Welcome to the Italian Section and GRLL

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We are happy to welcome two new graduate students in our section. We hope GRLL will be a wonderful home to you for the next five years!

Silvia Raimondi comes from the most beautiful, magnificent city in the world, Rome. She earned a laurea (2015) and a Master degree (2016) with honors, in Italian language and literature from the University of Roma Tre. An extract from her first thesis (“Il poeta di teatro di Filippo Pananti: notazioni lessicali”), which focuses on the history of the Italian language, has been published in the Italian journal «Scaffale aperto», by Carocci Editore. She has taught Italian and history in a high school in the city of Como and she obtained the DITALS certification, to teach Italian Language as a foreign language, from the Università per Stranieri di Siena. At Hopkins, she intends to focus on modern and contemporary Italian literature and cinema, and women’s and gender studies. She has done extensive research on postwar Italian literature dealing with the anti-fascist movement, with a focus on the work of the writer partisan Beppe Fenoglio. In  her MA thesis, “Between Epic and Contemporaneity: the Role of the Elderly in Fenoglio”, she explored the connection between contemporary and classic literature and the representation of the figure of the «non-combatant» in the anti-fascist resistance literature. She would like to expand her research on Fenoglio, while also exploring the work of other writers such as Elsa Morante, Italo Calvino, Cesare Pavese, Elio Vittorini, Luigi Meneghello, and Renata Viganò. She is also interested in studying the ways the resistance has been represented in Italian cinema and continue to be revisited in recent documentary films directed by women directors, addressing women’s participation in the movement. Silvia has also done volunteer work in libraries and hospitals to promote the activity of reading among children with difficult socio-economical and educational background and the integration of immigrants in the city of Como.

Samuel Zawacki received a BA in Italian and Linguistics in 2018 followed by an accelerated Master’s degree in Italian Studies in 2019 from New York University. His academic interests lie in Lavender Linguistics, or the intersection between Gender Studies and the study of human language. His Senior Honors Thesis, “Fuori dal Binario: Linguistic Gender in the Italian Context,” explores ways in which the Italian linguistic landscape is changing to accommodate non binary individuals. Subsequently, his Master’s Thesis, “Queer Femminista: Alma Sabatini and Feminist Foundations for Linguistic Gender Neutrality in Italian,” explores the similarities between the Feminist movement for linguistic change outlined in Sabatini’s “Raccomandazioni per un uso non sessista nella lingua italiana” and the modern LGBT movement for linguistic gender neutrality. In addition to the fifty or so years that Samuel has focused on in his pre-doctoral research, he works reverse chronologically studying gender as far back as the Medieval and Early Modern periods through authors such as Boccaccio, Castiglione, and Dante. He is currently working on a translation of Ferrante Pallavicino‘s “il Principe Ermafrodito” and hopes to further expand his view on and the temporal bounds gender study in Italian. Outside of the academic world, Samuel’s main passion is cooking and hosting dinner parties for friends and family. Italian cuisine of course, with some recipes dating back more than 6 generations.