Mary Sisler weaves an interdisciplinary approach into her teaching and research. Her academic interests include the artist-writers of the Cinquecento, the role of oral traditions and storytelling in early modern Italy and in the contemporary language classroom, and the use of popular songs and opera to teach Italian. Sisler has taught Italian at the graduate and undergraduate levels at various northeastern colleges and universities, most recently at Bryn Mawr College. She received her doctorate in Italian literature from Rutgers University with a dissertation on the Vita of Benvenuto Cellini, a 16th-century sculptor, goldsmith and writer. Her bacherlor's degree is from the CUNY Baccalaureate for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies.
Melissa Demos' areas of interest include early modern art, Renaissance civilization and culture, Dante studies and Italian women writers. She earned a bachelor’s degree in humanities from the California State University, Chico, and subsequently moved to Italy to study early modern history and art history at the University of Florence. After more than 12 years abroad, she returned to the U.S. and earned her master’s in Italian language and literature from the University of Pittsburgh. Demos is currently finishing her doctorate in Italian studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Her thesis, “Time and the Experience of Narrative in Italian Renaissance Art,” explores various expressions of temporal duration and polynarrativity in 15th-16th century painting and sculpture. She has taught Italian language and culture at UPitt and UTexas.