University of Notre Dame

Center for Italian Studies


2012 Rome Seminar Participants

  • Riccardo Antonangeli joined the Italian Studies Department (New York University) to pursue his ph.D in 2010. He received his BA at the Sapienza University of Rome in Comparative Literature and his MA at the University of Italian Switzerland (USI) in Lingua, Letteratura e Civiltà Italiana. His interests includes theory of the novel and film studies, the tradition of “critica dantesca” in US, Twentieth and Nineteenth-century Italian Literature with a particular focus on Pasolini (and his relation with Ezra Pound), Pavese and Moravia. He recently published an article entitled “Un’oscura energia nel riconoscere” in Strumenti Critici (June 2010) about scenes of recognition in Tolstoj’s War and Peace and Thomas Mann’s Joseph.
  • Giulia Cantarini holds a Master’s Degree in Film Studies from Sapienza – University of Rome, and is currently working towards a PhD in the Italian department at the University of Cambridge. Her research is a comparative study of Italian and British film comedies produced between the 1950s and the 1970s, with particular emphasis on commedia all’italiana (Monicelli and Germi), Benigni and Troisi, as well as Ealing comedies and Monty Python. Her research explores, among other issues, the representation of national character and national identity.
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    Marie-France Courriol is a teaching assistant in Italian Studies at the Université Charles de Gaulle Lille 3, and a Ph.D. student in Lille 3 in co-tutoring with the University of Cambridge. She studied Art History and Italian at the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon and at the Università degli Studi di Firenze, and obtained an MPhil in Film Studies at the University of Cambridge. She previously worked on Counter-Reformation Artistic Theory in Italy (analysis and translation). Her current research interests include Italian cinema in the Fascist era, specifically the production of war films in the colonial and the Second World War contexts. She focuses on these films both as a genre and as an object of artistic debate, as well as on the question of realism, on the relationship between realism and new filming techniques, war films, documentary modes and propaganda newsreels.
  • Elena D’Amelio holds a Laurea in film studies (2002) from the Catholic University of Milan and a Doctorate in film history (2008) from the University of San Marino. Since 2008 she has been living in the United States, pursuing a Ph.D in Cultural Studies at Stony Brook University, NY, and received her Master in the Arts (2011). She has conducted research and published on Italian popular cinema and contemporary Italian cinema in the United States and Italy, and her current dissertation focuses on transatlantic stardom, genres, and masculinity. In Italy she taught Italian Literature and Language, while in the Unites States her teaching expertise encompasses Italian Cinema, Film Studies, Classic Mythology, and Cultural Studies.
  • Luciana d'Arcangeli is Cassamarca Lecturer in Italian at Flinders University, Adelaide. She specializes in the study of contemporary Italian theatre and cinema, and in translation and interpreting and has published in all three areas. Before entering academia Luciana worked in Italian cinema with the Cecchi Gori Group: a passion she has continued to fuel by taking part in movie making (subtitling, cultural adaptation, translating scripts, acting), teaching and research. A current AHRC UK funded project


    focused on Italian Cinema in the 21st century has seen her co-organising a series of events - including conferences and workshops in Italy, Australia and the UK - and she is now co-editing the first volume on the subject.
  • Chiara Ferrari is an Assistant Professor in the Communication Design Department at California State University, Chico where she teaches courses in Communication Criticism, American Cinema and TV, International Cinema, and Global Media. She received her Ph.D. In Cinema and Media Studies from UCLA - School of Theater, Film, and Television in 2007.  She has recently published an edited anthology, Beyond Monopoly. Globalization and Contemporary Italian Media (2010) and a single-authored volume, Since When is Fran Drescher Jewish? (2011). Her current research interests include discussions of new representations of the South in contemporary Italian cinema and representations of domestic 1970s terrorism.
  • Franco Gallippi completed his PhD thesis, Calvino: Reader of Leopardi and Galileo, at the University of Toronto (ON, Canada) in 2007. He was Assistant Professor at McMaster University in Hamilton (ON), where he taught Italian language, literature, and cinema for four years. He is presently teaching Italian at the University of Toronto at Mississauga and at the Italian Cultural Institute in Toronto. His publications on Italian literature and cinema have appeared in academic journals such as Quaderni di Italianistica, Rivista di Studi Italiani, Annali d’italianistica, and Italian Canadiana. In Hamilton he organizes cinema events for Cinema Insieme (
  • Sciltian Gastaldi completed a collaborative Ph.D. in Italian and Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto, with a thesis on Pier Vittorio Tondelli. As an author, among his publications: a short story in a Mondadori anthology, the novel Angeli da un’ala soltanto (2004; 2008); two monographs on American McCarthyism, a GLBT rights pamphlet, a collection of short stories, the humorous novel Tutta colpa di Miguel Bosé (2010). As a screenwriter, he collaborated on various scripts, such as Union


