Salve! I joined the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at SCU in Fall 2013. I teach a vast range of courses from elementary Italian to upper-division courses in Italian and Italian American cultural studies and literature. Since joining SCU, I have designed several new interdisciplinary courses, most recently “Destination Italy: Immigration in Film and literature.” My research interests include Italian culture, literature, film, postcolonial, migration, and transnational studies. I am interested in local, national, and global manifestations of italianità, particularly in relation to the Mediterranean, Africa, and North America. I am also a Book Review Editor for Altreitalie, an International Journal of Studies on Italian Migrations in the World. Outside of teaching and research, I enjoy organizing and hosting Italian cultural events at and around SCU.
Prior to joining SCU, I was a Lecturer in Italian (2012-13) at the University of California, Davis, and at San Francisco State University. In 2011, I was a Fellow at the Institute of Modern Languages Research, School of Advanced Study, University of London (UK) where I completed a research project on the construction of an archive of migrant memories in the documentary film Like a Man on Earth (focusing on Italy-Libya relations).
I received my Ph.D. in Italian Studies from Brown University in 2010, with a dissertation entitled “Moving Thresholds: Liminal Writing in the Italian Diaspora.” That project addressed questions of human mobility, identity crises, and practices of resistance in literary texts that belong to and expand the framework of Italian Studies. The condition of being on the threshold – as embodied by the ambiguous spaces that migrants inhabit – challenges essentialist notions of national identity and encourages a dynamic and transnational approach to borders. The cultural texts that I analyzed also included three novels by Ebe Cagli Seidenberg, a little-known Italian Jewish writer that I first discovered while I was an Exchange Scholar at Stanford University during the 2006-07 academic year.
I also hold an M.A. in Italian Language and Literature from the University of Pittsburgh, where I wrote a thesis on I labirinti della giustizia in ‘A ciascuno il suo’, ‘La forma dell’acqua’ e ‘Lo Spasimo di Palermo’ (Sciascia, Camilleri, Consolo). Prior to that, I completed an M.A. in Translation and Comparative Literature at the University of Essex (United Kingdom), with a thesis on adaptions of Carlo Collodi’s Le avventure di Pinocchio.
Born and raised on the island of Sicily, I received my laurea from the Università degli Studi di Palermo, where I studied foreign languages and literatures, with a focus on English and postcolonial literatures. After graduation, I worked in Brussels with a communication firm as part of the European Leonardo da Vinci program.
- Italian and Italian American literature and culture (post-1861)
- Migrations (from and to Italy), Italian national identity, transnational literature and cinema
- Postcolonial theory, gender studies, theories of space and liminality, intermediality
- Digital Humanities in research and teaching
- Instructional technology
ITAL 1: Elementary Italian 1
ITAL 2: Elementary Italian 2
ITAL 100: Advanced Italian 1- Italian through Italian Cuisine
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)
ITAL 187: Destination Italy: Immigration in Film and literature (Core Curriculum: Civic Engagement)
“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, forthcoming, 2016.
“Songs of Passage and Sacrifice: Gabriella Ghermandi’s Stories in Performance.” Co-authored with Dr. Laura Dolp. The Handbook of Artistic Citizenship. Ed. David J. Elliott, Marissa Silverman, and Wayne Bowman. Oxford UP, forthcoming, 2016.
“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: Bordighera Press, 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. http://escholarship.org/uc/item/8z158439
“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.