Research

My research interests include Italian culture and European artistic trends, genre theory (fairy tales, coming-of-age novels, poetry), language pedagogy and applied technology, gender studies, childhood, ecocriticism, and the relationship between media.

I hold a Ph.D. in Italian (University of California, Los Angeles, 2019). In 2011 and 2013, I received a Laurea (B.A.) in Humanities and a Laurea Magistrale (M.A.) in Italian Studies, respectively, from the University di Bologna, Italy.

Alessandra Psacharopulo, Barbablù (2003)
I am interested in silenced female voices and their changing representations, like this pictorial take to the Bluebeard fairy tale by Alessandra Psacharopulo (2003).

My research contributions featured here are:

  • a book project
  • peer-reviewed journal articles
  • a book chapter
  • encyclopedia entries
  • book reviews
  • a digital humanities project
  • conference papers
  • public talks

Book project

My current book project is tentatively entitled Fiabe inesauribili. Revisionismo e metamorfosi del femminile dal Seicento al terzo millennio (Inexhaustible Fairy Tales: Revisionism and Feminine Metamorphoses from the 17th-century to the 2000s) and revolves around fairy-tale intertextualities and adaptations of canonical tropes in Italian as well as French and British cultures. Through narratology, close readings, and feminist criticism, I argue for fairy-tale revisionism, namely, a critical and creative approach to fairy-tale rewritings. I am currently working on the manuscript for publication.

Peer-reviewed journal articles

Scrivere dalla parte delle bambine: infanzia e adolescenza femminile nella narrativa di Alice Ceresa, gender/sexuality/Italy, 2017

Sconosciuta ai più, tramite la sua scrittura Ceresa dimostra di partecipare già nel suo tempo a una conversazione ora molto vivace su cosa significhi essere bambine in Italia. Sebbene Bambine risalga ai primi anni Novanta, ritengo che questo romanzo
–così come La figlia prodiga–possa evidenziare certe dinamiche di genere e famigliari a cui sono dedicate molte pubblicazioni contemporanee, che spaziano dai romanzi per l’infanzia ai saggi di pedagogia, fino ai blog online.

L’espressione della dicotomia tra artista e società nella Smania dello scandalo di Elsa Morante, Carte Italiane, 2014

Con la propria operazione letteraria, Morante non tenta di compiere una precisa rappresentazione poetica dei soggetti sociali; piuttosto pare che i ragazzini protagonisti dei numerosi versi assurgano a utopico exemplum vitae per i lettori, come variegati e immaginari individui più che come effettivi soggetti sociali.

Book chapter

Italian Woods Between Environmentalism and Children’s Literature in Dino Buzzati’s Il segreto del Bosco Vecchio, Ecocritical Approaches to Italian Culture and Literature: The Denatured Wild, ed. Pasquale Verdicchio, 2016

I will indeed argue for children’s literature as a literary genre particularly suited to talking about nature and delineating a poetic imaginary about it. In addition, Italian children’s literature seems particularly keen to express environmentalist claims that also concern non-human animals.

Encyclopedia Entries

Alice Ceresa, The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume 1.6.1: Italian Writing and Culture, eds. Carla Bregman and Jo Ann Cavallo, first published 27 March 2019

Carlo Gozzi, The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume 1.6.1: Italian Writing and Culture, eds. Carla Bregman and Jo Ann Cavallo, first published 17 December 2018

Book and Conference reviews

California Interdisciplinary Consortium of Italian Studies (Stanford University, March 8–9, 2019), Carte Italiane, 2019

Jón Karl Helgason, Echoes of Valhalla. The Afterlife of the Eddas and Sagas (London: Reaktion Books, 2017), Comitatus, 2018

Alessandro Giammei, Nell’officina del nonsense di Toti Scialojia. Topi, toponomi, tropo, cronotopi (Milan: Edizioni del Verri, 2014), Italian Culture, 2015

Digital Humanities project

In 2015, I joined David D. Kim (Associate Professor of German) and his team in a translational network analysis project, World Literature @ UCLA. The aim was to explore world literature through J.W. Goethe’s literary opus and connections. We used the network-analysis software, Gephi, to pursue such a goal. A few undergraduate classes were also involved to put to the test the software implementation.

World Literature @ UCLA

Selected conference presentations

Feeling Blue. Addressing Gender Violence in Italian Illustrated Fairy Tales, Society for Italian Studies Biennial Conference, June 2019 (Edinburgh, UK)

The (After)Life of a Fairy-Tale Text: Intertextual Practices in Carlo Gozzi’s Analisi riflessiva dell’amore delle tre melarance, Modern Language Association Convention, January 2019 (Chicago, IL)

Discovering Carlo Gozzi Through His Fruits: L’amore delle tre melarance and Fairy-tale Theater in 18th-century Italy, Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association Conference, November 2017 (Honolulu, HI)

I frutti della terra: Fruit Consumption and Sexual Desire in Gianbattista Basile’s I tre cedri and Edoardo Sanguineti’s L’amore delle tre melarance, UCLA Italian Graduate Conference, January 2017 (Los Angeles, CA)

“Dalla parte delle bambine”: infanzia e adolescenza femminile in Bambine di Alice Ceresa, American Association of Italian Studies Conference, April 2016 (Baton Rouge, LA)

La figlia prodiga di Alice Ceresa tra romanzo sperimentale e femminismo, Northeast Modern Language Association Conference, April 2015 (Toronto, Canada)

Italian Woods between Environmentalism and Children’s Literature: The Case of Dino Buzzati’s Il segreto del Bosco Vecchio, Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association Conference, November 2014 (Riverside, CA)

Public Talks

What Are Fairy Tales?, UCLA Grad Slam, February 2018 (Los Angeles, CA)

Remembering Giorgio Bassani, Italian Institute of Culture, March 2016 (Los Angeles, CA)

 


My research has been supported by the Department of French and Italian at Indiana University, Bloomington, the FACE/University Fund Grant, the Modern Languages Association, and several UCLA entities, such as the Graduate Division, the Department of Italian, the Department of Germanic Languages, Humanities Technology, the Center for European and Russian Studies, and the Center for 17th and 18th Century Studies, among others.

Do not hesitate to contact me for a visiting lecture, full texts, feedback, a complete list of my presentations, or my works-in progress and future plans.