Department Chair, Professor of Italian, Director of Italian Language and Literature, Director of Portuguese
Professor Westwater received her B.A. in Italian and English summa cum laude, with distinction in Italian, from the University of Pennsylvania, where she was also elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Italian Literature from the University of Chicago.
She joined The George Washington faculty in 2006 and was visiting researcher at Ca' Foscari (Venice) in 2014-2015. Her research interests include polemical writing in Early Modern Italy; Early Modern women's writing; letter writing; convent writing; Venetian culture; the Italian Jewish experience; plagiarism in Early Modern Italy; and cultural production in Italian border regions.
Her books include Sarra Copia Sulam: A Jewish Salonnière and the Press in Counter-Reformation Venice (2020) and numerous co-edited critical editions of early modern women’s writings: Arcangela Tarabotti’s Convent Paradise (with Meredith Ray, 2020), Ippolita Maria Sforza’s Letters and Orations (with Diana Robin, 2017), Tarabotti’s Letters Familiar and Formal (with Meredith Ray, 2012), and Tarabotti’s Lettere familiari e di complimento (with Meredith Ray, 2005). An edition of Tarabotti’s Tears for the Death of Regina Donà (with Meredith Ray) is forthcoming.
Professor Westwater’s work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, the J. William Fulbright Foundation, and the Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation. She has also received extensive support for her research from The George Washington University.