banner USF Home College of Arts & Sciences OASIS myUSF USF A-Z Index

USF Home > College of Arts and Sciences > Department of English

Silvia Ruffo Fiore

Silvia Ruffo Fiore

Silvia Ruffo Fiore
Adjunct Instructor


Office: CPR 301-F
Phone: 813/974-9511


Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh; Post-doctoral work, Universita per Stranieri; Fulbright Research, 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 in 2003 was named Jerome Krivanek Distinguished Teacher. The National Society of Collegiate Scholars at USF also conferred the “My Favorite Professor Award.” In 2004 she was 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, and Machiavelli. 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 English Department Honors Program and is a member of the USF Honors College Faculty where she teaches Arts and Humanities. She has also taught at the State of Florida Florence 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 NEH 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 conference in the United States, Canada, England, Scotland, and Europe. Her current projects include Renaissance Humanism and the Education of Women in the Italian Courts and Image, Imagining, and Imagination in Machiavelli. She is also currently writing on Dante, Boccaccio, Petrarch, on the Humanities in contemporary society, and the concept of genius as reflected in the early modern period.

Specialty Area

Classical, medieval, and early modern comparative literature; interdisciplinary literary studies; women writers; classical and early modern humanistic and pedagogical philosophy