Dr. Traversa is a Professor of Italian in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures and is the director of the Humanities Program in the College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences. For thirteen years he served as Chair of the Department. He teaches an array of courses, not only for the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, but also for the Department of English, for the Women's Studies Program, and for the Humanities Program. These courses, most of which he has created, include Italian language, literature and culture at all levels, elementary and intermediate Latin, Dante's Divine Comedy, the era of Petrarch and Boccaccio, the Humanities series I-II-III, Literature of the Holocaust, The Problem of Evil and the Holocaust, Adultery and Literature, and Women of the Classics. He also taught for several years on language teaching methodology for the Department of Teacher Education.
Dr. Traversa has published extensively, both in the field of language methodology and literature. His most notable publications include the three editions of the successful first-year Italian language textbook, Parola e Pensiero: Introduzione alla Lingua Italiana Moderna, and the second-year Italian language textbook, Idioma in Prospettiva: Profili da Il Gattopardo. He is also the author of Luigi Capuana, Critic and Novelist, Racconti di Alberto Moravia, and Frequency Dictionary of Italian Words (co-author). His most recent books are The Laude in the Middle Ages, an edition, translation and analysis of a fourteenth century Italian manuscript containing a number of laude (religious praises in verse) composed in the general area of Arezzo and Cortona (Central Italy), Giovanni Boccaccio, Theseid of the Nuptials of Emilia (Teseida delle nozze di Emilia) that introduces the translation of an edited medieval text of the first Italian epic poem with an introduction and critical analyses, and Three Italian Epistolary Novels, Foscolo, De Meis, Piovene, Translations, Introductions, and Backgrounds.
For many years Dr. Traversa presented live, weekly editorials on the Italian-language television program Re di Cuori, in San Francisco, which he co-hosted in collaboration with RAI-TV, Italian National Radio and Television. In 1986 he was awarded the title, Cavaliere nell’Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana (Cross of Knight of the Order of Merit), in recognition of long-standing service and achievements in the academic world and in the broader community. He was also honored in the 2000 edition of Who's Who Among America's Teachers.
- Dottore in lingue, 1949, Istituto Universitario Orientale, Naples, Italy
- Ph.D., 1963, Romance Languages and Literatures, University of California, Los Angeles
Not teaching this quarter.