist’s correspondent in Italy and for the Vatican. He is also a Contributing Editor of the Guardian and Observer.

His latest book, The Italians, was published by Penguin in the UK and Viking in the US in 2015.

Sebastiano Maffettone


Sebastiano Maffettone is Professor and Dean of the Political Science Department at Luiss Guido Carli University (Rome) where he teaches Political Philosophy and Theories of Globalization. He has taught at several Italian universities (Turin, Palermo and Rome) as well as at Harvard, Columbia, Boston College, Tufts, and the University of Pennsylvania (among others). Maffettone graduated summa cum laude from the University of Naples and he completed his graduate studies in social philosophy at the LSE.

Maffettone is a frequent contributor to major Italian newspapers such as Corriere della Sera, Il Mattino, Il Messaggero, Il Sole24ore, and magazines such as Panorama, L’Espresso and Reset. Maffettone also founded and has edited philosophy journals (Notizie di Politeia and Filosofia e questioni pubbliche) and research centers (Centro per la Ricerca e lo Studio dei Diritti Umani and Center for Ethics and Global Politics). He is also the founder of the Società italiana di filosofia politica (the Italian Political Philosophy Society).

Maffettone is a prolific author and two of his books, Il valore della vita (1998), and Etica pubblica (2001) bridge the gap between applied ethics and political theory. Together with Ronald Dworkin, Maffettone published I fondamenti del liberalismo (2008) in which the two authors present their –sometimes contrasting – views of liberalism. His most recent book is a solid and comprehensive introduction to the thought of John Rawls (Rawls: An Introduction, Polity Press 2010). An expert on bioethics, Maffettone was a member of the first Italian ethical commission in a hospital, under the direction of Umberto Veronesi at the Istituto Tumori, based in Milan.

Michele Papa


Michele Papa is Full Professor of Criminal Law and of Comparative Criminal Law at the University of Florence.  He was Dean of the Law School (2006-2009) and Vice President of the University from 2009 to 2011 when he moved to Columbia Law School as visiting professor for the Fall semester. He was also Visiting Professor at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. (Fall 2003) and Academic Visitor at King’s College (London, 1995) and at De Paul University College of Law (Chicago, 1984-1986). 

Among his most relevant publications, in Italian, are Lezioni di diritto penale comparato (co-authored with F. Palazzo, Giappichelli, 2013), and a book on “multiple punishment of criminal conducts”  (Le qualificazioni giuridiche multiple, Giappichelli, 1997) and a number of articles and essays, including most recently Criminal Complicity(2013), Single or multiple offenses(2013), Comparative Criminal Law(2012), Crimes against property(2011), Enemy Criminal Law(2009). He is co-director of the Italian main Criminal Law treatise, Trattato di diritto penale, (UTET); member of the editorial board of the Law Review, Criminalia, and Co-director of the law books Series, Quaderni di diritto comparato, internazionale ed europeo” (Giuffrè). His present research interests focus on the Theory of Comparative Criminal Law, on Law and Semiotics and on the development of Criminal responsibility paradigms in the social and normative context. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Institute of Higher Studies in Criminal Sciences (Syracuse, Italy) and of the Scientific Board of UNICRI (United Nations Interregional Crime and Research Institute) Master’s Program in International Criminal Law. He has also been a scientific consultant for the United Nations and the European Union Commission.

Fiorenza Quercioli


Fiorenza Quercioli holds a degree in Modern Languages from the University of Florence, an M.A. from the University of Venice, and a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Florence. She has extensive experience teaching Italian as a second/foreign language and as a teacher trainer, and has worked for several Italian institutions, both public and private. She also tutors graduate students enrolled in the teaching Italian to foreign students M.A. Program at the University of Venice. She is an active member of several professional associations including AATI (American Association of Teachers of Italian) and ILSA (Insegnanti di Italiano Lingua Seconda Associati).

Quercioli has published several articles relating to the teaching and acquisition of Italian as a second/foreign language, as well as didactic material. She has co-authored an Italian language manual for intermediate students entitled L’Italiano all’Università (Edilingua, Roma, 2013).

Her courses are strongly focused on communication and culture so that grammar and vocabulary are always presented in a communicative context. Through the analysis of material such as songs, newspaper articles, video clips, and literature, students are guided to develop basic and integrated language skills.

