Skip to main content

Department ofModern Languages and Literatures

Evelyn Ferraro

Evelyn Ferraro
Assistant Professor

Evelyn Ferraro is Assistant Professor of Italian Studies at Santa Clara University. Her scholarship explores the relationships between Italianità perceived and constructed as national belonging and the transnational identities resulting from old and new mobilities. Her teaching and research interests include late 19th, 20th and 21st century Italian literature, culture, and cinema, with a focus on Italy’s global connections, as resulting from migrations (from and to Italy), colonization, liminal spaces and cultural crossings. She holds a Laurea in Foreign Languages and Literatures/English (University of Palermo, Italy), MAs in Translation and Comparative Literature (University of Essex, U.K.) and Italian Language and Literature (University of Pittsburgh), and a Ph.D. in Italian Studies (Brown University).

Her scholarly work addresses questions of human mobility, identity crises, exclusion, and practices of resistance in transnational narratives that belong to and expand the framework of Italian Studies, along with challenging essentialist notions of italianità/italianness and national belonging. Some of her published works include the American experience of Italian Jewish writer Ebe Cagli Seidenberg in California Italian Studies, NeMLA Italian Studies, and Carte Italiane; and the co-authored essays on Gabriella Ghermandi’s music and storytelling in the journal altrelettere and the volume Artistic Citizenship: Artistry, Social Responsibility, and Ethical Praxis. Currently, her research projects investigate memory, space, and identity in Italian American narratives in California. She is also a Book Review Editor for Altreitalie, an International Journal of Studies on Italian Migrations in the World. 

In addition to her research, she has a strong personal commitment to teaching, student learning, and the promotion of diversity within the Italian Studies curriculum. She has taught all levels of Italian, from communicatively-oriented elementary Italian courses and first-year core requirement courses (e.g., “Italy, Gateway of Cultures”) to advanced language and upper-division interdisciplinary courses on the Italian American experience, immigration in Italian cinema, and ecocriticism. Her courses encourage students to connect historical and contemporary subjects of interest and become well-informed, compassionate, and engaged global citizens.


She was the recipient of the inaugural 2020 Leonardo Award in the Humanities (Italian Scientists and Scholars of North America Foundation, San Francisco Bay Area Chapter and the Leonardo da Vinci Society of San Francisco); the National Italian American Foundation Fellowship; and the American Italian Historical Association Memorial Fellowship.


  • Transnational Italy: Italy at the crossroads of transnational phenomena like migrations (emigration from/immigration to Italy) and colonialism
  • Post-Risorgimento Italian Literature and Culture
  • Italian American Studies
  • Sicilian Literature and Culture, representations of Otherness
  • Postcolonial theory; theories of space, memory, and liminality
  • Digital Humanities in research and teaching


ITAL 1: Elementary Italian 1

ITAL 2: Elementary Italian 2

ITAL 12A: Italy, Gateway of Cultures (Core Curriculum: Cultures & Ideas 2)

ITAL 100: Advanced Italian 1- Italian through Italian Cuisine

ITAL 101: Introduction to Cultural Analysis

ITAL 106: Advanced Italian Conversation

ITAL 113: Introduction to Italian Cinema

ITAL 154: Nature and the Italian Literary Imagination

ITAL 197 (Special Topics): Immigration Culture in Italy  

ITAL 185: The Italian American Experience (Core Curriculum: Diversity; Pathway: American Studies)

ITAL 187 (in English) and ITAL 187I (in Italian): Destination Italy: Immigration in Film and literature (Core Curriculum: Civic Engagement; Pathway: Cinema Studies)



For more information: see

“Jewish Refugee Women, Transnational Coalition Politics, and Affect in Ebe Cagli Seidenberg’s Come ospiti: Eva ed altri.California Italian Studies. Special Issue: Italia Senza Frontiere/Borderless Italy. 9.1 (2019).

“Space and Relic in Frank Paci’s Black Madonna.” Quaderni d’italianistica. 39.1 (2018). 173-193.

“Songs of Passage and Sacrifice: Gabriella Ghermandi’s Stories in Performance.” Co-authored with Laura Dolp. Artistic Citizenship: Artistry, Social Responsibility, and Ethical Praxis. Ed. David J. Elliott, Marissa Silverman, and Wayne Bowman. Oxford UP, 2016. 415-45.

“Casting Sound: Modality and Poetics in Gabriella Ghermandi’s Regina di fiori e di perle.” Co-authored with Laura Dolp. altrelettere (2016): 30 pp.

“Drawing Testimony, Coming to Writing: Ebe Cagli Seidenberg’s Le sabbie del silenzio and Il Tempo dei Dioscuri.” NeMLA Italian Studies. Special Issue: The Jewish Experience in Contemporary Italy. 37 (2015): 140-64.

“Italianization of Emigration to Canada: Or, What is the Role of the Italies outside of Italy?” The Cultures of Italian Migration: Diverse Trajectories and Discrete Perspectives. Ed. Graziella Parati and Anthony J. Tamburri. Madison, NJ: Farleigh Dickinson UP, 2011. 95-107.

 “Southern Encounters in the City: Reconfiguring the South from the Liminal Space.” Small Towns, Big Cities: The Urban Experience of Italian Americans. Ed. Dennis Barone and Stefano Luconi. New York, NY: American Italian Historical Association, 2010. 219-27.

“Between Italy and America: Exile and Suspension in Ebe Cagli Seidenberg’s Il Tempo dei Dioscuri.” Carte Italiane: A Journal of Italian Studies. Ed. Sarah A. Carey and Brendan W. Hennessey. 5 (2009): 181-98.


“Post-‘Colonia:’ Emigration, Colonialism, and Immigration in Contemporary Italy/ La post‘colonia’ degli emigranti nell’Italia dell’immigrazione.” Essay by Teresa Fiore. L’Italia postcoloniale. Ed. Cristina Lombardi-Diop and Caterina Romeo. Le Monnier Università/Mondadori Education: Firenze, 2014.

“Forging an art: The early novels of Grazia Deledda/Costruirsi un’arte: I primi romanzi di Grazia Deledda.” Essay by Elise Magistro. Grazia Deledda. Una sfida alla modernità. Ed. Sharon Wood. Oliena, Italy: Edizioni Iris, 2012. 61-86.