Dr. Giovanna Summerfield received her PhD in Romance Languages and Literatures, with a Minor in European and Mediterranean Studies, from the University of Florida. She has also attended the University of Maryland, University of Catania, Italy and La Sorbonne, Paris, France. She has published and presented extensively on the long eighteenth-century (1660-1830) French and Italian literature (emphasis on Sicilian writers), religious and philosophical movements, and women's studies. Among some of her works include Sicily and the Mediterranean: Migration, Exchange, Reinvention (2015), Scholarship in Action: Communities, Leaders and Citizens(2013), The Politics of Poetics: Poetry and Social Activism in Early-Modern through Contemporary Italy (2013), New Perspectives on the European Bildungsroman (2010).
Serving as Professor of Italian and French in the department of Foreign Languages and Literatures as well as Associate Dean for Educational Affairs in the College of Liberal Arts, at Auburn University, Dr. Summerfield has been instrumental in the creation of several summer and semester study, exchange, and internship programs in France, Italy, England, Wales, Ireland, Korea, China, and Argentina (she created the Taormina, Italy study program in 2005, and directed it for 6 years with great success, providing an interdisciplinary curriculum and community engagement opportunities to all students enrolled), in the implementation of the Language Across the Curriculum program and the Italian government grant that awarded the Italian Studies program, where she served as undergraduate advisor of Italian Studies and faculty advisor of the Italian Club, and in the foundation of the Mediterranean Studies Research Group, which sponsors speakers, conferences, and seminars related to the area. She was appointed Erasmus Mundus Visiting Scholar for 2011-2012 and 2014 for the European Master Course TEMA, European Territories (Civilization, Nation, Region, City): Identity and Development Consortium (University of Prague, University of Catania, EHSS Paris, France). In 2014 she delivered the inaugural lectio magistralis at the University of Catania, titled “Struggle of identity in a Globalizing/Globalized World.” In November 2015, she was one of the guest speakers at The Idea of the Mediterranean International Conference at Stony Brook University.
Dr. Summerfield is also a published poet and short novel author, an editor and reviewer for several academic journals and language textbooks. Prior to serving in academia, she worked for import and export companies in Italy and the UK, and for the U.S. Air Force. She is fluent in 6 languages.