Lecture: "Desire, Anxiety, Shame: Transatlantic (Re)Mediations and 'Italian Culture'” by Loredana Polezzi (Stony Brook)


Location: Rare Books and Special Collections 102 Hesburgh Library (View on map )

The Fall lectures are being planned in a hybrid online and in-person format. Please register here.

The Center for Italian Studies is pleased to host a lecture by Professor Loredana Polezzi (Stony Brook) titled:

Desire, Anxiety, Shame: Transatlantic (Re)Mediations and “Italian Culture”


In this talk Professor Polezzi will look at the complex and often fraught processes of linguistic and cultural translation/mediation which characterize the relationship between Italian and Italian American culture in the 20th Century. Through the notion of ‘affect’ and, in particular, articulations of ‘desire’, 'anxiety', and ‘shame’, she will explore how these exchanges still resonate today with the construction and perception of individual figures as well as of the field of Italian American Studies. She will concentrate on two moments and the related trajectories: the ongoing re-framing of mid-century Italian accounts of Italian American life, such as the essays collected in Prezzolini's volume I trapiantati (recently translated into English as The Transplanted); and a parallel reading of personal narratives of crossing geographic, social and language boundaries in La straniera/Strangers I know by Claudia Durastanti and in Kym Ragusa’s The Skin between Us and the short film Fuori/Outside.

Loredana Polezzi is the Alfonse M. D’Amato Chair in Italian American and Italian Studies at Stony Brook University. She has written on contemporary Italian travel writing, colonial and postcolonial literature, migrant and diasporic cultures, translingualism and self-translation. She is one of the founding editors of the ‘Transnational Modern Languages’ book series, published by Liverpool University Press, and co-editor of Transnational Italian Studies (2020) and Transcultural Italies: Mobility, Memory and Translation (2020).

The Italian Research Seminar, a core event of the Center for Italian Studies, aims to provide a regular forum for faculty, postdoctoral scholars, graduate students, and colleagues from other universities to present and discuss their current research. The Seminar is vigorously interdisciplinary, and embraces all areas of Italian literature, language, and culture, as well as perceptions of Italy, its achievements and its peoples in other national and international cultures. The Seminar constitutes an important element in the effort by Notre Dame's Center for Italian Studies to promote the study of Italy and to serve as a strategic point of contact for scholarly exchange.