Tatiana Avesani (they/them/their)
Tatiana Avesani is a doctoral candidate in the Interdisciplinary Humanistic Studies program working between the fields of Classics and Italian Studies at Johns Hopkins University. They received their BA at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Milano and their MA from New York University before coming to Johns Hopkins University. Tatiana’s research has mainly focused on analyzing the relationship between language and identity in the Italian Renaissance. They’ve explored the ways in which vernacular and Neo-Latin literary production influenced each other in the development of Italian language at a time of political and cultural instability. More recently, Tatiana’s interests have been directed towards the study of queer and trans theory in relation to Italy’s Early Modern literary production. Specifically, that has led them to explore the influence of Latin and Greek literature and mythology on the Italian Renaissance.
Claudia Calabresi (she/they)
After a bachelor’s degree in Classical Studies, Claudia Calabresi earned her M.A. in 2022 at the faculty of Communication and Media’s Culture at the University of Turin, Italy, with a dissertation titled “I’d rather be a cyborg than a goddess. Cinema, sociosemiotics, science fiction and feminisms”. He research is based upon the experimentation of a “hybrid” sociosemiotic and feminist analysis towards the gender-based discrimination and violence dynamics enacted in the science fictional, Western contemporary cinematography, and the theorisation of a critical gaze which could provide an effective counterpart to the male gaze by unraveling its mechanisms and vulnerabilities. The methodological theory offered by the analysis would seek to combine the sociosemiotics theory’s model developed by the authors Guido Ferraro and Antonio Santangelo with the gender studies focused on the semiotic field elaborated by the authors Cristina Demaria, Federica Turco, Teresa de Lauretis, Judith Butler, Mary Ann Doane, Laura Mulvey and Donna J. Haraway. At Johns Hopkins, Calabresi aims to offer through this research a new perspective towards cross-sectional contexts of semio-feminist critics, culture, activism.
Marta Cerreti earned a laurea (2017) and a Master degree (2019) with honors, in Philosophy from Sapienza Università di Roma. In her first year of MA she won a scholarship to study Philosophy and Literature in Ireland, at University College Dublin. In her dissertation titled Feeling a Stranger at Home: An Itinerary Between Philosophy and Literature, Marta explored one of the most significant philosophical questions – the one about identity and recognition – starting by the perusal of literary texts, showing her attitude for comparative studies. In 2019 Marta received a scholarship awarded by the Istituto Italiano per gli Studi Filosofici in Naples, where she had the opportunity to contribute to a collective work with a short essay on Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and the cinema of attractions. At Hopkins, Cerreti investigates the link between narrativity and identity, with a focus on Contemporary women’s writing in Italy, thus connecting the interests expressed in her final dissertation in a new interdisciplinary trajectory rooted in her strong cultural and linguistic Italian experience. She aims at expanding her research by exploring the work of writers such as Ferrante, Ortese, Morante, Ginzburg, Ramondino, all authors who seem to reclaim the necessity to lose one’s margins (Ferrante’s “smarginatura” and Ortese’s “frantumazione”). In her research, Marta would like to bridge Italian Studies, with the Program in Philosophy, Cinema Studies and Gender Studies. In the past, Marta has worked for cultural magazines, writing articles in the literary section. She likewise has worked as operator in an anti-violence centre and this experience has given her the opportunity to expand her studies with activist initiatives.
Giulia Maria Cipriani earned her B.A. (Laurea Triennale) and M.A. (Laurea Magistrale cum laude) at the Univeristà degli Studi “Roma Tre”. Her master dissertation focused on the rewriting of Dante’s Divine Comedy in Boccaccio’s Decameron, and three extracts have been published in the academic journal Scaffale Aperto and miscellaneous volumes. At Hopkins, she is expanding her interests. Indeed, she is writing a dissertation on demons in the epic-chivalric poems of the Italian Sixteenth Century, focusing on their representation, their interaction with human characters, and their analogies and differences with the previous tradition (both pagan and Christian). She participated in many conferences and published several articles. The last is entitled “Dante, Durante e la parodia. Appunti su ‘La Divina Commedia quasi mille anni dopo’ di Feudalesimo&Libertà e Don Alemanno”.
