Faculty News 2012
Cristina Abbona-Sneider organized and chaired the panel “Booting the 'Boot': Teaching Contemporary Italy with Technology” at the 2011 NEMLA convention in New Brunswick, NJ. Building on her interest in technology and second language acquisition she has begun to work on e-portfolios and recently presented a paper entitled “Digital Portfolios and Other E-tools for Alternative Assessment in the Italian Language Curriculum” at the 2012 NEMLA convention in Rochester, NY. She is currently working on an article on the same subject. Cristina continued to train new teaching assistants and mentor graduate students on the job market. Her passion for teaching her native language and culture to Brown undergraduates was recognized with the John Rowe Workman Award for Teaching Excellence in the Humanities for 2011-2012 .
Caroline Castiglione continued her research in the politics of motherhood in seventeenth-century Rome and the impact of changes in medical practice on the rearing of children and the nature of family life in Rome. In April 2011 she gave an invited lecture on the topic at the University of South Florida: “At the Nexus of Impossibility: The Medical and the Maternal in Seventeenth-Century Rome.” Forthcoming on a related theme is the article: “Peasants at the Palace: Wet Nurses and Aristocratic Mothers in Early Modern Rome,” to appear in Medieval and Renaissance Lactations –Images, Rhetorics, Practices, edited by Jutta Sperling. In June 2012, she won the Wendy J. Strothman Faculty Research Award from Brown University in support of her project on the intersection of medical practice and family life in seventeenth-century Rome.
David Kertzer completed his five-year term as Brown University provost in 2011 and spent 2011-12 on sabbatical writing his book on the relationship between Benito Mussolini and Pope Pius XI (see interview about the book here). The book will be published, most likely in early 2014, by Random House in the U.S. and Rizzoli in Italy. While in Italy for his sabbatical year he spent time in Bologna, as well as at the Rockefeller Foundation Study Center in Bellagio and the American Academy in Rome. Together with John Davis (UConn, Storrs), he was awarded a five-week NEH Summer Seminar for College Teachers at the American Academy in Rome on New Perspectives on the Risorgimento, to be held in the summer of 2013.
Evie Lincoln has completed a book on sixteenth-century Roman book illustration which is wending its way through the publication process. She is now working on Arabic illustrated gospels printed in Rome, and other unlikely printed matter of the early modern period, such as the 18th-century Roman Chinea prints, which will be the focus of an exhibition at the RISD Museum in the Spring of 2013: "The Festive City," co-curated with RISD curator Emily Peters. She recently spoke about the concept of this exhibition through the lens of her own education at UC Berkeley at a conference at the Warburg Institute, "The Intellectual Legacy of Michael Baxandall."
Massimo Riva published three books: Il futuro della letteratura. L’opera letteraria nell’epoca della sua (ri)producibilità digitale (Scripta Web, 2011); Pinocchio digitale. Postumanesimo e Iper-romanzo (Franco Angeli, 2012); and Renato Poggioli: An Intellectual Biography (Olschki, 2012), co-edited with Brown Ph.D. Roberto Ludovico (UMass, Amherst) and Lino Pertile (Harvard). While on sabbatical leave for 2011-12, thanks to a ACLS digital innovation fellowship, he curated exhibits of the Garibaldi panorama on the Microsoft Surface in Siena, Bologna, Padua and at the Italian Senate in Rome, and gave several talks in Italy and the UK about his current research in the digital humanities.
Suzanne Stewart-Steinberg published two books: an Italian translation of The Pinocchio Effect (L’effetto Pinocchio, Elliot Edizioni, presented in the Italian Senate library in October 2011); and Impious Fidelity: Anna Freud, Psychoanalysis, Politics (Cornell UP, 2012). She was Acting Director of the Pembroke Center during the academic year 2010/11 and Chesler-Mallow Senior Faculty Research Fellow at Pembroke in 2011/12, when she directed a year-long research seminar entitled "The Question of Consent." She lectured extensively in the US, Italy (including a week-long seminar at SUM, the Institute of Advanced Studies in Naples), Great Britain and Israel. In April 2012, she gave the Ringrose Lecture at Berkeley.
Tara Nummedal (Early Modern History) spent the 2011-12 academic year as a Guggenheim Fellow writing her book, The Lion's Blood: Alchemy, Gender, and Apocalypse in Reformation Germany. Her article out of this project, "Anna Zieglerin's Alchemical Revelations," appeared in Secrets and Knowledge in Medicine and Science, 1500-1800, edited by Elaine Leong and Alisha Rankin (Ashgate, 2011). She looks forward to offering a new course in Fall 2012, "The Philosophers' Stone: From Antiquity to Harry Potter," as well as beginning a term as the Director of Brown's Program in Science and Technology Studies. She continues to serve as the President of the New England Renaissance Conference, as well as a member of the editorial board of the journal Osiris and the Council of the History of Science Society.
