tgiFHI: Kate Driscoll, "Heiress to Fiction: Marfisa and the Macabre Legacy of Chivalric Ferrara"

November 10, -
Speaker(s): Kate Driscoll
tgiFHI is a weekly series that gives Duke faculty in the humanities, interpretive social sciences and arts the opportunity to present their current research to their departmental and interdepartmental colleagues, students, and other interlocutors in their fields.

tgiFHI events take place from 9:30-11:00 a.m. on Friday mornings in the Ahmadieh Family Lecture Hall (C105, Bay 4, Smith Warehouse) with breakfast served beforehand.

Abstract -

This talk traces parallel developments in the myths and legends associated wit h the historical noblewoman, Marfisa d'Este (1554-1608), and her literary counterpart Marfisa, the warrior knight from Italian chivalric epic poetry. Through the Este princess's embrace of her cross-dressed poetic self in courtly performance, alongside the developments of the figure "Marfisa bizzarra" in mock epic, the intermedial afterlives of these two characters reinterpreted the virago's brazen, autonomous agency as nefarious, destructive desire. Refigurations of decadent-turned-grim Ferrara, the city whose poetry gave birth to both Marfisa figures, participated in these women's haunting reception from the fifteenth through twenty-first centuries.
Kate Driscoll is Assistant Professor in the Department of Romance Studies at Duke University.

More info coming soon!

Franklin Humanities Institute (FHI)


Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies; History; Romance Studies