    Square, Cu2O, Crimine contro crimine. As a scholar, he wrote an article on Mancassola’s redefined masculinity (forthcoming in Italica).
  • Brendan Hennessey is Visiting Assistant Professor of Italian at Colby College. He works primarily on Italian cinema, culture, and modern literature with interests in critical theory and Italian-American film culture.  He is currently authoring a book on filmmaker Luchino Visconti and philosopher Antonio Gramsci that examines the relationship between cinematic adaptations of literature and mass culture in Cold War Italy.  Recent works include an article entitled “Theatrical Space in Luchino Visconti’s Le notti bianche (1957)” published in Modern Language Notes (2011) and “Notes on a Queer Visconti:  Auteurism, Identity, and Ambiguity in The Damned (1969)” that will appear in the spring of 2012 in a volume entitled Queer Crossings: Theories, Bodies, Texts.  An active translator, Brendan has collaborated on an English version of Adriano Spatola’s book of poetic theory, Toward Total Poetry (Otis Books/Seismicity, 2008), as well as translations of various modern Italian poets including Leonardo Sinisgalli and Giorgio Orelli. Presently, he is also completing an article on film reception in Italian Harlem, analyzing the debate over Fascist anti-semitism that took place in Italian-American theaters and newspapers at the close of the 1930s.
  • Dom Holdaway is currently completing a doctoral thesis at the University of Warwick, UK, which questions the notion of impegno in contemporary Italian cinema in reference to representations of organized crime. His research seeks to establish a notion of ‘performed’ impegno that is passively received by audiences according to an 'ethical' reception. A further major research interest is the presence of Rome on screen in contemporary film. He is co-editing a volume (forthcoming 2013, Pickering and Chatto) entitled Rome, Postmodern Narratives of a Cityscape, and is beginning work on a


    postdoctoral project on criminal cityscapes in Italian cinema.
  • Giovanna Lenzi-Sandusky has been teaching Italian language and culture since 1990. On several occasions she has taught on university summer programs in Italy. In summer of 2006 she participated in the NEH seminar held in Venice on “Shaping Civic Space in a Renaissance City: Venice c.1300-c.1600”.  She holds a degree in the History of Art from the University of Florence. Since 2000 she has a full-time position with the School of Architecture and Italian Studies at the University of Notre Dame where she teaches Italian language, art and culture.
  • Alberto Lo Pinto is completing his M.A. in Italian Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He received his BA from the University of Roma La Sapienza in Lettere. He is also completing an M.A. in Comparative Literature at the University of Roma La Sapienza. After working on contemporary American literature, his main research interests are twentieth century Italian literature and cinema. His M.A. thesis at the University of Notre Dame is on Primo Levi's early short stories. He also wrote about Fellini's short film Le Tentazione del Dottor Antonio
  • Mary Ann Mastrolia is a Ph.D. candidate at Rutgers University. She is currently completing her dissertation entitled Theater to Television: Regionalism on a National Stage (The Transformation of a Nation’s Identity).  This project analyzes how various Italian playwrights utilize mass media to project their political beliefs and regional identities to the broader Italian audience and in doing so create a


