Skip to main content

Janet Smarr

Emeritus Faculty

Janet Smarr
  • 9500 Gilman Dr
    Mail Code: 0344
    La Jolla , California 92093


Ph.D., Princeton University


JANET LEVARIE SMARR received her doctorate in Comparative Literature with a special focus on the Renaissance. After a year at Harvard as a Mellon Faculty Fellow, she taught for twenty years in the Comparative Literature and Italian Programs at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign before moving to UCSD.

Her publications include: Italian Renaissance Tales (winner of the American Assoc. of Italian Studies Best Translation Award), Boccaccio and Fiammetta: The Narrator as Lover, Boccaccio's Eclogues, and Joining the Conversation: Renaissance Dialogues by Women, along with dozens of articles on Italian writers of the 14th-17th centuries, relations between Renaissance writing and the Latin classics, and French and Italian women's writing in the 16th century. Most recently, she has published Louise-Geneviève Gillot de Sainctonge: Dramatizing Dido, Circe, and Griselda (2010) on the first woman to write libretti for the Paris opera as well as author of entertainments for the royal court and other plays. She has edited or coedited volumes of essays on Historical Criticism and the Challenge of Theory and Italian Women and the City, and has served on the editorial boards of the journals Italian Culture, Italica and California Italian Studies.

She currently teaches seminars on Italian comedy, madness in Renaissance culture and drama, and women in European theatre before 1700. She is also part of the intedepartmental Italian Studies Program.