I am trained in both Italian and Brazilian Studies and my work focuses on the circulation and reimagination of ideas across time and space. In my research I explore the ways in which the concept of Italian identity has evolved beyond the strict geographical confines of the Italian nation-state and how it has impacted the way we imagine the bel paese. At the same time, I look at how the emigration of millions of Italians has shaped notions of class, race, and gender in the Americas—specifically in Brazil. The central questions that I grapple with in both my research and teaching include: What does it mean to be Italian in a culture defined by border crossing and internal diversity? How do we map the circulation of ideas that are supposedly anchored in a particular national context?
I am originally from Vignola, a picturesque borgo nestled in the hills of Modena and Bologna, famous for its cherries (morette and duroni) and for the torta Barozzi cake, named after the architect Jacopo Barozzi who gave the town its renowned spiral staircase. I am a former American Field Service (AFS) student, and I have been affiliated with the Universidade Clássica de Lisboa, the University of California Davis, the Universidade de São Paulo, and the Global South Studies Center of the Universität zu Köln.