Candidate's Statement for Forum Executive Committee – LLC 17th, 18th, and 19th C
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I am happy to have been nominated to serve on this Forum’s Executive Committee. Please find a brief statement below. I would be happy to answer any questions should you have them.
I am an assistant professor at the University of California, Davis, where I teach Italian and Comparative Literature and focus on the long modernist period of the 19th and 20th century. I am particularly interested in the intersection of literature and philosophy, which I approach from the perspective of both intellectual history and literary analysis. My book, Modernist Idealism: Ambivalent Legacies of German Philosophy in Italian Literature, examines the Risorgimento-era reception of German thought, especially Hegel and Schopenhauer, and how that reception influences the development of fin-de-siecle and early-20th-century literary culture. The appendix to that book features the first English-language translation of Francesco De Sanctis’ important literary-philosophical essay, “Schopenhauer e Leopardi: Dialogo tra A e D.” I have also been active in translating works by the Risorgimento philosopher Bertrando Spaventa as well as work by Benedetto Croce and Luigi Pirandello. In a related vein, my co-authored book, Scrittura d’immagini: Pirandello e la visualita` tra arte, filosofia e psicoanalisi examines how Pirandello’s outlook is informed by currents of 19th-century philosophical and artistic thought. My work on 19th-century decadentismo, fin-de-siecle culture, and the intermedial aspects of decadent theatre, literature, and early cinema are motivated by an interest in thinking of Italian studies in a comparative and interdisciplinary way.
Throughout my career I have been an active participant in the MLA, which I have attended for most of the conferences held in the past decade and where I have regularly organized and chaired panels for the Pirandello Society of America, where I serve as Co-President and am also Co-editor of their scholarly journal, PSA. I am also a member of other scholarly organizations, including the American Association for Italian Studies, the American Comparative Literature Association, the Modernist Studies Association, and the California Interdisciplinary Consortium for Italian Studies, where I serve as a member of the Executive Committee overseeing their digital journal, California Italian Studies.
I am eager to work with colleagues in the Forum on 17th-, 18th-, and 19th-Century Italian to develop rich interdisciplinary panels for future MLA conferences. I am deeply committed to a transnational vision of Italian Studies and to working toward a more global and inclusive vision of our field. As a member of the Executive Committee of the Forum, I would be eager to work with other organizations and to continue encouraging new scholars to examine this rich period of Italian history, literature, and culture.