Professor of Italian
Director of Graduate Studies, Italian
Baroque and early modern literature in Italy; 20th- and 21st-century popular culture
- PhD, Romance Languages and Literatures, Harvard, 2006
- PhD, Italian, Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, 2004
- BA, History of Literary Criticism, Pisa University, 2000
My research focuses on Italian culture of the Baroque period, with a particular attention to the connections between art and literature. This interest led to the publication of my first book, which analyzes the influence of optical illusions on 17th-century Italian culture. In this work I discuss how literary authors describe optical illusions in their writings, and how they use them as metaphors for philosophical discourse.
My second book is a commented and annotated edition of the 17th-century comedy "Il natal di Amore" ("The Birth of Love") by Venetian poet Giulio Strozzi. The text is a delightful description of how love can triumph over social conventions and traditions, to the point of forcing the characters to move past them and create a new, freer and more tolerant society for themselves.
I am also interested in contemporary popular culture of Italy, England, and the United States, especially in regard of detective stories, spy stories, and comic books. I recently published a book about superhero comics interpreted from the point of view of their ethical implications, their religious and mythological roots, and their connections with established literary genres and artistic traditions. This book, originally written in Italian, is now being translated in English for publication in the United States.My teaching combines these specific research interests with my passion for lively discussions with my students. I have taught both in Italy and in the U.S., developing courses on Baroque literature, 17th- and 18th-century theater, Italian emigration, history and theory of the superhero genre, detectives and spies in fiction, and representations of Rome in art, literature, film, and graphic novels.
Il genere supereroico: Mito, società, strategie letterarie. Latina: Tunué (2010) 200 pp.
Giulio Strozzi. Il natal di Amore. First modern edition of the text, based on its 1629 version. Includes a critical introduction and notes. Roma-Padova: Antenore (2010) LV+276 pp.
Il trionfo di Vertunno - Illusioni ottiche e cultura letteraria nell'Età della Controriforma. Lucca: Pacini Fazzi, (2008) 281 pp.
La pagina breve: Antologia di racconti italiani del Novecento. Rapallo (Italy): Cideb (2004)
Selected Articles and Book Chapters
"Verbal Emblems and Arcimboldo's Images in Sir Philip Sidney's Arcadia and Astrophil and Stella."
Explorations in Renaissance Culture (2010).
"Su alcuni parallelismi tra La Rosalinda di Bernardo Morando e I promessi sposi." Esperienze letterarie (2010).
"L'altra dissimulazione: Accetto, Pallavicino, Machiavelli." Italica 86.3 (2009).
"Sul significato del giocoliere nel Cannocchiale aristotelico di Emanuele Tesauro." Studi secenteschi 50 (2009).
"Fosca by Tarchetti and Passione d'amore by Scola: A Comparison." Watching Pages, Reading Pictures:Cinema and Modern Literature in Italy. Cambridge: CambridgeScholars Publishing (2008).
"Reminiscenze di Dante nei poemi epici del Seicento." Seicento e Settecento 3 (2008).
"Against Chapter XXXVI: Sequels and Remakes of Collodi's Pinocchio in Italian Literature." Forum Italicum (2007).
"Alla palestra dell'intelletto: Una lettura del Candelaiodi Giordano Bruno." Italica 85 (2007).
"Il personaggio come genere: Batman, gli Elseworldse la serialità." Contemporanea(2007).
"Un Inferno barocco: Dante, Stigliani, Marino e l'intertestualità." Studi secenteschi 47 (2006). 89-104.
"Belfagor come casistica: Una lettura della Favola machiavelliana." Italianistica34 (2005). 13-26.
"Attilio Mussino, autore di Pinocchio: Un esperimento di ibridazione tra cinema, letteratura e fumetto nel primo Novecento italiano." Contemporanea2 (2004). 67-93.
"Il bestiario di Machiavelli tra emblematica e naturalismo." Italica 81 (2003). 313-33.
- Teatro del '600 e del '700
- Rome: The City and the Myth
- Cloak & Dagger: Detectives and Spies from Sherlock Holmes to James Bond and Beyond
- Journeys and Migrations, from Italy to the Rest of the World
- Prosa italiana del '600
- Giallo e mystery
- Heroes, Superheroes, and Antiheroes
- Masterpieces of Italian Literature I
- Masterpieces of Italian Literature II
- Letteratura e cultura del Barocco italiano
Honors, Fellowships, and Awards
- College of Arts & Humanities Institute Fellowship, Indiana University, Bloomington, 2010
- Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, Indiana University, Bloomington, 2008 (Issued to the 5 most promising junior faculty in the university)
- Trustees Teaching Award, Indiana University, Bloomington, 2008
- Summer Faculty Fellowship, Indiana University, Bloomington, 2007