Master of Arts in Liberal Studies
Emily Francomano

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Emily Francomano

Emily C. Francomano is Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and Senior Scholar for the Digital Humanities in the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship. She is also a core faculty member of the Global Comparative Literature Program and an affiliated faculty member of the Global Medieval Studies Program.

Francomano's scholarly interests revolve around the intersections of medieval and Early Modern literature, translation, gender studies, manuscript culture, and book history. She is currently completing Storied Genders, a new history of the querelle des femmes (debate on women) and working in collaboration with Clara Pascual-Argente on Mixed Lives, an edition and translation of a fourteenth-century collection of hagiography and romance. Francomano and Pascual-Argente published The Iberian Apollonius of Tyre (Dumbarton Oaks/Harvard UP) in 2024.

Francomano's The Prison of Love: Romance, Translation, and the Book in the Sixteenth Century (University of Toronto Press, 2018), explores how the Spanish sentimental fiction Cárcel de amor blossomed into a transnational and multilingual phenomenon that captivated audiences throughout Europe at a time when literacy was expanding, and print production was changing the nature of reading, writing, and literature itself. It offers the first comparative study of this sixteenth-century best-seller as a transcultural, humanist fiction. Blending literary analysis and book history, this study provides a richly textured history of the translations, material books, and artifacts that make this tale of love, letters, and courtly intrigue an invaluable prism through which the multifaceted world of sixteenth-century literary and book cultures are refracted.

The Triumph of Ladies/Triunfo de las donas (Medieval Feminist Forum, 2016; Winner, SSEMW Edition in Translation Prize, 2017), is a translation, bilingual edition, and study of the first pro-feminine work in the Spanish querelle des femmes. The Triumph of Ladies, (ca. 1440), written in support of the political career of María of Aragon, queen consort of Juan II of Castile, is a prime example of how texts from the debate on women, though filled with familiar commonplaces, are situated within specific political and cultural contexts that reveal the flexibility of convention and endow the old authorities with new meanings.

Three Spanish Querelle Texts, (Toronto CRRS, 2013; reprinted ACMRS 2016) is a study, translation, and bilingual edition of key works from the medieval Iberian debate on women. Situating Juan de Flores' Grisel y Mirabella, and Pere Torrellas' Maldezir de mugeres, and the Defensa de las donas in intertextual dialogue, Three Spanish Querelle Texts also studies their historical contexts and international afterlives.

Francomano's first book, Wisdom and Her Lovers in Medieval and Early Modern Hispanic Literature, published in Palgrave’s New Middle Ages Series (2008), analyzes the ubiquitous personification of Wisdom, its history of reception, and the gendered constructions of knowledge in thirteenth- through seventeenth-century wisdom literature, hagiography, and fiction.

Francomano is the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Program for Cultural Cooperation Between Spain's Ministry of Culture & United States' Universities, and a Fulbright Fellowship.