Michael Sherberg

Professor of Italian
PhD, University of California Los Angeles
    View All People

    contact info:

    office hours:

    • Tuesday and Thursday: 10:30AM - 11:30 AM
    Get Directions

    mailing address:

    • Washington University
    • CB 1077
    • One Brookings Drive
    • St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
    image of book cover

    ​Professor Sherberg’s areas of interest include Italian literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, as well as Italian prose after the Unification, particularly children’s literature.

    He has published articles on Boccaccio, Boiardo, Tasso, and Machiavelli, the canti carnascialeschi tradition in Florence, and the Italian questione della lingua. He is the author of Rinaldo: Character and Intertext in Ariosto and Tasso (Anma Libri, 1993) and The Governance of Friendship: Law and Gender in the Decameron, which The Ohio State University Press published in 2011. He published an edition of Tasso’s Rinaldo with Longo Editore in 1990, and the volume Approaches to Teaching Collodi’s Pinocchio and Its Adaptations for the MLA’s Approaches to Teaching World Literature series in 2006. During the 2006-2007 academic year he was a senior fellow with the National Endowment for the Humanities.

    Recently he edited (with Victoria Kirkham and Janet Smarr) Boccaccio: A Guide to the Complete Works, (University of Chicago Press, 2013). He is also completing a translation of Jacopo Passavanti’s Specchio della vera penitenza for the Da Ponte Library series published by the University of Toronto Press, and he has begun work on a book manuscript titled Per efficacissima signa: Ethical Readership from Dante to Ariosto.

    Boccaccio: A Critical Guide to the Complete Works

    Boccaccio: A Critical Guide to the Complete Works

    Long celebrated as one of “the Three Crowns” of Florence, Giovanni Boccaccio (1313–75) experimented widely with the forms of literature. His prolific and innovative writings—which range beyond the novella, from lyric to epic, from biography to mythography and geography, from pastoral and romance to invective—became powerful models for authors in Italy and across the Continent. This collection of essays presents Boccaccio’s life and creative output in its encyclopedic diversity. 

    The Governance of Friendship: Law and Gender in the Decameron

    The Governance of Friendship: Law and Gender in the Decameron

    The Governance of Friendship: Law and Gender in the Decameron by Michael Sherberg addresses two related and heretofore unexamined problems in the pages of the Decameron: its theory of friendship and the legal theory embedded in it. Sherberg shows how Aristotle’s Ethics, as well as Thomas Aquinas’s Summa Theologica, inform these two discourses, at the intersection of which Boccaccio locates the question of gender relations which is one of the book’s central concerns.