Indiana University Bloomington
Department of French and Italian

Colleen Ryan

Colleen Ryan

Professor of Italian
Director of Undergraduate Studies, Italian

Office: Ballantine Hall 626
Office phone: 855-1249
View CV

Research Areas

Italian cinema, gender studies, Italian curriculum development, teaching foreign language through theater, graduate student training and professional development


  • PhD, Italian, Indiana University, 1997
  • MA, Italian Language and Literature, Middlebury College , 1993
  • BA, French and Government, University of Notre Dame, 1990


In her role as Director of Italian Language Instruction, Colleen teaches courses across the curriculum, from first-semester language and lower-division outreach seminars to capstone courses such as the Foreign Language Theater Workshop & Play Production. She also guides a large team of graduate students and lecturers in a multifaceted language and culture program through a series of pre- and in-service workshops, regular teaching practicums, and a Foreign Language Teaching Methods course.

Colleen is the author of Sex, the Self, and the Sacred: Women in the Cinema of Pier Paolo Pasolini (University of Toronto, 2007) and co-editor of Set the Stage! Italian Language, Literature, and Culture through Theater. Theoretical and Practical Perspectives. (Yale, 2009). She has two forthcoming book publications: Dramatic Interactions: Teaching Languages, Literatures, and Cultures through Theater. Theoretical Approaches and Classroom Practices (co-editor, Cambridge Scholars Press, 2011) This volume includes voices from many different languages, continents, and cultures. Caleidoscopio, instead, is a second-year textbook project, with strong literary, visual, cinematic and theatrical components, to be co-authored with Daniela Bartalesi-Graf and published with Pearson in 2012. Shorter publications include articles on Italian women writers, gender representations in Italian cinema, Italian curriculum development, content-based teaching, teaching foreign languages through theater, and TA training and professional development.

Colleen Ryan served as Director of the Italian Language program at the University of Notre Dame from 1998-2007 and on the original Task Force and Test Development Committee for the College Board's Advanced Placement in Italian Language and Culture (2002-2006).

In 2007 she was elected the first Italian Section Head for the American Association of University Supervisors and Coordinators and in 2009 she was elected Midwest Regional Representative for the American Association of Teachers of Italian. And since 2007 she has served on the editorial board for Studi Pasoliniani.

Selected Publications


Sex, the Self, and the Sacred: Women in the Cinema of Pier Paolo Pasolini . Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2007.

Set the Stage! Teaching Italian Language, Literature, and Culture through Theater. Theoretical and Practical Perspectives. Co-edited with Nicoletta Marini-Maio, including original contributions by Dacia Maraini and Dario Fo. New Haven : Yale University Press, 2008.


"Teaching and Assessing Italian Culture in North America," Italica, 2010.

"Foreign Language Program Direction: Reflections on Workload, Service, and Feminization of the Profession." in Katie Hogan and Michelle Masse, (eds.) Over Ten Million Served: Gendered Service in Language and Literature Workplaces. SUNY Press (August 2010).

"The Politics of Diversity: The Rights of the Ugly Woman and the Decadent Hero in Scola's Passione d'amore," in Delectando Discitur. Essays in Honor of Edoardo A. Lèbano, Italiana, XIII, Paolo A. Giordano and Michael Lettieri, eds. New York: Bordighera Press, 2009, 319-345.

"Page, Stage, Screen: The Languages of Silence in Maraini and Faenza 's La lunga vita di Marianna Ucrìa ," Modern Language Notes , 123.1, (January 2008): 56-76.

"The Sacred Self: Autogenesis and Creation in Pasolini's Cinema" Studi Pasoliniani , 1.1, (Winter 2008): 89-104

"Campanile's Comedic Theater: A Humorous Link in the Italian Studies Curriculum." Italica, 81.4 (Winter 2004): 483-503.

"Full-Scale Theater Production and Second Language Learning." Foreign Language Annals, 37.3 (Fall 2004): 374-89.

"The Unending Process of Subjectivity: Gendering Otherness as Openness in Pasolini's Decameron ." Annali d'Italianistica , 21 (December 2000): 359-74.

"The Anonymity and Ignominy: Absence as an Asset in Sibilla Aleramo's Una donna ." Rivista di studi italiani , 14 (Spring 2000): 185-202.

"The Status of TA-Training and Professional Development Programs for Teachers of Italian in North American Colleges and Universities: A Quantitative Overview." Italica , 76.4 (Winter 1999): 454-68.


  • Italian Teaching Methods
  • Italian Teaching Practicum
  • Female Voices in 20th-Century Italy
  • Cinema e Scrittori: Pier Paolo Pasolini
  • Italian Women Writers
  • Italian Theater Workshop and Production
  • Cinema e letteratura: The Art of Adaptation
  • Introduction to Modern Italian Literature, 1700-2000
  • Textual Analysis and Advanced Grammar
  • Italian Popular Culture
  • Beginning and Intermediate Italian
  • Intensive Intermediate Italian

Honors, Fellowships, and Awards

  • Summer Instructional Development Grant [to revise New Teacher Orientation Program] Indiana University, April 2009
  • Board of Trustees Teaching Award, Department of French and Italian, Indiana University, April 2009
  • Nanovic Institute for European Studies Faculty Collaborative Research Grant, April 2004
  • Department of Romance Languages Teaching Award, University of Notre Dame, May 2003
  • Distinguished Notre Dame Woman Award, April 2003
  • American Association of University Women, Postdoctoral Faculty Fellow for "Women in Popular Italian Film Genres," Aug 2001-July 2002