Welcome to our First Annual Newsletter
First Annual Newsletter from Italian Studies at Brown: Fall, 2009-Spring, 2010
This is the first of what we hope will become an annual newsletter to keep in touch with each other, with our far-flung alumni, with colleagues, and with all Friends of Italian Studies at Brown.
Congratulations to our graduating PhD and MA students!
Danielle Carmon, MA: “"Masking and Costuming in Early Modern Carnival: the boundary between the norm and the space of carnival."
Evelyn Ferraro, PhD: “Moving Thresholds: Liminal Writing in the Italian Diaspora”
Benedetta Gennaro, PhD: “Women In Arms: Gender in the Risorgimento, 1848-1861”
Chiara Sartori, PhD: “Identità Forti: nazionalismo e localismo a Gorizia”
Stefano Selenu PhD: “The Linguistic Problem in Dante: a Gramscian Pathway Toward the Modern Vernacular World”
Antonella C. Sisto, PhD: “The Sonic Object of Italian Cinema: From the Ideology of Dubbing to the Audio-Visual Images of a Cinema of Poetry” and congratulations to our graduating concentrators as well:
Teresa L. Ciaccio
Patrick J. Martin-Tuite
Stephen A. Ursprung
Thanks to Director of Graduate Studies Massimo Riva for organizing this year’s stimulating Graduate Colloquium, which met bi-weekly to discuss the work of graduate students Mauro Resmini (“The Gaze, Sideways: Pietro Germi's Atypical Authorship in the Sixties.”), Karina Mascorro (“Media and Migration in Italy.”), Erica Moretti (“Italian Lessons: Maria Montessori and Early Childhood Education in a Transnational Perspective”), Nicole Gercke (“What's in a name? La coscienza di Zeno and Freud.”) and Monica Facchini (“Rituals of Revolt in Pontecorvo's The Battle of Algiers.”). We also invited Professor Marjan Schwegman (University of Maastricht, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences), who spoke on “An Amazon for Garibaldi: The Woman Warrior and the Making of the Hero of Two Worlds.” Faculty members David I. Kertzer (Provost and Professor of Anthropology and Italian Studies), and Evelyn Lincoln (Associate Professor of History of Art & Architecture and Italian Studies), gave presentations of their work in progress, and in April Brown Professor-at-Large Romano Prodi (former Prime Minster and President of the European Commission) conducted a forum on “Italy and the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership” with Italian Consul General of Boston, Liborio Stellino.
The annual CHIASMI graduate student conference, which takes place alternately at either Harvard or Brown, was hosted by the graduate students at Brown this year on the topic “VIEWING CHANGE/CHANGING VIEWS,” with speakers from all over the United States, as well as Canada and Italy. The keynote address was given by Professor Millicent Marcus (Yale University): “The Ironist and the Auteur: Post-Realism in Paolo Sorrentino's Il Divo.” The full program is available at: http://brown.edu/Research/Chiasmi/conf_program.html
A day-long dramatic symposium: Renaissance Italian Works in Performance, organized by Department Chair Ron Martinez, was presented at the Annmary Brown Memorial on February 5, 2010, featuring visiting scholars and performers in literary dramatizations and music. The full program with photographs of the event is visible at: http://www.brown.edu/Departments/Italian_Studies/NewsandEvents.html
Digital Humanities Initiatives in Italian Studies (Virtual Humanities Lab)
Italian Studies at Brown has been an important center for the production of digital scholarship in the humanities at the university. Projects related to Italian Studies have been collected under the rubric of the Virtual Humanities Lab at Brown University (VHL). It was created in 2004 thanks to a two-year grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and brings together work pertaining to research on Italian projects by members of the Departments of Italian Studies, History and History of Art and Architecture, in collaboration with the Brown Center for Digital Scholarship and scholars worldwide. Its goal is to develop digital resources for the study and teaching of Italian literature, history and culture, from the Middle Ages to the 21st-century. All the projects can be accessed at:
Some of these projects have been ongoing for some time at this writing—it has been more than a dozen years since the official launch of the first webproject, the Decameron Web, a brainchild of Massimo Riva and Michael Papio (now at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst) that has been entirely redesigned in recent months. Its content is now undergoing a thorough updating -- so please stay tuned.
