Graduate Students

Anna Aresi
Anna AresiAnna Aresi
Anna Aresi graduated summa cum laude from the University of Padua, Italy, in Classics and Italian Literature and Philology. She spent the 2014-2015 academic year as a Visiting Professor of Italian at Villanova University, and is now close to completing her Ph.D. degree with a dissertation entitled Modernism through Dante: T. S. Eliot, Clemente Rebora, and Osip Mandelstam. Her dissertation explores the reception of Dante in European modernism, focusing on how the reception of Dante influenced modernist poetics. Anna’s areas of interest include: Dante Studies, Italian Modern and Contemporary Literature, Italian and European Modernism, Reception and Translation Studies, Second Language Acquisition, and Contemplative Pedagogy. She is the director of the "Poetry in Translation" section of the journal Mosaici ( To view Anna's research profile, please visit: To view Anna's Online Teaching Portfolio, please visit: (password upon request).
Lianca Carlesi
Lianca CarlesiLianca CarlesiLianca Carlesi (Ph.D. candidate in Italian Studies) graduated summa cum laude from the University of Bologna where she earned a Master Degree in Contemporary Italian Literature with a thesis on a comparative reading of a selection of Italian Resistance novels. She started her Ph.D. at Brown in 2010, and she is currently in her fellowship year. At Brown she taught beginning and intermediate level Italian courses, she was a TA for an Italian culture course, and she organized the 2014 edition of Chiasmi, the Brown-Harvard Graduate Student Conference. Her main interest is Twentieth Century Italian literature, with particular regard to postwar and Resistance literature. Her dissertation project focuses on Cesare Pavese, especially on the last years of his literary and intellectual activity.

Wuming Chang

Wuming ChangWuming ChangWuming Chang is writing his dissertation on Rhetoric as Imitation of the City and the Cosmos in Dante's Comedy, where he examines the intertexual relationship between rhetorical texts (manuals, political epistles, orations) and Dante's poem, especially in its cosmological passages.  His interests center on the relationship between Dante and aspects of Medieval Latin culture, such as political rhetoric, philosophy, and the reception of classics.  Wuming was born in Beijing, where he received a B.A. in philosophy at Peking University and also acted extensively.  In his free time he enjoys all kinds of music, theatre and poetry, and stutteringly debates social and philosophical issues with friends.


Mena Fantarella

Filomena FantarellaFilomena Fantarella

Before coming to Brown, Filomena worked as an intern editor at L'Indipendente and Il Manifesto. From 2009 to 2010 she was a visiting scholar at Harvard University, where she completed research on Gaetano Salvemini’s antifascist activity in the United States.  Her dissertation “Broken circle. The family of Gaetano Salvemini under Fascism” is a biographical work and it uncovers the costs of Salvemini’s anti-fascism to his family life, and the tragic connections between Italy’s most tireless anti-fascist, and the fascism embraced by members of his own family. Her interests include: Fascism and Antifascism in Literature and History; First Person Narratives in Modern Italian Literature; You are What You Eat:  The Making of Italians through Food; the Relationship between Literature and Politics. She edited the section: “Letteratura e Politica in Italia tra la fine dell’Ottocento e gli inizi del Novecento. Il caso siciliano: Luigi Pirandello, Federico De Roberto e Giovanni Verga” for the journal Archivio Storico, published on August 2015. She is currently co-organizing the panel “Culture, history and politics in the Italian journals of the early 20th century” for the next NeMLA Annual Convention 2016. In addition, during her years at Brown, she has taught several language courses and was TA for cultural classes.

Valeria Federici 

Valeria FedericiValeria FedericiValeria Federici is a third year PhD student in Italian Studies. She graduated in Lettere with a concentration in Art History from the University RomaTre in Rome, Italy. In her thesis she explored the role of the local and central government in controlling the cultural representation through the Museo Artistico Industriale and through initiatives such as the Universal Exposition held in Rome in 1911 to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the unification of the nation. She has participated in several guest lectures and roundtables about arts management, art and activism, and the role of cultural institutions in place-making and community-building in post-industrial cities. Her recent research projects include the representation of women in Italian TV and cinema in 1950s presented at SAMLA 2014, and Fascists propaganda in US during the Italo-Ethiopian war presented at AAIS 2015. She co-organized the 2015 edition of Chiasmi, the Brown-Harvard graduate conference. Her research interests include digital humanities, the intersection between art and politics, activism and information technology.

