Lisa Di Crescenzo

Lisa Di Crescenzo is a PhD Candidate at the School of History, Queen Mary University of London. Prior to joining Queen Mary, she was trained in late medieval and Renaissance Italian history (BA, Hons; M.A.) at Monash University, Australia.  The subject of Lisa’s doctoral dissertation is the Italian vernacular-authored correspondence of the Florentine patrician émigré Luisa Strozzi (1434-1510) to her exiled sons. The thesis will provide the first extensive critical analysis of this correspondence.

In her DEMM Project, Lisa focuses upon Luisa Strozzi’s use of the technology of letter-writing and the Italian vernacular. Using a small sample of these stand-alone texts, she examines the mechanics of the vernacular in Luisa’s familiar letters, including layout, punctuation, the grammar of the spoken word, marginalia, and written linguistic uniformity and variation. The letters contain a hybrid of Italian dialects: Florentine, Venetian and Ferrarese, reflecting Luisa’s native and adopted dialects following her migration from Florence. A further goal of the project is to examine through the online sample letter group the extent to which Luisa’s use of the vernacular was influenced by contemporary Tuscan or non-Tuscan varieties, and to offer a preliminary hypothesis regarding the linguistic variations to which the women of exiled menfolk in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Italy could be subjected.