Courtney Quaintance

Courtney Quaintance

CRIA Fellow
Women, Performance, and Publication in Baroque Italy
Courtney Quaintance


Courtney Quaintance is an Associate Professor of Italian at Dartmouth College.  Her research explores the interplay between sexuality, power, and performance in early modern Italy; past projects have investigated the construction of masculinity in sixteenth-century invectives targeting prostitutes, erudite intertextuality in a play by the Venetian cittadina writer Moderata Fonte, and the self-fashioning of the poet and courtesan Veronica Franco.  Her recent book, Textual Masculinity and the Exchange of Women in Renaissance Venice (University of Toronto Press, 2015) examines how male poets consolidated and publicized their homosocial bonds through the exchange of fictional female bodies.

Project Summary

This book project focuses on how women’s voices were negotiated and heard in seventeenth-century Italy.  Reading both singing and writing as public performance, the book explores connections between the birth of opera, the emergence of the public prima donna, and writing by and about women.