Cristina D’Errico received her BA in Italian Literature from the University of Udine and her MA in Medieval and Renaissance Cultures and Traditions from the University of Ferrara. Her master thesis “I Manoscritti Datati della Biblioteca Universitaria di Bologna” examines through paleographic and codicological analysis a selection of dated manuscripts preserved at the University Library of Bologna. She began her PhD at Johns Hopkins in Fall 2018. Her broader research interests include Paleography and Codicology, Philology, and History of Ideas. She is currently focusing on the heresies and religious movements of Italian Renaissance with a particular interest in the figure of Teofilo Folengo.
Martina Franzini is a PhD student in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. Her research interests include Medieval Literature, Renaissance Literature, and 20th-century Italian novel. She is particularly interested in the reception of classical Greek and Latin tradition to understand how these fundamental models influence successive literary production. Prior to Hopkins, she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Lettere Moderne from the Università degli Studi di Milano in 2015. She consequently earned a Masters in Italian Studies from Boston College in 2021, with a thesis in which she discussed the relationship between the Latin poet Statius and the poetic and Christian value of Dante’s poem.
Gianluca Giuseffi Grippa attained a bachelor’s degree in Humanities (Literature, history and philosophy) in 2019 and a master’s degree in Modern Literature in 2021, with honors, at the University of Milan. About the dissertations: the former analyzed the paradigm shift of modern literature through the work of Walter Benjamin; the latter focused on italian industrial literature, highlighting Alberto Bellocchio’s Sirena Operaia and the historical, social and political background of the late twentieth century. Other fields of interest: contemporary literature, literary theory, continental philosophy, philosophy of logic and language, environmental studies, cinema, magazines and periodical publishing, avant-garde, underground movements, music, noise.
Chiara Petrocchi received a bachelor’s degree in Italian Literature from the University of Roma Tre (2020) and a master’s degree in Italian Studies from the University of Bologna (2023) with honors. During her BA she won a scholarship to participate in the Erasmus exchange program and spent six months at the University of Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France. In her master dissertation Narrating Contact. Metonymy and the Signification of the Body in Elena Ferrante and Fabrizia Ramondino she employs rhetorical, literary and feminist studies to investigate how metonymy is used in L’amore molesto, Althénopis and Guerra d’infanzia e di Spagna to give a powerful narrative role to the body, specifically to physical interactions and sensorial perceptions. At Hopkins she would like to deepen such research perspectives, focusing on the interaction between gender, bodily expression and stylistic strategies in the Italian novel from the 20th and 21st centuries. Her research interests include Modern and Contemporary Italian Literature, Women’s and Gender Studies, Women’s Writing, Narrative Theory and Rhetorical Studies.
Silvia Raimondi earned her Bachelor’s degree (2015) and Master’s degree (2016), both with honors, in Italian Language and Literature at the University of Roma Tre. After receiving these degrees, she taught Italian and history in a school in the city of Como (Italy) and she obtained the DITALS certification, to teach Italian as a Foreign Language, from the Università per Stranieri di Siena. She has published articles in the field of literature and linguistics with a focus on the representation of female characters in Torquato Tasso’s Gerusalemme liberata. At Hopkins, her work centers itself on epic and chivalric poems of the Italian Renaissance. Specifically, she analyzes the role that marginal elements, such as hair, clothes, accessories, and jewelry, play in the construction of women’s gender and social identities in Pulci’s Morgante, Boairdo’s L’Inamoramento de Orlando, Ariosto’s Orlando furioso, Tasso’s Gerusalemme liberata, and Fonte’s Floridoro. She is also interested in contemporary literature, cinema, and gender studies.
Samuel Zawacki is a PhD candidate in Italian literature at Johns Hopkins University. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Italian and Linguistics (2018) and a Master’s degree in Italian literature (2019) from New York University. While at NYU he earned grants from the D’agostino Fund and the Dean’s Undergraduate Research Fund, departmental honors, and the Guido Cavalcanti Award for excellence in Italian. In his dissertation project “Queer Lies: Truth, Identity, and Dissimulation in Italian Trans Auto-Narration,” Samuel explores the performance of trans identity and the strategic deployment of dissimulation and self-misrepresentation in trans-authored works of memoir and autofiction. His research interests include contemporary Italian literature, film, critical theory, feminist and gender studies, trans theory, and autobiography studies. Additionally, he is currently completing a full-length translation of Romina Cecconi’s Io, la “Romanina” as part of a larger project to make Italian trans narratives accessible (and teachable) in the anglophone context and he has served as Assistant Editor to the Italian edition of Modern Language Notes since 2019.