In collaboration with the University Library, Riva has begun a pilot project linked to our latest online initiative, the Garibaldi & the Risorgimento archive (dl.lib.brown.edu/garibaldi <http://dl.lib.brown.edu/garibaldi> ), featuring a 19th-century moving panorama made in England in 1860-62, depicting scenes from the life of the Italian national hero. A performance, based on the projection of the Panorama’sdigital version and commemorating the 150th-anniversary of the Garibaldian expedition to Sicily, took place at the Italian Cultural Institute in London on June 16, 2010.
The new Garibaldi on the Surface pilot project investigates how tactile computing can facilitate visualization and exploration of large digital assets like the Garibaldi Panorama (which is more than 270’ longand 4.5’ tall), and give insight into the teaching and research potential ofSurface technology. This project is part of a broader interdisciplinary venture for which Riva is a Co-PI (with Gabriel Taubin, Engineering, Harriette Hemmasi and Andries van Dam). The group has received a $90,000 seed grant from the Brown Vice President of Research: “Advancing Digital Scholarship with Touch-Surfaces and Large-Format Interactive Display Walls.”
Evelyn Lincoln gave a presentation about the site The Theater that was Rome at the Renaissance Society of America conference in Venice this past April as part of a day-long session on digital humanities computing that included reports on digitization projects at the Uffizi and Kunsthistoriches Institut at Florence, the Biblioteca Hertziana in Rome, and the Speculum Humanae Magnificentiae site at the University of Chicago. Her graduate Art History Practicum, in collaboration with librarian Peter Harrington of the Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection and Ben Tyler of the Library’s Integrated Technology Services, also developed a website for the study of Renaissance Festival Books (including examples from Naples, Parma and Turin) that will be launched this month as part of the Library’s Military Collection web site, and will become an ongoing venue for research in this area.
Look for more Italian Studies digital projects through the Virtual Humanities Lab link on Italian Department website!
Silvia Valisa and her daughter, Serafina
Dr. Silvia Valisa, Assistant Professor of Italian Studies in the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics at Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL., taught in the department as a Cogut Post-Doctoral Fellow shared between Italian Studies and Gender and Sexuality Studies. [photo from Cogut site]. She writes:
“I have resumed my scholarly and teaching duties at Florida State University. During Spring 2010 I taught a seminar on Characters and Gender in Italian Novels and an Italian Conversation class, and I also completed the revisions on an article I was working on while at Brown, entitled "Still Figures: Photography, Modernity and Gender in Neera’s Fotografie matrimoniali". I also resumed my soccer mom duties...
I look back at my semester at Brown with infinite nostalgia, and am grateful for the work I was able to do there, and for the intellectual stimulation I found both in the Italian Studies Department and at the Cogut Center.
I miss you all!”
L. Benadusi, Il nemico dell’uomo nuovo. L’omosessualità nell’esperimento totalitario fascista”, Milan: Feltrinelli, 2005
Lorenzo Benadusi , the previous Cogut Humanities Fellow in Gender & Sexuality Studies and Italian Studies, is now Assistant Professor of Contemporary History at the Università degli Studi di Bergamo.
Caroline Castiglione won the American Council of Learned Societies and the Howard Foundation Fellowship in 2009 and was on leave 2009-2010 working on Accounting for Affection: Mothering and Politics in Rome, 1630-1730, a book-length project under contract with Palgrave Macmillan.
Her recent articles include “Mater litigans: Mothering Resistance in early Eighteenth-Century Rome,” Historical Reflections /Réflexions Historiques, volume 35.1 (2009): 6-27; “To Trust is Good but Not to Trust is Better: An Aristocratic Woman in Search of Social Capital in Seventeenth-Century Rome,” in Sociability and its Discontents: Civil Society, Social Capital, and their Alternatives in Late-Medieval and Early-Modern Europe, ed. Nicholas A. Eckstein and Nicholas Terpstra (Turnhout: Brepols Publishers, 2009), pp. 149-170; and “The Politics of Mercy: Village Petitions and a Noblewoman’s Justice in the Roman Countryside in the Eighteenth Century,” in Empowering Interactions: Political Cultures and the Emergence of the State in Europe, 14th-19th centuries, ed. Wim Blockmans, André Holenstein, and Jon (Mathieu. Aldershot, U.K.: Ashgate, 2009), pp. 79-90.
She has recently given papers related to her current research at the conferences of the Renaissance Society of America and the Society for Italian Historical Studies as well as the conference "Attending to Early Modern Women” at the University of Maryland.
