Roberta Strippoli is a scholar of medieval Japanese literature and theater. She holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University, an M.A. from Gakushūin University (Tokyo) and a Laurea from the University of Rome "La Sapienza."
Before coming to Binghamton she taught in Italy at the University of Naples “L’Orientale” and in Maine at Bates College.
Professor Strippoli has worked extensively on medieval Japanese narrative, in particular otogizōshi, stories that circulated between the 15th and 17th centuries as illustrated hand scrolls and printed booklets. These stories were extremely popular in medieval and early modern Japan, but were not included in the modern literary canon because of their supposed childlike qualities. Along with fantastic characters, otogizōshi feature protagonists from all walks of life, an exception in traditional Japanese literature, which often focuses on the life of nobles, warriors, and monks. Professor Strippoli published a book on otogizōshi titled La monaca tuttofare, la donna serpente, il demone beone. Racconti dal medioevo giapponese (The Errand Nun, the Snake Woman, the Drunken Demon: Tales from Medieval Japan – Venezia: Marsilio, 2001).
Professor Strippoli’s current research focuses on the legend of the dancer Lady Giō, a character from the 13th-14th century Japanese narrative The Tale of the Heike. The varied reception of Giō’s story in later narrative and performing arts is emblematic of a wider system of intertextual interaction that traverses the history of Japanese literature and theater. The study of Giō also uncovers important information on women performers and construction of gender in premodern Japan.
Here at Binghamton University Roberta Strippoli teaches courses on various aspects of premodern Japanese literature and culture. Her departmental webpage can be found at http://www.binghamton.edu/aaasp/people/strippoli.html.