Gabriela Dragnea Horvath

Gabriela D Horvath

Gabriela Dragnea Horvath
  • B.A., University of Bucharest
  • M.A., Germanic Philology, University of Bucharest
  • Doctorate in English Literature, University of Florence
  • Ph.D., Philosophy, Freie Universitat Berlin

Biographical Information

After taking her M.A. in Germanic philology with distinction Gabriela Dragnea Horvath had a part-time employment at the English Department of the University of Bucharest, attended the Academy of Journalism and worked as editor of cultural programs for the German department of Radio Bucharest World Service. She published essays, short stories and poetry translations in the main Romanian cultural magazines and was awarded a prize for literary criticism (1984) and a prize for short-stories (1989). When her family moved to Florence, she completed a dissertation on religious and philosophical ideas in Shakespeare at the University of Florence, thesis published in 2003. She is currently preparing the defence (in German) of her philosophy thesis on Shakespeare and John Dee: Theatre and Magic in the Elizabethan Renaissance (written in English), for a PhD in philosophy at the Institut für Philosophie, Freie Universität Berlin. She has participated in various international conferences, has delivered over twenty lectures for universities and cultural institutions in Florence, Bologna, Rome and Bucharest, is active in the community of the British Institute in Florence and the Association of Scholars at the American Universities in Italy, contributes to The Florence Newspaper as writer and editor. She is proficient in five modern languages and has a good understanding of medieval Latin and Italian, Middle and Early New High German, Middle and Early Modern English.

Research Interests

Medieval Studies: Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas in Dante's Divine Comedy, speculative mysticism - Meister Eckhart, Heinrich Seuse, Margareta Porete, The Cloud of Unknowing, Walter Hilton, Julian Norwich, the medieval understanding of love, religious and gender identity in Chaucer, Petrarca, Boccaccio, Christine de Pizan, sainthood and demonization.

European Renaissance: Neoplatonism, Gnosticism, experimentalism and early modern science, theo-philosophical ideas in literature, magic in the philosophia perennis and in literature. The impact of the Italian Renaissance on the Elizabethan culture. Renaissance anthropology. The Renaissance as a cultural construct. The Dark Renaissance.

Shakespeare: Christian, Aristotelean and Platonic ideas in his sonnets and plays, the medieval,  Renaissance and Protestant paradigms in his works, Shakespeare's approach to nature, love, reason, free will, the power of words, creativity. Italy and Europe in his plays. Ethical issues in Shakespeare and Dante. The ethics of violence in the tragedies.



  • Authored: Shakespeare ermetismo, mistica, magia, Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, Rome, 2003
  • Co-authored volume of short stories: Epic Preludes, Eminescu Printing Press, Bucharest, 1990.
  • Co-translated with Adriana Varga, Stuart Friebert, introduction by Nobel Prize winner Seamus Heaney: Marin Sorescu, Hands behind My Back, Field Translation Series 18, Oberlin College Press, Ohio, 1991.

Essays in books:

  • The Neo-Renaissance Spirit in the volume Italian Literature at the Millenium End, Edizioni Giubbe Rosse, Florence, 1996.
  • Santuari magici a Firenze nella prima età moderna, Magical Sanctuaries in Early Modern Florence, in the volume I luoghi del sacro, Florence, Polistampa, 2008.


  • The Brightest Heaven of Invention: Renaissance Platonism, Word and Creativity in Shakespeare, publications of the Center of Excellence for the Study of Cultural Identity, New Europe College Bucharest.
  • L'encyclopédie comme instrument du traducteur. Sur la Tipocosmia d'Alessandro Citolini, in the volume De la traduction parfaite. Philosophie et art du traduire du Seizième au Dix-huitième siècle, ed. Charles Le Blanc, Luisa Simonutti, Droz, Geneva.

Essays, short stories, book reviews, poetry translations, interviews with prominent scholars and writers in publications in Romania, Italy, USA, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, among which: The Times Literary Supplement, The New Yorker, Poetry East (Chicago), Field (Oberlin), Fine Madness (Seattle), A Canadian Magazine of New Writing (Toronto), Australian Short Stories (Victoria), Romania literara, Secolul XX (Bucharest), Il Ponte; Molloy (Florence), Chimera (Padova), Il Confronto letterario (Pavia).

For Gonzaga in Florence Gabriela Dragnea Horvath teaches Studies in Fiction (Eng. 202), Italy the Journey and the Self (Eng. 466), Love in the Renaissance (Eng. 466) and Ethics (PHL. 310). She views teaching as the privileged space of encounter and exchange of ideas with young minds, appreciates the educational value of the dialogue and encourages students to explore the cultural riches of Italy and discover their own critical and creative resources.