Frassica and Marrone-Puglia knighted by Italian consul

Princeton professors Pietro Frassica and Gaetana Marrone-Puglia have been awarded the title of "Cavaliere dell’Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana" ("Knight of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic") by the Italian government.

Andrea Barbaria, Italian consul, knighted Frassica and Marrone-Puglia in a ceremony on March 12 at Princeton's Prospect House on behalf of Giorgio Napolitano, president of Italy. The order is the highest-ranking honor in the republic and was created in 1951. It is awarded for "merit acquired by the nation" in the arts, economy, literature, public service, and social, philanthropic and humanitarian activities.

Frassica, the associate chair of the Department of French and Italian and a former director of the Program in Italian Studies, has been a member of the Princeton faculty since 1976. He currently serves on the committee of Renaissance Studies, and his scholarly interests include Italian literature of the Renaissance, interdisciplinary relations between literary and visual traditions in the 18th century, contemporary literature, theater and gastronomy in literature.

Frassica is also the author of more than 80 articles on Italian literary history, and has written and edited several books. He was awarded the 2006 Val di Comino Prize for his 2004 book "Varianti e invarianti dell’evocazione" (Variants and Invariants in Evoked Themes), and has been appointed by the Italian government as an editor of the Edizione Nazionale (national edition) of the works of poet Giuseppe Parini.

Marrone-Puglia, former associate chair of the Department of French and Italian and former director of the Program in Italian Studies, has been a faculty member at Princeton since 1985. She is a scholar of modern Italian literature and postwar Italian cinema, with a focus on social-cultural and gender studies.

Marrone-Puglia has written and edited several volumes, and is general editor of a two-volume "Encyclopedia of Italian Literary Studies," published in 2007. She also has produced award-winning films, including a documentary feature in 1996 on Princeton’s intellectual and social history, "Images of a University," and "Zefirino: The Voice of a Castrato," a documentary film produced in 2007 that traces the artistic evolution of the famed castrati singers based on the 2004 senior thesis performance of former Princeton student Anthony Costanzo. Marrone-Puglia currently serves on the committees of the Program in Film Studies and the Program in the Study of Women and Gender.