Nancy L. Canepa

|Associate Professor
Academic Appointments

Associate Professor of French and Italian

My teaching and research center on early modern Italy (1550-1700) and the European fairy-tale traditiion; I'm particularly fascinated by the development of new literary genres, languages and traditions during this period and beyond. Related and other interests include seventeenth-century Naples, dialect literature, translation, folkore, and mafias. My first critical monograph, From Court to Forest: Giambattista Basile's Lo cunto de li cunti and the Birth of the Literary Fairy Tale, explored the groundbreaking first collection of fairy tales in Europe, and was the winner of the MLA Marraro and Scaglione Prize for Italian Studies. Other books include Out of the Woods: The Origins of the Literary Fairy Tale in Italy and France and Teaching Fairy Tales, and the translations The Tale of Tales by Giambattista Basile, The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi, and The Enchanted Boot: Italian Fairy Tales and Their Tellers (short-listed for the Italian Prose in Translation Award). My current projects are a critical monograph on the Italian fairy-tale tradition, Magic Italy: Place, Identity, and the Italian Fairy Tale; a scholarly ediiton and English translation of Emma Perodi's ninteenth-century classic collection Grandma's Stories: Fantastic Fairy Tales, and an edition/translation of Castore Durante's Renaissance wellness manual, The Treasure of Health. I regularly teach courses on early modern Italian literature and culture, fairy tales, translation, and mafias.


Dartmouth Hall, Room 213H
HB 6087


  • B.A. Cornell University
  • M.A. Yale University
  • M.Phil. Yale University
  • Ph.D. Yale University

Selected Publications

  • The Enchanted Boot: A Cultural History of the Italian Fairy Tale Through Its Tellers. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2022. 

  • "Votata a llengua nosta: Baroque Naples and The Language Question." Quaderni d'Italianistica 42, no. 2 (2021).

  • Teaching Fairy Tales. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2019.

  • "The Formation of the Literary Fairy Tale in Early Modern Italy, 1550-1636." In Fairy Tale World. Ed. Andrew Teverson. New York, Routledge, 2019. 

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Works In Progress

  • Magic Italy: Place, Identity, and The Italian Fairy Tale (in progress).

  • Emma Perodi, Le novelle della nonna: Fiabe fantastiche (Grandma's Stories: Fantastic Fairy Tales,1892). Scholarly edition and translation (in progress).

  • Castore Durante, Il Tesoro della sanità  (The Treasure of Health, 1586). Scholarly edition and translation (in progress).