Zoe Langer

Zoe LangerZoe Langer

Zoe Langer received her BA in Art History and Italian Studies at UC Berkeley in 2009. She also studied at the University of Padova in 2007-2008, during which she received a research fellowship to study at the state archives in Siena. She then pursued graduate studies at the University of Cambridge, where she received an MPhil in European Literature and Culture in 2010. Her thesis, “Constructing a Vernacular Politics in the Sala dei Nove in Siena: Art, Language, and Ideology,” examined medieval political culture in Siena through the lens of literature, art history, politics, and linguistics. Zoe’s interests include text and image studies, vernacular literary culture, translation and reception theory, the history of the Italian language, and medieval political culture.

Tommaso Pepe 

Tommaso PepeTommaso PepeTommaso graduated from the University of Pavia, Italy, in 2013, defending a thesis on work of the Italian Holocaust survivor Primo Levi. During his graduate studies in Europe, he has spent several periods as visiting student at the Trinity College Dublin (September - December 2010) and at the University of Cambridge (2011-2012). In 2013-2014, he joined Florida State University, where he has been a teaching assistant for the Italian program. In the first half of 2014, he completed his European Voluntary Service in Ghent, Belgium, working in a structure for the care of severely handicapped people. Tommaso joined the Italian program at Brown in the fall of 2015. His research interest converge on the study of the literary and cultural impact of the Holocaust in the Italian and European context. To this regard, he has published scholarly essays in journals such as Testo, Carte Italiane, Italianistica and Il confronto letterario, and given presentation at conferences in Atlanta, Edinburgh, Zurich, Innsbruck, Palermo and London. In his doctorate research, Tommaso will concentrate on a comparative and contrastive analysis of the Holocaust narrative elaborated by different survivors of the Shoah, including Primo Levi, Jean Améry, Elie Wisel and Robert Antelme.

Anna Santucci 

Anna SantucciAnna SantucciAnna Santucci received her BA in Modern Languages and Literatures at the University of Padua (Italy) in 2009 with a translation into Italian of a tale by Elizabeth Gaskell as her final thesis. In 2011 she completed an MA in English Literature at the University of Nottingham (UK) with a final dissertation on the cinematic features of Dickensian characterization. Anna has published in the Pirandello Society of America Journal and inScenario, a Journal for Drama and Theatre in Foreign and Second Language Education.Her interests include second language acquisition, translation, drama, performance studies, and adaptation and appropriation issues. As a member of Brown’s Open Graduate Education Program, Anna is a PhD student of Italian Studies as well as an MA student of Theater Arts and Performance Studies; she is also a Teaching Consultant at the Brown University Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning. Anna is currently teaching language courses at Brown and working towards her dissertation project, which focuses on the performative aspects of second language acquisition and on the design of courses that integrate the theater arts and the teaching of foreign language and culture.

Andrea Sartori 

Andrea SartoriAndrea Sartori

Andrea Sartori earned a laurea in Philosophy from Ca’ Foscari University (Venice, 1999), an MA in Digital Communication for the Humanities from the State University of Milan (2000) and – after having worked as a communication manager, freelance journalist and publishing consultant for several years – an MA in Italian Studies from Florida State University (Tallahassee, 2015). He also studied in Regensburg and at the Ludwig-Albert Universitaet of Freiburg in Breisgau (Germany), with a DAAD Scholarship (1995). Andrea has published articles and translations on Hegel and Raphael, on the Frankfurt School and on the philosophical anthropology for the book Gloria dell’Assente. La Madonna per San Sisto di Piacenza, edited by E. Gazzola and F. Milana (Vicolo del Pavone, 2004), and for reviews like Fenomenologia e societàLa società degli individui, Teoria and Quaderni di teoria sociale. He has published contributions and reviews on the Italian  contemporary literature for the Florentine journal Il Ponte, Italian Quarterly, Altrelettere and Annali d’Italianistica. He has recently published an article on the Italian writer Antonio Barolini (1910-1971) in Antonio Barolini. Cronistoria di un’anima, edited by T. Barolini (Società Editrice Fiorentina, 2015). He is author of a novel (Scompenso, Rome 2010, finalist at the prize Perelà). Edizioni Mimesis (Milan, 2013) has published his translation of Terry Pinkard’s book Hegel’s Phenomenology. The Sociality of Reason (originally edited by Cambridge University Press, 1994).