Raffaele Florio

Emeritus Professor

t 781-768-7000


PhD, Culture, Language, and Memory, Salve Regina University

MA, Cultural Anthropology, Brandeis University

MA, Medieval and Renaissance History, Providence College

BA, Social Science, Rhode Island College


Prior to joining Regis College, Dr. Florio taught at Salve Regina University, Community College of Rhode Island, St. Rocco Middle School in Johnston, RI, Holy Ghost Middle School in Providence, RI, and LaSalle Academy in Providence, RI. Dr. Florio founded and is the current Director of the Public Heritage Institute in Weston, MA. He is a member of many professional organizations including the Spellman Museum of Stamps & Postal History Board of Trustees, American Historical Association, Oral History Association, Northeast Anthropological Association and Conference on Christianity and Literature as well as historian/researcher for three organizations in Johnston, RI: The Johnston Historical Society, The Madonna dell Difesa Society, and Our Lady of Grace Parish.


Raffaele Florio and John Allard, “Friars, Merchants, and Monks: Fortunes and Misfortunes in Italy, 1436.” Medieval Encounters was scheduled for publication in the January 2012 issue; however, due to illness we missed the deadline to submit final edits. We are in the process of resubmitting.

Raffaele Florio, You May Love the Sea but the Sea is not Your Friend. This monograph evaluates cultural memory of medieval and pre-Christian roots in a contemporary Mediterranean fishing village weighing myth, ritual, and oral history with the written and material record. Planned to submit prospectus in summer 2013.

Raffaele Florio, “The Envious Glance: The Cultural Significance of the ‘Evil Eye’ in Southern Italian Tradition.” This traces the historical and religious roots of il Mal’occhio in Mediterranean culture and places the tradition in the context of the modern, “western” narrative. This paper is currently being reviewed.

Raffaele Florio, “Emergence of the ‘European’ in Nineteenth Century Literature.” This paper explores the concept of European cultural identity as identified in nineteenth century literature and social science; it will also discuss the historical roots of this movement. This paper is currently being reviewed.

Raffaele Florio, “Importing La Festa: Cultural Memory in Italian-American Communities.” This essay will serve as the introduction to an edited volume analyzing various festivals in communities throughout the United States (Athens Institute for Teaching and Research Press). In addition to co-editing this work, and I hope to contribute a chapter based on fieldwork I’ve been conducting in collaboration with the Johnston Historical Society on La Festa della Madonna della Difesa, an Italian import, rich in oral history, and separated from its original form (still celebrated) by 101 years.

Raffaele Florio, primary investigator, Madonna della Difesa: A Century’s Worth of Memory.I have been invited by the executive officers of the Madonna della Difesa Society and Monsignor Carlo Montecalvo, pastor of the associated sanctuary, Our Lady of Grace in Johnston, RI to complete an oral history of the society, parish, and sanctuary (one of three in the world) in order to publish this book on the occasion of the parish’s centennial in 2013.

Raffaele Florio, editor, Cultural Memory in the Modern Mediterranean, (Athens, Greece: Athens Institute for Education and Research Press (ATINER), forthcoming Spring 2013).

Raffaele Florio, editor, Love, Friendship, Marriage: 32nd Annual Medieval and Renaissance Forum at Plymouth State University (April 15-16, 2011) (Weston: PHI Press 2012).

Raffaele Florio, “Rhode Island,” Contemporary Immigration: A State-by-State Encyclopedia, ed. Kathleen R. Arnold, (ABC-CLIO, 2012).

Raffaele Florio, “Reviving the Great Conversation: Using Raphael's School of Athens as a Model for Modern Higher Education,” History of Education (December 2010).

Raffaele Florio, “Geometry: Measuring its Historical impact,” Discovery and Invention: A Historical Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Science. Contracted chapter. M.E. Sharpe, Final draft accepted 2009. (Final draft has been accepted; publisher has put the project on hold).

Raffaele Florio, “Time Keeping: Universal Mechanization.” Discovery and Invention: A Historical Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Science. Contracted chapter. M.E. Sharpe, Final draft accepted 2009. (Final draft has been accepted; publisher has put the project on hold).