Filippo Rossi


After receiving a degree with high distinction in art history from the University of Florence, Filippo Rossi earned a certificate in “Planning and Managing Cultural Events and Enterprises” at the Arts International University of Florence. In 1990, he enrolled at the “Scuola Libera del Nudo” of the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence where he worked with Maestro Vignozzi. Since 1997 Rossi has also worked with Professor Mons. Timothy Verdon in the Archdiocese of Florence’s office, which deals with catechesis through art.

A well-known painter, Rossi has had solo art exhibits in Milan, Bologna, Venturina, Florence, Barcelona, Trento, and Parma, to name a few. Recent awards include the “Under 30 Awards” for Etruriarte 10 and the XVI Italian award for the visual arts, held in Palazzo Pretorio, Certaldo.

Filippo Rossi has been teaching painting and drawing to Stanford students since 2000 and helping them organize an art exhibit at the end of each quarter. Rossi is president of Ars et Fides – Firenze, a prestigious organization which aims at sharing the deeper meaning of religious art and monuments to visitors thanks to a network of volunteer guides. Rossi also writes art reviews for several magazines specializing in art and art history, including FlashArt, Il Corriere dell’Arte, Next, D’ARS Agency, Eco d’Arte Moderna, Il Giornale dell’Arte, Firenze Informa, and Toscana Oggi. He also works for, a website devoted to painting and drawing, and is artistic consultant for, a Florence-based web agency. He has also authored several catalogues for Italian painters such as E. Savelli, T. Bonanni, A. Bimbi, G. Risito, and A. Facchini.

Rossi recently completed an important commission for a chapel at Careggi, Florence’s University Hospital, and is currently working on a project for the new Meyer Pediatric Hospital. Rossi also represented Italy at the VI International Biannual Festival of Contemporary Art in Florence (2007).

Timothy Verdon

Interview with Timothy Verdon

A Ph.D. from Yale University, Timothy Verdon is a former Fulbright Fellow, Chester Dale Fellow (National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.), and Fellow of the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies in Florence (Villa I Tatti). Director of the Florence Cathedral Museum, he is the author of books on religious iconography and articles on Renaissance artists, including Masaccio, Donatello, Michelozzo, Piero della Francesca, Ghirlandaio, Verrocchio, Leonardo da Vinci, Bramante, Raphael, Michelangelo, Pontormo, and Frà Bartolomeo.

His most recent publications include:

  • Maria nell’arte fiorentina, (Mandragora, 2002);
  • Arte e catechesi: La valorizzazione dei beni culturali in senso cristiano (EDB, 2002);
  • Vedere il mistero: Il genio artistico della liturgia cattolica (A. Mondadori, 2003);
  • Maria nell’arte europea (Electa, 2004);
  • Cristo nell’arte europea (Electa, 2005);
  • La Basilica di San Pietro: I Papi e gli artisti (A. Mondadori, 2005);
  • Michelangelo Teologo (Ancora, 2005);
  • L’Arte cristiana in Italia. vol. I-III., (Ed. San Paolo, 2005-2008);
  • Attraverso il Velo: Come leggere un’immagine sacra (Ancora, 2007);
  • Arte nella vita della Chiesa (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2009);
  • Arte della Preghiera (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2010).
  • San Francesco negli affreschi di Giotto a Assisi", UTET, Torino 2011;
  • "Caravaggio e l'avventura della fede" (ed. with A. Paolucci, Edizioni Musei Vaticani (Città del Vaticano) 2011;
  • "Bellezza e Vita. La spiritualità nell'arte contemporanea", (ed.)Edizioni San Paolo, 2011;
  • "Kunst im Leben der Kirche" (German language edition of "L'arte nella vita della Chiesa, Città del Vaticano 2009), Verlag Schnell & Steiner, Regensburg 2011;
  • "Breve storia dell'arte sacra cristiana", Queriniana, Brescia 2012; "Firenze cristiana. Commini di fede e arte", Mandragora, Florence, 2012.
  • La Cappella Sistina, Edizioni Musei Vaticani (in press)

He has taught art history at Yale, Syracuse University, Florida State University, and Georgetown. The six art history courses he teaches at the Stanford center, which normally enjoy the program’s highest enrollment figures (and best evaluations!), engage students in a deep analysis of Italian Renaissance masterpieces through on-site classes, which Verdon likes to describe as “street theater.”

Professor Verdon is also a Roman Catholic priest who serves as a canon of the Florence Cathedral, and he is director of the Diocesan Office of Sacred Art and of the Diocesan Art Collection.