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Ramie Targoff

Ramie Targoff


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Ramie Targoff is the Jehuda Reinharz Professor of the Humanities, professor of English, and co-chair of Italian Studies at Brandeis University (Waltham, MA, US). She is co-leading the project Petrarch in Global Translation: A Genealogy of Western Love.

Born in New York City, Targoff studied English literature at Yale University (BA) and the University of California, Berkeley, where she completed her PhD in 1996. She was assistant professor at Yale University until 2001, when she moved to Brandeis University. Between 2010 and 2020, she was the director of Brandeis’s Mandel Center for the Humanities. She has been a visiting professor at Merton College, Oxford University; Villa I Tatti, Florence; and the University of Global Health Equity in Rwanda. Targoff is the recipient of fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin, and she was the Renaissance Scholar in Residence at the American Academy in Rome.

Targoff is the author of five books on Renaissance English and Italian literature: Common Prayer: Language and Devotion in Early Modern England (2001), John Donne, Body and Soul (2008); Posthumous Love: Eros and the Afterlife in Renaissance England (2014); Renaissance Woman: The Life of Vittoria Colonna (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2018); and Shakespeare’s Sisters: How Women Wrote the Renaissance (2024). She is also the translator of Sonnets of Widowhood: Vittoria Colonna’s 1538 Rime. Her work has focused primarily on traditions of lyric poetry; the relationship between poetry and religious expression, especially the impact of Protestantism on literary practice; and women’s writing in Renaissance England and Italy.

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