Raffaele Florio, “Bridging the ‘Two Cultures:’ A Renaissance Reinvention,” Journal of Contemporary Thought. v. 29 (Summer 2009): 39.


Raffaele Florio, “The History of Nursing Education in Lucerne County” (invited external reviewer at Museum Exhibit, Public History Program, Misericordia Univeristy, Dallas, Pennsylvania, June 13-14, 2012).

Raffaele Florio, “Negotiating Diverse Heritages: Perspectives from Five European Field Sites” (invited discussant at Council for European Studies: Annual Conference, Boston, March 22-24, 2012).

Raffaele Florio, “Prophecy, Divination, Apocalypse” (Forum advisory council member, Plymouth State University’s 33rd Medieval and Renaissance Forum, April 20-21, 2012).

Raffaele Florio, “Ecocritical Approaches to Shakespeare,” (Session chair at The Conference on Christianity and Literature’s Northeast Regional Conference,) “Ecocriticism and Christianity in Literature” (participant in the full two-day conference at Regis College, October 21-22, 2011).

Raffaele Florio, “Love, Friendship, Marriage” (moderator of “Same-Sex Love and Friendship,” organizer of “Engaging the Disengaged: A Workshop on Connecting ESL, LD and Disinterested Students to Medieval and Renaissance Studies,” presenter of “Teaching with Ethnographic Analogy: Tony Soprano on the Middle Ages,” research supervisor and session organizer for “Undergraduate Poster Session,” (seven Regis College students presented papers in this session; Sarah McNult won an award for her project, “The Evil Eye: Cultural Resilience and Christian Conformity”), and forum advisory council member at Plymouth State University’s 32nd Medieval and Renaissance Forum, April 15-16, 2011).

Raffaele Florio, “The Fishermen’s Rebellion: Memory and the Reassertion of Power” (presenter at Oral History Association’s National Conference, Atlanta, October 29, 2010).

Raffaele Florio, “Time, Temporality, History,” (Moderator of “Philosophy of History,” Moderator of “Historiography,” Organizer of “Undergraduate Poster Session,” and Research Supervisor for Maria Pino, Shannon Tonelli, Sarah McNult, Michelle Zakrzewski, Regis College (Undergraduate Honors) at Plymouth State University’s 31st Medieval and Renaissance Forum, April 16-17, 2010).

Raffaele Florio, “Cultural Memory in a Mediterranean Village: ‘The Sea is not your friend’” (presenter at 3rd Annual International Conference on Mediterranean Studies, Athens Institute for Education and Research, Athens, Greece, March 31, 2010).

Raffaele Florio, “Friars, Merchants, and Monks: Renaissance Fortunes and Medieval Misfortunes in 15th Century Italy” (presenter at the 44th International Congress on Medieval Studies, May 7-10, 2009).

Raffaele Florio, “Dreams, Imagination, Fantasy” (presenter at “Where did the Goddess Go? Visual Culture and the Sacred Feminine,” and research supervisor for “Crucified Bride? Caterina, the Cloister, and the Curious Crowd,” by Elena Taylor-Garcia, Salve Regina University (Graduate Student) at Plymouth State University’s 30th Medieval and Renaissance Forum, April 24-25, 2009).

Raffaele Florio, "Mediterranean Hellenism and the CULTure of Christianity" (invited speaker at St. Joan of Arc Parish: Church History Lecture Series, Cumberland, Rhode Island, March 2009).

Raffaele Florio, “Holistic History and Public Heritage” (Presenter at Northeast Anthropological Association’s Annual Conference, March 13, 2009).

Raffaele Florio, “Mal'occhio: A Wary Gaze” (invited speaker at Johnston Historical Society, February 25, 2009).


Historiography; Historiography; Historical Theory; Interdisciplinary Pedagogy; Ethnohistory and Anthropological History; Memory, Religion and Folklore; Cultural Continuity; Oral History; Mediterranean Culture; Immigration and Cultural Resilience; Magna Græcia; Southern Italian History and Culture; Renaissance Humanism; Religion and society; Humanities education.

Humanities Department

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Weston, MA 02493
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