    national narrative.   Through the work of Eduardo De Filippo, Dario Fo, and Ascanio Celestini for RAI, Mary Ann demonstrates how artists can stay true to their visions even in the face of political censorship.  Her research interests include Italian theater, 20th century literature, cinema, and media studies.
  • Ellen Nerenberg is Hollis Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures at Wesleyan University, where she also serves as a member of the program on Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies. She is the author of Prison Terms: Representing Confinement During and After Italian Fascism (University of Toronto Press, 2001), which won the Howard R Marraro Prize from the Modern Language Association. She is author of Murder Made in Italy: Homicide, Media, and Contemporary Italian Culture (Indiana University Press, 2012) as well as editor and translator, with Nicoletta Marini-Maio and Thomas Simpson of Marco Baliani’s Body of State. The Moro Affair, a Nation Divided (Fairleigh-Dickinson University Press, 2012). She holds degrees from Stanford University and The University of Chicago.
  • Luca Peretti received a B.A. in Modern History from the University of Rome, and an M.A. in Film Studies from the University of College of London. He is now a first year PhD student in Italian and Film Studies at Yale University. His main areas of interests include Italian cinema and literature of the 20th century, representation of violence in cinema and television, the relationship between cinema and cities, historiography and new media, and Jewish-Italian culture and identity. He worked as journalist and held a position as archivist and researcher for the forthcoming Italian Museum of the Shoah, and organized  several film festivals across Italy.
  • Joseph Perna is a doctoral student in Italian Studies at New York University. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Chicago; there, in courses with Tom Gunning, Armando Maggi, and the late Miriam Hansen, he developed an abiding love of cinema and visual culture. At NYU, these interests have taken root under the guidance of Ruth Ben-Ghiat; current projects include a study of spectatorship in Dante’s Vita nuova, and a reading of Orientalist semiotics in works by Guido Gozzano, Antonio Tabucchi, and the American artist Zoe Leonard. His dissertation project seeks to assess the role of melodrama in the creation of public life in postwar Italy. 
  • Marco Purpura is a Ph.D. Candidate in Italian Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Film and Media Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He is currently working on his dissertation entitled “Migration and Racial Masquerade in Contemporary Italian Cinema,” which analyzes the strategies of racial passing and posing performed by Italian and immigrant characters in Italian films from the past two decades. His research interests also include video art and, more recently, the representation of Italian-Americans in American cinema and television. Before entering the Ph.D. program at Berkeley Marco studied at the University of Bologna, Dartmouth College, and the University of Oregon.
  • Monica Seger is Assistant Professor of Italian at the University of Oklahoma, where she serves as affiliate faculty in Film and Media Studies and is a contributing editor at World Literature Today. She


