Faculty Biographies

Silvia Ruffo Fiore

Adjunct Instructor, Emerita

Silvia Ruffo Fiore


Office: CPR 301-F
Phone: 813/974-9511
Email: sfiore@usf.edu


  • Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh; Post-doctoral Research in Italian Studies, Universita’ per Stranieri; Fulbright Research Scholar, University of Rome


Professor Ruffo Fiore received her Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature with distinction from the University of Pittsburgh. She also matriculated at the University of Rome, Facolta’ di lettere, on a Fulbright Fellowship where she studied Renaissance Anglo-Italian literary studies with Mario Praz, Natalino Sapegno, and Umberto Bosco. She received post-doctoral training in the Italian language, culture, and literature at the Universita’ per Stranieri in Perugia, Italy. She has been awarded the Andrew Mellon Fellowship, NEH Research Fellowship, NEH Summer Institute Grants for research at Duke and Emory, several grants from the USF Center for Teaching Enhancement, USF Research Council, USF President’s Council, and has been a guest researcher at Harvard. She received several teaching awards from the State of Florida and USF as well as the coveted State of Florida Professorial Excellence Program Award in recognition for her academic accomplishments over the period of her service to USF as a full professor. She has achieved international distinction for her innovative teaching approach and was selected Jerome Krivanek Distinguished Teacher. The National Society of Collegiate Scholars at USF also conferred the “My Favorite Professor Award.” She was likewise awarded the University’s highest honor, “Professor Emerita”.

She specializes in classical, medieval, and early modern comparative literature and interdisciplinary literary studies, with particular emphasis on Homer, Virgil, Dante, Boccaccio, Petrarch, Machiavelli, and Montaigne. Her other areas of teaching expertise include medieval and early modern Franco-Anglo-Hispano-Italian literary, historical, political and cultural relations; early modern humanistic philosophy and pedagogy and its cultural legacy; women in history and literature; 16th and 17th  century English literature; 18th century European philosophical thought, especially that of Giambattista Vico; pedagogy; and British, Continental, and American women writers. She teaches courses in classical and early modern literature, including the epic, utopian literature, the sonnet, the novella, among others. She has taught in the USF English Department Honors Program and in the USF Honors College. She has also had visiting teaching appointments at the State of Florida Florence, Italy Study Center, St. Leo University, and Hillsborough Community College.

Professor Ruffo Fiore has a prolific publication record with four internationally recognized books, including Donne’s Petrarchism: A Comparative View, and Niccolo’ Machiavelli. She was awarded a $65,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and additional grant support from USF for the compilation of a monumental and international acclaimed 3,000 item, 850 page Annotated Bibliography of Modern Scholarship on Niccolo’ Machiavelli. She has published numerous refereed articles and book chapters in English and Italian and has presented over 200 papers at scholarly conferences in the United States, Canada, England, Scotland, and Europe. Her on-going projects include a comprehensive study of Renaissance Humanism and the Education of Women in the Italian Courts and Image, Imagining, and Imagination in the Political Writings of Niccolo’ Machiavelli. She continues to do scholarly research and writing on Dante, Boccaccio, Petrarch, on the Humanities in contemporary society, the concept of genius as reflected in the early modern period, and most recently has added Montaigne to her list of favorite writers.

Area of Specialty

Classical, medieval, and early modern comparative literature; interdisciplinary literary studies; women writers; the contextual and contemporary ramifications of classical and early modern humanistic thought and pedagogical practice