Elisa Brilli

Associate Professor, Italian Studies
Carr Hall 211



Department of Italian Studies

Fields of Study

Areas of Interest

Dante, Medieval Italian Literature, Medieval receptions of Augustine’s De civitate Dei, Medieval Cultural History, Text-Image Studies, Manuscript Studies


Elisa Brilli is Professor of Italian Studies at the Department of Italian Studies at the University of Toronto since 2015. She is a specialist in Dante studies, with an interest in the interactions between history and literature, medieval exemplary literature, and historiography.

Her monograph Firenze e il Profeta (Rome: Carocci, 2012) provides the first comprehensive analysis of the depiction of Florence in Dante’s works from three perspectives: its dialogue with civic memory, its reshaping of theological paradigms, and its autobiographical implications. She is also the chief editor of the critical edition of the Alphabetum Narrationum by Arnold of Liège, a 14th-century collection of 800 exemplary tales (Turnhout: Brepols, 2015). She is the co-editor of a number of collective volumes (Faire l'Anthropologie Historique du Moyen Age, Atelier du CHR, 2010; Images and Words in Exile, Florence: SISMEL, 2015; Agostino, Agostiniani e Agostinismi nel Trecento Italiano, Ravenna: Longo, 2018; The Dominicans and the Making of Florentine Cultural Identity (13th-14th centuries), Florence: FUP, 2020), and the author of various articles and essays relevant to Dante, Boccaccio, the reception of Dante's works and the reception of Augustine's De civitate Dei in medieval and early modern culture.

Before joining the University of Toronto, Brilli worked as a junior lecturer at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (Paris, France) and as a post-doctoral fellow at a variety of Canadian and European research institutes and universities (Ambizione Post-Doctoral, Swiss National Science Foundation/Romanische Seminar, University of Zurich, Zurich (Switzerland), 2014-2017; F. Braudel Post-Doctoral Fellow, Maison des Sciences de l'Homme/Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris (France), 2013; Post-Doctoral Fellow, Grepsomm, UQAM, Montreal (Canada), 2012; Post-Doctoral Fellow, Kunsthistorisches Institut -MPG in Florenz (Germany/Italy), 2010-2011).


Ph.D. in History and Civilization/Literature, Linguistics and Philology, "La Sapienza" Rome (Italy) and Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris (France), 2009.
MA (Tesi di Laurea di Vecchio Ordinamento) in Literature and Philosophy, "La Sapienza" Rome (Italy), 2004.

Administrative Service

Centre for Medieval Studies, Ph.D. Coordinator (phdcoordinator.medieval@utoronto.ca)