Francesca Bortoletti

Assistant Professor

History of Medicine


Francesca Bortoletti is Assistant Professor at the Program of History of Medicine. She was trained at the University of Bologna and the Centre d’Etudes Supérieures de la Renaissance, Tours. In 2014, she was research fellow at The Italian Academy (Columbia University), successively at the University of Leeds as part of a European Research Council funded project, and visiting fellow at The Getty Institute in Los Angeles, the European University Institute in Florence, and La Normale in Pisa.

Francesca is the author of four books, two special issues, and several articles (~30) in peer-reviewed international journals or book chapters. Her scholarship spans a broad range of disciplines, including theater history, visual arts, literature, and social sciences in early modern society.

As new faculty member in the Program of History of Medicine, Francesca is extending her interdisciplinary approach across the arts and the sciences and designing new undergraduate courses in ‘early modern theater and medicine’ and in ‘arts and literature in the medical humanities’, with a specific focus on Leonardo da Vinci and the humanistic culture. In the fall 2019, she is organizing a series of events for the celebration of Leonardo’s 500th Anniversary of His death, including a one-week exhibit on Leonardo da Vinci and the Natural and Ideal Beauty of the Body (10/21-25) and a related workshop by the artist Mark Balma (10/24, 10:30am) at the Wangesteen Historical Library; and a talk by Carmer Bambach (curator at MET) on Leonardo da Vinci and His Unfinished works at the Pillsbury Auditorium, MIA (Sept. 5th 6:30pm).

A recent development of her research also focuses on digital humanities in order to explore and define new methodologies for analyzing, writing, and teaching historical phenomena. Francesca is directing an interdisciplinary research project, which has been supported among all by the Italian Academy, the Delmas Foundation, the Mellon Foundation-CSPW grant, and the Cini Foundation, and presented in the Italian Academy’s website. This model of Atlas has the potentiality to move toward a "living" digital project in the History of Medicine, allowing digitization to produce scholarly and teaching materials with collaborators in information technology and archival research, breathing new life into shared history of theater, art, medicine, and science.