Pius XI (Ambrogio Damiano Achille Ratti)
Though slowed by his administrative duties as provost, David Kertzer has continued to work on two projects this past year. The first, seeking to explain why Italy by the 1990s had the lowest fertility rate in the world, led to an article with Brown anthropology graduate student Maya Judd and postdoc Alessandra Gribaldo in Population and Development
Review (Sept. 2009): "An imperfect contraceptive society: Fertility and contraception in Italy." He continues work on the second project, a book on the relationship between Pope Pius XI (1922-39) and Mussolini, and is organizing an international conference of researchers working in the newly opened Vatican archives on the Pius XI papacy. The conference, "Pius XI and America," will bring Italian, German, British, French, Canadian, and American scholars to Brown in October, 2010.
Evelyn Lincoln will be the new Director of Renaissance and Early Modern Studies for three years beginning in September, 2010, and will be a Faculty Fellow next Spring at the Pembroke Center Seminar, “The Power and Mystery of Expertise.” She and Professor Caroline Castiglione will be team-teaching the interdisciplinary introductory course Word, Image and Power in Early Modern Italy this Fall. Her article “The Engraved Line and the Viewer’s Imagination,” appeared in the beautifully designed catalogue of the exhibition at the RISD Museum curated by Emily Peters, "The Brilliant Line: Following the Early Modern Engraver, 1480-1650." That show traveled from RISD to the Block Museum at Northwestern University, where she spoke about the portraits in the exhibition. She gave talks this year about her work on Renaissance book illustration and modes of authorship at the ETH in Zürich, at the RSA in Venice, and to the Graduate Colloquium in the Department of Italian Studies at Brown. Her web site, The Theater that was Rome is still under construction but has gone live with a public URL: http://www.stg.brown.edu:8080/exist/rome/index.html
Department Chair Ronald Martinez gave a talk, “Francis, thou art Englished: Translations Now and Then,” at the University of Oregon conference “Francesco Petrarca from Manuscript to Digital Culture” in April, and will be in residence at Brown in Bologna this coming year. The last of the three-volume edition of Dante’s Divine Comedy that he has been preparing with Robert M. Durling, the Paradiso, is scheduled for release in September.
Scene from the Garibaldi Panorama at Brown, and the Panorama unrolled for photography
Massimo Riva’s research interests are still primarily focused on envisioning the future of digital scholarship. He just completed a book in Italian on the future of literature in the digital age (to be published by Bompiani of Milan, in2011) and is collaborating with Harriette Hemmasi (University Librarian) and Andries van Dam (Computer Science) toward an exhibit on digital scholarship entitled "Growing Scholarship," which will open on October 14,2010 at the British Library in London. The exhibit will showcase The Garibaldi Panorama on the Microsoft Surface (see above, under Digital Scholarship). To take the measure of the dozen years since the launching of the Decameron Web, Riva has also published an essay in collaboration with M. Papio: “The Decameron Web, twelve years later,” in the volumeTeaching Foreign Languages and Literatures Online published byThe Modern Language Association, New York: 2009, 343-357. In the past few months he gave several lectures and presentations on this and other related topics at such institutions as New York University, the University of Oregon at Eugene (via teleconference), Wellesley College and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Last March, he was a Visiting Professor (Directeur de Recherche) at the École Normale Supérieure of Paris and Lyon, where he presented a series of seminars on the representation of war in the age of the Risorgimento.
Emilia Andrea Sneider
Cristina Abbona-Sneider’s textbook Trame was published by Yale University Press:
http://yalepress.yale.edu/yupbooks/book.asp?isbn=9780300124958, and in May, 2009 she received the Brown University Teaching with Technology Award. Her most recent project, Emilia Andrea Sneider “è nata domenica 2 maggio ed e’ bellissima!” (see above for proof!)
Anna Freud with her father, 1913
Sigmund Freud Collection, Library of Congress
Suzanne Stewart-Steinberg writes: “My two freshman seminars in Comparative Literature "Italy Through the Eyes of Others," and in Italian Studies "Cinematic Representations of Fascism", taught in the spring, staged a multi-media event on May 12. The CompLit seminar called their presentation "Imagine(ed) Italy: A Literary Grand Tour," where they exhibited a real, old-fashioned scrapbook, as well as a video that showed images of Italy, of the authors read in class (de Stael, Goethe, Twain, Hawthorne, Forster, Mann, Freud, among others), with a voice-over of commentary and excerpts from their papers. The Italian Studies seminar entitled its presentation "Cinema e fascismo italiano: Perspectives on Post-Fascist Cinema." This, too, was a multi-media event. The students produced a wonderful documentary about the class with interviews with all the students, a gorgeous brochure, and four media installations that focused on four of the films discussed in class: Rossellini's Open City, Bertolucci's Conformist and also his Spider's Stratagem, and Benigni's Life is Beautiful. The Expo, held in Hillel's Social Hall was attended by about 300 people.