    completed the Ph.D. in December 2010 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research interests include twentieth and twenty-first century literature and cinema, environmental criticism and gender studies. She is currently completing a book project examining post-industrial landscape representation in the work of authors Italo Calvino, Gianni Celati and Simona Vinci, and filmmakers Pier Paolo Pasolini, Daniele Ciprì and Franco Maresco.
  • Courtney Smotherman is a first year Ph.D. student in the Literature department at the University of Notre Dame.  She received a bachelor's degree in Italian Literature and Arabic (2010) and a master's degree in Italian Studies (2011) from the same institution.  Her undergraduate thesis looked at the portrayal of Arabs and Muslims in the Decameron.  Her current research interests include the political and social contexts that influenced Italian authors in late medieval and renaissance literature.  Although primarily interested in Medieval and Renaissance literature, she is also intrigued by modern depictions of those eras in both film and literature.
  • Sara Troyani holds a B.A. summa cum laude in Spanish and Italian from Cornell University and a master’s in Italian Studies from UC Berkeley.  She is pursuing her doctorate in Italian Studies with a concentration in Screen Cultures at the University of Notre Dame, where she is a Humanities Presidential Fellow.  While completing her doctoral work, Sara is also lecturing in Italian Studies at Berkeley.  Her research interests include travel literature and the formation of Italian identities.
  • Thomas Van Order is Associate Professor and Chair of Italian at Middlebury College. His most recent publication is the book Listening to Fellini: Music and Meaning in Black and White (Fairleigh Dickinson UP 2009).  He has also published articles on Cesare Pavese, Federico Fellini, Italian Futurism, Massimo Troisi and António Skármeta, as well as translations of the poetry of Joseph Tusiani.  He is currently writing chapter on Italian film music that will appear in The Italian Cinema (BFI, ed. P. Bondanella).
  • Marina Vargau, a doctoral student in the Departement of Comparative Literature at the Université de Montréal with emphases on literature and cinema, is presently completing a thesis about Fellini Effect in cinematic and literary Rome, and is also teaching a course entitled «Le flâneur et la flâneuse dans la ville». Her research interests include Rome, Italian cinema, Federico Fellini, critical theory and practice of urban space, literary and cinematic cities, the flâneur and the flâneuse.
  • Roberta K. Waldbaum is Assistant Professor of Italian and the Anna Maglione-Sie Endowed Professor in Italian Culture at the University of Denver (DU) where she teaches  language, literature, film and culture in the Italian Program and in general education courses. Rome has been a major focal point of her teaching with courses on the Grand Tour, images of Rome in literature and film, and “All Roads Lead to Rome.” She has presented on Rome at two recent professional conferences: Indiana University 2011 Symposium on Contemporary Italian Cinema on “Images of Rome in Literature and Film: The Use of Cinema in the Classroom as a Pedagogical Tool,” and the AATI 2011 annual conference on “Roam(ings): Images of Rome in Literature and Film.”
  • Christopher B. White is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Italian at the University of California, Los Angeles. He received a Bachelor of Arts in English from Kenyon College in 2003 and a Master of Arts in Italian in 2005 from Middlebury College. He has taught various levels of Italian language, film and culture as a teaching assistant at UCLA, as a visiting instructor at Oberlin College and as an adjunct instructor at the University of Arizona. He is currently pursuing a dissertation that focuses on Italian comedies of the 1950s.
  • Evan Calder Williams is a doctoral candidate in the literature department at University of California Santa Cruz where he is writing a dissertation on cinema, horror, communism, and the Italian 1970s.  He


    is currently a Fulbright fellow in Film Studies at the University of Naples L’Orientale.  He writes regularly for Film Quarterly and Mute, and he is the author of two books, Combined and Uneven Apocalypse and Roman Letters.
  • Lucia Yandoli is currently completing a doctoral thesis entitled “Epiphany and Ecstasy in Italian Cinema 1945-1972” at the University of Cambridge. Her research explores ecstasy and epiphany in postwar


    Italian cinema, focusing on films by Pier Paolo Pasolini, Roberto Rossellini, Federico Fellini, Michelangelo Antonioni and Carmelo Bene, thinking through this body of film work towards a larger theoretical discussion about the cinematic experience as ecstatic.  Lucia is also a writer and director and works in Film Education for the BFI London Film Festival.
  • Alberto Zambenedetti is a lecturer in the Department of World Languages at Literatures at the College of Staten Island. He is completing his PhD in Italian Studies at New York University with a dissertation titled “Italians on the Move: Towards a History of Migration Cinema.” Alberto holds a Master’s degree in Cinema Studies from New York University and a Laurea in Lingue e Letterature Straniere from Università degli Studi di Venezia Ca’ Foscari. His scholarship has appeared in such publications as Annali d’Italianistica, Studies in European Cinema, Journal of Adaptation in Film and Performance, and Short Film Studies. Alberto is also a freelance film critic, sports writer, and translator, and he has been involved with several film projects.
  • Camilla Zamboni is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Italian at the University of California, Los Angeles. She graduated from Università Ca’ Foscari in Venice in 2006, and she completed her Masters in Italian Studies at The Ohio State University in 2009, with a thesis on the representation of trauma in Italian Holocaust Film. At UCLA her research interests include politically and socially engaged Italian cinema and theatre. In particular, she is focusing on Italian political cinema of the 1960s and 1970s, and her dissertation explores the films of Italian director Elio Petri in the broader context of biopolitical struggles between the individual and the Establishment. She has published on Dario Fo in Carte Italiane and is the author of the 2010 and 2011 AAIS Conference’s Film panels report for The Italianist. Currently, she is translating Elio Petri’s Scritti di cinema e di vita - forthcoming for ContraMundum Press.