Guido Ruggiero


Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles (1972);

Office: Rm. 627-B Ashe 
Phone: (305) 284-4120
Fields of Interest: Italian Renaissance, Gender, Sexuality, Literature, Microhistory


Guido Ruggiero, Professor of History and Cooper Fellow of the College of Arts and Sciences, was born in Danbury, Connecticut and grew up in Webster, New York, a small rural town along the old shore line of Lake Ontario. After earning a B.A. with a heavy focus on ancient history and philosophy at the University of Colorado, he went on to UCLA where as a University of California Regent's Intern Fellow he earned an M.A. (1967) and a Ph.D. (1972). As a Regent's Fellow he began his long love affair with Venice and the Venetian Archives in 1970 and has been returning there for his research ever since.  He makes his home in Treviso, Italy, when he is not teaching at UM.

Professor Ruggiero has published on the history of gender, sex, crime, magic, science and everyday culture, primarily in renaissance and early modern Italy. Early in his career he focused on social science history, but his interests have expanded toward yet more interdisciplinary approaches, including microhistory, narrative history, and the melding of literature, literary criticism, and archival history. His new book, The Renaissance in Italy: A Social and Cultural History of the Rinascimento, published by Cambridge University Press recently won the AAIS (the American Association for Italian Studies) prize for the best book of 2014 on premodern Italy.  A radical rethinking of the period, it has been hailed as a work that offers an exciting paradigm for the Italian Renaissance both as a period and a movement.  He has also published Violence in Early Renaissance Venice (Rutgers, 1980), The Boundaries of Eros: Sex Crime and Sexuality in Renaissance Venice (Oxford, 1985), Binding Passions: Tales of Magic, Marriage and Power from the End of the Renaissance(Oxford, 1993), Machiavelli in Love: Sex, Self and Society in Renaissance Italy (Johns Hopkins, 2007); as well as Sex and Gender in Historical Perspectives (Johns Hopkins, 1990), Microhistory and the Lost Peoples of Europe (Johns Hopkins,1991), and History from Crime (Johns Hopkins, 1993), edited with Edward Muir. In addition he has edited The Blackwell Companion to the Renaissance (Wiley-Blackwell, 2002) and Five Comedies from the Italian Renaissance (Johns Hopkins, 2003) translated with Laura Giannetti. He also edited the series Studies in the History of Sexuality (1985-2002) for Oxford University Press and was a co-editor of the six volume, Encyclopedia of European Social History for Scribner's (2002).  In addition to being a fellow or visiting professor at Harvard’s Villa I Tatti in Florence (1990-1991, 2012), the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton (1981-82; 1991), and at the American Academy in Rome (Fall, 2011), he has won a number of grants and fellowships including a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship (1990).   Ruggiero regularly teaches classes on the Italian Renaissance, the new social and cultural history, and the uses of literature for history.


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