This year, I taught at the School of Criticism and Theory (during the summer at Cornell), submitted a manuscript to Cornell University Press, entitled Imaginary Socialities: Five Essays on Anna Freud, Psychoanalysis and Politics, and gave a series of lectures: at the Primo Levi Symposium at the Graduate Center, CUNY; at Princeton, Bard and the American Association of Italian Studies. I continued to serve on Brown's Graduate Council and as Director of Gender and Sexuality Studies, advised many undergraduate and graduate students, and was nominated for the undergraduate advising award.”
still from Salvatore GIuliano
Monica Facchini passed her dissertation proposal defense this year, and her article, "Lamento, ordine e subalternita` in Salvatore Giuliano," was published in the California Italian Studies online journal. The link to the article is http://escholarship.org/uc/item/853250m5. She was one of the main organizers of CHIASMI, the Third Annual Joint Graduate Student Conference held this yearat Brown on "Viewing Change/Changing Views." More information on the conference can be found at: http://www.brown.edu/chiasmi.
Benedetta Gennaro was awarded her Ph.D. and received a job offer for a permanent position as researcher at the Fraunhofer Institute in Darmstadt, Germany. In January her paper for the annual Società Italiana delle Storiche conference in Naples was presented, and in February she was an invited lecturer at the École Normale Superieure, Paris (February). Two articles forthcoming articles to look for are: "Donne in armi: mobilitazione politica, impegno militare e amor di patria," Conference proceedings, V Congresso SIS, Laura Guidi and Maria Rosa Pelizzari and a chapter, Stamura d'Ancona: donne in armi e cultura risorgimentale," in a volume edited by Alberto Banti, Vinzia Fiorino e Carlotta Sorba, "Il lungo Ottocento e le (sue) immagini" (2011).
Amanda Minervini wrote from Berlin: “I am currently an exchange student at Humboldt Universität in Berlin; while I am hoping to be able to defend my proposal ASAP, I am also sketching the first chapter of my dissertation, learning some German and working on academic translations. The most recent news about me regards one published translation and two conferences. The translation is: "On War and on the Enemy" by Carlo Galli; tr. by Amanda Minervini, Adam Sitze. In The New Centennial Review, Volume 9, Number 2, Fall 2009, pp. 195-219 http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/new_centennial_review/summary/v009/9.2.galli.html
I chaired a panel at a conference in Cambridge, UK in February: "The Moving Image: Reconfiguring Spaces of Loss and Mourning in the 21 Century" http://www.crassh.cam.ac.uk/events/1042/ and one in April, at the 2010 edition of the American Comparative Literature Association. The panel is called "Politics of Sanctity" and can be read here: http://www.acla.org/acla2010/?p=725”
Stefano Selenu served as chair for the panel “Alternative Perspectives in Late Medieval Literature” at Chiasmi 2010, and gave a paper, “Theologia Ludens in Dante’s Vernacular Hunting: Nimrod, Adam, the Panther, and the Veltro,” at the MLA Convention in Philadelphia. His work has been published in two articles this year: “Grammatica, logica e storia in Antonio Gramsci.” In Mauro Pala, ed. Americanismi. Sulla ricezione del pensiero di Gramsci in America. Cagliari: CUEC, 2009. and “Ives and Gramsci in Dialogue. Vernacular Subalternity, Cultural Interferences, and the Word-Thing Interdependence.” In Rethinking Marxism, 21.3 (July 2009), pp. 344-354; section about the Symposium on Peter Ives’s book, Gramsci’s Politics of Language: Engaging the Bakhtin Circle and the Frankfurt School. He is also the author of an entry on Benedetto Croce in Gregory Castle, ed. Literary Theory from 1900-1966. Volume I of the Encyclopedia of Literary and Cultural Theory. (General Editor Michael Ryan). Oxford: Blackwell, 2010. But perhaps most important: “I have completed my dissertation “The Linguistic Problem in Dante: A Gramscian Pathway toward the Modern Vernacular World” and I got a position at Wellesley College: Yessss!!!!”
And From the Italian Department Office:
Mona Delgado turned 50 years old this year, and marked that life passage by also becoming a grandmother. Her grandson Mio was born in January. Mona, and the rest of us, would love to hear from alumni—send your news to firstname.lastname@example.org and she will make sure it gets into the next newsletter.