College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > Modern Languages > Faculty > Italian > Gary Cestaro

Gary Cestaro


  • PhD - Romance Languages and Literatures, Harvard University: 1990.
  • MA - Romance Languages and Literatures, Harvard University: 1986.
  • BA - Comparative Literature and Italian; Northwestern University: 1983.


  • Italian language and culture
  • Medieval and Renaissance Italian literature
  • LGBTQ Studies
  • History of Sexuality

Gary Cestaro’s research interests include medieval and Renaissance Italian and comparative literature and the history of sexuality. He is the author of Dante and the Grammar of the Nursing Body (University of Notre Dame, 2003) and Queer Italia: Same-Sex Desire in Italian Literature and Film (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004). His essay on the twentieth-century Italian novelist Pier Vittorio Tondelli appeared in a recent issue of Modern Language Notes. His current research focuses on male same-sex desire in the humanist pedagogical tradition from Plato to Dante and beyond. Professor Cestaro is also Director of the LGBTQ Studies Program at DePaul.

Select Publications

  • “The Grown-Ups Are A Little Off.” Film review  of “The Kids Are All Right” (dir. Lisa Cholodenko, 2010) in: The Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide: A Bimonthly Journal of History, Culture, and Politics 18.2 (March-April 2011), pp. 48-49.
  • “Is Ulysses Queer? The Subject of Greek Love in Inferno 15 and 26” in: Dante's Plurilingualism: Authority, Vulgarization, Subjectivity. Ed. Sara Fortuna, Manuele Gragnolati, Jürgen Trabant. Oxford: Maney, 2010. Pp. 179-192.
  • “Self-Shattering in a Queerer Mirror: Gaze and Gay Selfhood in Pier Vittorio Tondelli,” Modern Language Notes 123, 1 (January 2008). Pp. 96-124.
  • Queer Italia: Same-Sex Desire in Italian Literature and Film. New York: Palgrave Macmillan/St. Martin’s, 2004.
  • Dante and the Grammar of the Nursing Body. The William and Katherine Devers Series in Dante Studies. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2003.


Winner of the 2010 Crompton-Noll Award for Best Essay in LGBTQ Studies for:

“Pederastic Insemination, or Dante in the Grammar Classroom” in: The Poetics of Masculinity in Early Modern Italy and Spain. Ed. Gerry Milligan and Jane Tylus. Toronto: University of Toronto Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 2010. Pp. 41-73.