Laura Di Bianco

Laura Di Bianco

Assistant Professor of Italian Studies
Affiliated Faculty with the Center for Advanced Media Studies
Program for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality
Environmental Science and Studies Program

Program: Italian
Gilman 435
Tuesday 4-6 p.m. by appointment

Laura Di Bianco holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from The Graduate Center, City University of New York (2014). She is Assistant Professor, and Director of Italian Studies, and is affiliated with the Center of Advanced Media Studies (CAMS) and the Program for the Study of Women Gender and Sexuality (WGS). Her research and teaching interests lie at the intersection of Italian studies, film studies, women’s and gender studies, and ecocriticism.

After earning her laurea at the University of “Roma Tre” in Film History and Criticism, Professor Di Bianco worked at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, Italy’s national film school, as an iconographic researcher, curator and production coordinator for numerous documentary films, photo exhibitions and publications. Prior to joining the Hopkins faculty in 2016, she taught classes of Italian language, film, and literature at different institutions such as CUNY, Hunter College, Queen College, Fordham University and The New School University.  

Dr. Di Bianco has published articles in academic journals and volumes such as The Italianist Film and Italian Women Filmmakers and the Gendered Screen .  She is the film review editor for the online journal “Gender| Sexuality| Italy, ” and co-editor for Modern Language Notes.  Currently, she is completing her first book project—Wandering Women. A Feminist  Geography of Italian Cinema—which investigates the representation of urban space and women’s subjectivity within the oeuvres of contemporary Italian women filmmakers such as Francesca Comencini, Alice Rohrwacher, Marina Spada, Roberta Torre, Eleonora Danco, and others. Her second book project–Crumbling Beauty: Italian Cinema in the Age of Anthropocene –deals with ecological crises in Italy as represented in films from the sixties to the present.

At Johns Hopkins, Professor Di Bianco teaches surveys of Italian cinema, classes about women’s filmmaking, as well as courses of modern and contemporary Italian literature and cinema, with a focus on the interplay of humans, non-humans, and the environment. Leading translation projects with graduate and undergraduate students, she recently completed English subtitles for films by pioneer, silent film director Elvira Notari that were presented at the 2018 edition of Festival del Cinema Ritrovato, in Bologna.

Undergraduate courses

  • Italian Cinema: The Classics, the Forgotten, and the Emergent (fall 2017, fall 2018)
  • Italian Journeys: Modern and Contemporary Green Literature (fall 2018)
  • Food for Thought: Italian Identity, Politics, and Gastronomy (summer 2018)
  • Vagabonds and Ramblers: Space & Place in Women’s Cinema (spring 2018)
  • Italian Eco-cinema: Inconvenient Truths from 1945 to 2015 (spring 2017)
  • Italian Journeys: Landscapes of Memories and Desires (fall 2016)

Graduate seminars

  • Crumbling Beauty: Environmental Crisis in Italian Literature and Cinema (spring 2018)
  • First-Person Cinema: Ethics and Aesthetics of Italian Documentary Filmmaking (fall 2017)
  • Dissolving Margins: Space and Female Subjectivity in the Work of Elena Ferrante (spring 2017)
  • Flânerie and Female Authorship in Contemporary Italian Cinema (fall 2016)

Selection of Classes Taught at Other Institutions

  • Screening Contemporary Italian Literature (fall 2015)
  • Food and the Construction of Italian Identity (fall 2015)
  • Feast Your Eyes. Food and Film (fall 2013, fall 2014, fall 2015)
  • The Modern Italian Novel (spring 2015)
  • Italian Literature from the Middle Ages to the 16th Century (fall 2014)
  • Practical Film Analysis. Fellini’s Nights of Cabiria (spring 2012)
  • Female Gaze over the City: A Comparative Study of Women Filmmakers (fall 2012)
  • Post-War Italian Women Writers (spring 2010)

“Gomorrah: Imma’s Dream of Domination” in The Italianist, 36:2, 312-317, August 5, 2016.

“Francesca Comencini: Women Outside the Polis” Italian Political Cinema. Public Life, Imagery and Identity in Contemporary Italian Cinema. New York: Peter Lang, June 2016.

 “Francesca Comencini: Le città delle donne” in Le donne del cinema italiano: una mappa in divenire, Eds. Lucia Cardone, Cristina Jandelli and Chiara Tognolotti. Barcelona: Quaderni del CSCI n. 11, November 2015.

“Naples’ City Views, Flat Space, and Suspension of Time: Francesca Comencini’s Adaptation of Valeria Parella’s Lo spazio bianco.” Luci e Ombre, January 2014.

“Women in the Deserted City: Urban Space in Marina Spada's Cinema.” Italian Women Filmmakers and the Gendered Screen, ed. Maristella Cantini. New York and London: Palgrave, 2013.

“L’immagine salvifica dell'immigrato. Into paradiso di Paola Randi e Mozzarella stories di Edoardo De Angelis.” Italy A\R Migrazioni nel\del Cinema Italiano, ed. Vito Zagarrio. Barcelona: Quaderni del CSCI n. 8, 2012.

“Come l'ombra di Marina Spada.” Italy A\R Migrazioni nel\del Cinema Italiano, ed. Vito Zagarrio. Barcelona: Quaderni del CSCI n. 8, 2012.

“Toward an Italian Ecocinema: Raising Environmental Consciousness in the Bel Paese,” forthcoming.