Meet the Florence Instructors

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


Autumn 2019-20: Richard Saller (Classics); Tanya Luhrmann (Anthropology)
Winter 2019-20: Jonathan Berger (Music)
Spring 2019-20Mark Hlatky (Health Research & Policy and Medicine)

Academic Year 2019-2020 Local Instructors 

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).

Francesca Banchi


Francesca Banchi holds a B.A. in Foreign Languages and Literatures from the University of Florence, an M.A. in Chinese Language and Culture from the University of Venice, and a second Master’s Degree in Teaching Italian as a Second/Foreign Language. Banchi has worked for both private institutions and International Universities. Prior to joining Stanford University she lived in Shanghai and taught Italian as a foreign language to Shanghai Jiaotong University students.

Banchi’s classes are focused mainly on communication: culture, grammar and vocabulary are always presented through a communicative approach and through the use of teaching materials that are custom designed and adjusted to every class in order to keep the students focused on their learning and to help them improve their language skills.

Stefano Becucci


Stefano Becucci is Associate Professor of General Sociology at the University of Florence, Department of Social and Political Sciences, where he teaches, both at the undergraduate and graduate level, Sociology, Sociology of Migration, and Sociology of Deviance. He is also a member of the Ph.D. board in International Criminology at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan. He has been a consultant for the National Council of Economy and Labour (CNEL) for which he published a research report on Chinese crime in Italy (2011). His research interests are on the migration processes in the European Union and Italy. More specifically, he researches forms of inclusion and exclusion of migrants in the hosting societies, discrimination, xenophobia and racism against foreigners, smuggling and trafficking of human beings, exploitation of migrants in the labour and sex markets, foreign organized crime and Mafia-type associations in Italy and in other Western countries. His recent publications include: Ethnography of the Fast Fashion Community: Chinese Entrepreneurs in Prato, in S. Guercini et al (eds), Native and Immigrant Entrepreneurship, Springer, 2017; Multi-National Populations in Europe: Migration, Policies and Classifications of Migrants, in P.A. Modesti et al (eds), Ethnic Diversities, Hypertension and Global Cardiovascular Risk, Springer 2018.

Elena Baracani


Elena Baracani is Associate Professor in Political Science at the University of Bologna, where she teaches Europe in World Politics, EU Institutions, and the workshop on EU foreign policy. She is also Deputy Director of the Master Programme in International Relations and part of the academic board of the PhD Programme of Political and Social Sciences. She has been Visiting Professor at the Stanford Program in Florence since 2011. Her research interests focus on EU foreign policy. She received her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Florence in 2006, and in 2008 won a European Union Institute for Security Studies Visiting Fellowship and a post-doc research grant in the framework of the 'European Foreign and Security Policy Studies' Program. She has taught BA, MA, and PhD courses in Political Science at both Italian and American universities (University of Florence, University for Foreigners of Perugia, Istituto Italiano di Scienze Umane, LUISS, Rutgers University, Kent State University, and California State University).

Laura Calvelli


Laura Calvelli holds a degree in Communication from the University of Siena, and a DITALS level II Certification (Certification of Competence in Teaching Italian to Foreigners) from the Università per Stranieri di Siena.

Calvelli, who has been teaching Italian as a foreign language since 2006, uses a communicative method and her courses are always focused on both the Italian language and culture. With this approach, grammar and vocabulary are also always presented in a communicative context.

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 studied economics at La Sapienza University in Rome (B.A. cum laude) and at Columbia University in New York where she also obtained an M.A., MPhil and Ph.D. in Economics.

She was a Member of the Council of Economic Advisors at the Ministry of Economy and Finance, for over ten years, focusing on macroeconomics and public finance. She was also in charge of the interaction with Eurostat, the European Commission, OECD and the IMF.

She currently lectures on European economic policy issues at Stanford University (The Breyer Center for Overseas Studies) in Florence and Libera Università degli Studi Sociali Guido Carli (LUISS) in Rome at the Department of Political Science and at the Business School. Since April 2015, she has been an Independent Member of the Board of Directors, of the Compensation Committee and of the Risks Committee of Cementir Holding Spa (Rome). She is also a Member of the “Osservatorio per i Conti Pubblici” at the Cattolica University in Milan.

She lived in Frankfurt for seven years and during that time she published a political biography of Angela Merkel: “Il Metodo Merkel”, (2009, Marsilio Editori). She later published “Il Caso Germania”, (2013, Marsilio Editori) and “L’Austerità fa Crescere” (2017, Marsilio Editori).

Paolo Galluzzi (On Leave for 2019-20 Academic Year)


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.

Gustavo Gozzi


Gustavo Gozzi is full professor of History of Political Doctrines and Justice, Multiculturalism and Human Rights at the University of Bologna, where he is currently Professor Alma Mater. He is a member of CIRSFID – The Interdepartmental Centre for Research in the History, Philosophy and Sociology of Law, and in Legal Informatics, as well as on the Advisory Board of the King Abdulaziz Chair for Islamic Studies, both at the University of Bologna.

He has been visiting professor at a number of institutions including the Faculté de Droit et des Sciences Politiques at the Université de Tunis El Manar, Tarragona University Rovira i Virgili, Marmara University in Istanbul, and at the University of Peloponnese in Corinth, Greece.

He is member of the journal Scienza & Politica, on the Advisory Board of Jura Gentium at the University of Florence’s Centre of Philosophy of International Law and Global Policy, and a member of the Italian Association of Historians of Political Thought. He is also Editor in Chief of the journal Athena: Critical Inquiries in Law, Philosophy and Globalisation, and Director of the series Democracies, Rights, Constitutions published by Il Mulino. Gozzi lectures widely and is a prolific author, his most recent publication is Rights and Civilizations: A History and Philosophy of International Law (Cambridge University Press, 2019).

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.

Silvio Pons


Silvio Pons is Professor of Contemporary History at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa and the President of the Gramsci Foundation in Rome. He has written extensively on the Cold War, the Soviet Union, European Communism, and the global history of Communism. His main publications include Stalin and the Inevitable War (Frank Cass 2002); Reinterpreting the End of the Cold War (Frank Cass 2005); A Dictionary of Twentieth Century Communism (Princeton University Press 2010); The Global Revolution. A History of International Communism (Oxford University Press 2014). He is also the General Editor of the Cambridge History of Communism (Cambridge University Press 2017).

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.

Almudena Romero


Almudena Romero holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice in Art Design and Communication from the University of the Arts London, an M.A Photography from the University of the Arts London, and a degree in communication from the University Complutense of Madrid. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and has extensive teaching experience both inside and outside academia.

Romero works with a wide range of photographic processes from early printing techniques such as cyanotype, salt printing or wet plate collodion, to new technologies including 3D scanning and printing. Her practice uses photographic processes to reflect on issues relating to identity, representation and ideology; such as the role of photography in the construction of national identity, or the link between photographic archives and colonialism. Romero’s work focuses on how photographic processes and technology transform the notions of public, private, individuality, identity, memory, and touch on how perception affects existence and how photographic processes contribute to organising perception.

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 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.