Rebecca Messbarger, AWF president 2008-09, is an associate professor of Italian in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures.
Her first book, The Century of Women: Representations of Women in Eighteenth-Century Italian Public Discourse (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002), studies the expansive discourse about women among Italian Enlightenment thinkers and the counter-discourse women authors produced to assert their own authority over constructions of femininity and the public sphere.
Additionally, she along with Paula Findlen edited and translated The Contest for Knowledge for the University of Chicago Press series and “The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe” series. Her book, The Lady Anatomist: The Life and Work of Anna Morandi Manzolini (University of Chicago Press, 2010) reclaims from obscurity the story of a pioneering anatomist and anatomical wax modeler.
Messbarger has been the recipient of a Fulbright fellowship, a Mellon Foundation “New Directions” fellowship and grants from the National Endowment of the Humanities and the American Philosophical Society. She is the mother of three children: Graham, Max and Audrey.