Donatella Stochhi-Perucchio is an associate Professor of Italian who teaches Italian literature, language and culture in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures. She was born and grew up in Arezzo, Italy. “I breathed the same air that Dante, Petrarch and Boccaccio breathed,” she said. She has been teaching for 30 years – 20 years at UR, five years at Cornell University and five years in Italian high schools. She earned a Doctorate in Slavic Philology from the University of Florence. “I spent a lot of time in Poland before coming to the United States with my husband Renato Perucchio, who is also a professor at UR,” she said.They both received their Ph.D.s from Cornell University. They have two daughters who are bilingual and bicultural. The oldest has been accepted to UR.

What inspired you to teach?”My passion for a life of learning. That is what teaching, in addition to research, is all about for me.”

What motivated you to pick your particular subject?”My cultural identity is something that evolves dynamically in the interaction with other cultures. Being a specialist in the field of Italian in America enables me to use that interaction as the platform for my intellectual pursuits.”

What has been the most rewarding experience for you teaching at UR?”I have had many rewarding experiences. Building a full fledged Italian program from scratch within the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures, creating and leading the UR Semester Program in Arezzo, Italy, teaching Dante, sharing ideas with great colleagues, being instrumental for the intellectual growth of extraordinary students.”

Where is your favorite destination to travel to and why? “We travel a lot to Italy, back and forth. Our professional life of teaching and research is based on both countries. I also traveled to a number of European countries, to the Middle East and to Thailand and Taiwan. I like to travel with some knowledge of the language spoken in the place I am visiting. I like to relate to people directly and understand their point of view on reality. Language is an invaluable tool in that respect.”

If you weren’t a professor, what would you want to be instead?”Many things such as a polyglot free lance writer, a journalist, a photographer, a designer or a chef.”Woo can be reached atmwoo@campustimes.org.



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