Recent Work

As an active scholar, I regularly publish my work to add to current dialogues. My most recent publication, “Singing Truth to Power: Melodic Resistance and Bodily Revolt in Italy’s Rice Fields” (Annali d’Italianistica Fall 2016) won the Working Class Studies Association’s Linkon and Russo Award for Best Published Article in Spring 2017.  In this essay, I use women’s work songs to investigate the history of birth control and abortion practices by migrant field workers.  This article investigates how the mondine (female rice weeders) negotiated state demands for female bodies to both feed and populate the nation during Italy’s Fascist period.  Using testimonials and work songs, I rely on the mondine’s own words to chronicle their lived experience of field work and the resulting spirit of rebellion that echoed across the rice paddies.  I then frame these narratives against propaganda that attempted to cast the mondina as a symbol of (re)productive Fascist womanhood.  By emphasizing women workers’ accounts of their bodily revolt from labor strikes to inducing abortion, I reveal how the mondine sang truth to Fascist power.

Critical Inquiry published my article “Taylorist Breastfeeding in Rationalist Clinics: Constructing Industrial Motherhood in Fascist Italy” in their Spring 2015 volume.  In this article, I introduce the concept of Taylorist breastfeeding, a distinctly Italian phenomenon wherein rationalism overtakes biology. I argue that the ideal rationalist clinics staged in the propaganda film Alle Madri d’Italia (To the Mothers of Italy) serve to naturalize a factory-like vision of women’s healthcare by casting breastfeeding and childbirth as forms of mass production belonging to the state. At this nexus of medical and design history, state imperatives combined pieces of pre-existing gender roles from mass media, the Catholic church, and medical literature to create a new model for industrial motherhood. In doing so however, the regime implicitly endorsed women’s labor in the public sphere, which had the ultimate effect of undermining its own promotion of socially conservative gender roles.
My other publications explore similar themes, focusing on the relationship between gender, power, and food. Portions of my second dissertation chapter will be published as invited contributions to the edited volume Representing Italy through Food and to the Oxford symposium proceedings Food and Material Culture. My essay “Producing Consumersserves to draw Italian Studies scholars’ attention to Academia Barilla’s research resources and suggests possible approaches for forging field-specific Food Studies theory and methodology.   And finally, my research into student engagement and its relation to blogging as a tool for learning to write communicatively was published with Routledge.

Please email me if you would like to read any of the following pieces:


“Singing Truth to Power: Melodic Resistance and Bodily Revolt in Italy’s Rice Fields.”Annali d’Italianistica, special edition “Speaking Truth to Power from Medieval to Modern Italy.” Eds. Jo Ann Cavallo and Carlo Lottieri. (2016): 371-398.

 “Taylorist Breastfeeding in Rationalist Clinics: Constructing Industrial Motherhood in Fascist Italy.” Critical Inquiry 41 (2015), 655-674.

Articles under Review

Ricettari: Culinary Contracts for Gendered Food Work.” Revised and resubmitted to The American Historical Review. Approved by journal staff (October 2015) and editors (December 2015), currently under external review.

Essays in Edited Volumes

“Producing Consumers: Gendering Italy through Food Advertisements.” In Representing Italy through Food. Eds. Peter Naccarato, Ken Albala, and Zachary Nowak. New York, Bloomsbury: 141-164.

“Communicative Blogging for Student Engagement and Blended Literacy.” In Doing Research to Improve Teaching and Learning: A Guide for College and University Faculty. Ed. Kimberly Williams. New York: Routledge, 2015: 103-106.

Conference Proceedings

“Autarchic by Design: Aesthetics and Politics of Kitchenware.” In Food and Material Culture: Proceedings of the 2013 Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery. London: Prospect Books, 2013: 11-19.


Antonio Negri, “To the Origins of Biopolitics. A Seminar” (“Alle origini del biopolitico”). In Biopower: Foucault and Beyond. Eds. Vernon W. Cisney and Nicolae Morar. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016: 48-64.

Roberto Esposito, “The Person and Human Life” (“Persona e vita umana”). In Theory after “Theory.”  Eds. Derek Attridge and Jane Elliott. Co-trans. Thomas Kelso. New York: Routledge, 2011: 205-219.

Book Reviews  

Ruth Ben-Ghiat, Italian Fascism’s Empire Cinema (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2015). Journal of Modern Italian Studies 22.5 (2017): TBD

Igiaba Scego and Rino Bianchi, Roma negata: Percorsi postcoloniali nella città (Rome: Ediesse, 2014). Forum Italicum 50.3 (2016): 1270-1272.

Gaia Giuliana and Cristina Lombardi-Diop, Bianco e Nero: Storia dell’identità razziale degli italiani (Florence: Le Monnier, 2013). Forum Italicum 49.3 (2015): 883-885.

Massimo Montanari, Let the Meatballs Rest and Other Stories about Food and Culture (New York: Columbia University Press, 2012). Food, Culture, and Society 16.4 (2013): 700-702.

Richard Pells, Modernist America: Art, Music, Movies, and the Globalization of American Culture (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011). Annali d’italianistica 30 (2012): 614-615.

Rada Bieberstein, Lost Diva Found Woman: Female Representations in New Italian Cinema and National Television from 1995 to 2005 (Marburg: Schüren, 2010). Forum Italicum 45.1 (2011): 264-265.

Cecilia Novero, Antidiets of the Avant-Garde: From Futurist Cooking to Eat Art (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010). Annali d’italianistica 28 (2010): 619-620.

Travel Guide                 

Let’s Go: Spain and Portugal 2006. Ed. Diana Garvin. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2005.

Radio Interview in Production

“Italian Foodways in Colonial Somalia,” interview for BBC’s World Cuisines: Somalia. Recorded on April 3, 2017 at WGBH Boston in collaboration with PRI Portland, OR.

Invited Lectures

“Black Milk: Colonial Foodways and Intimate Imperialism,” lecture for the “Feminism + the Senses” speaker series at the Center for the Study of Women, University of California at Los Angeles, CA (April). 2017


“Feminist Food Justice,“ lecture for the “Food I Water I Shelter” speaker series at the Center for the Study of Women, University of California at Los Angeles, CA (April).
“Imperial Wetnursing,“ lecture for the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at Boston University, Boston, MA (October). 2016
“Tracing Feeding: East African Women’s Food Labor from Asmara to Rome,” lecture for the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at Boston University, Boston, MA (September).
“Microbiostoria,” presentation for the “Liquid Modernities” panel at the AHRC Early Career Research Network in the History of Food and Drink in Modern Europe Invitational Workshop at University of Saint Andrews, Scotland (June).
“Colonial East Africa to Multi-Ethnic Europe: Migration over Time and Place” lecture for the Center for the Study of Migration and Racism in Italy at the American University of Rome, Italy (December). 2015


“Queer Pe(n)ne: Pasta Companies and Lesbigay Families” lecture for the Center for Food Studies at the American University of Rome, Italy (November).
“Food Studies Approaches to the Historical Archive,” lecture for the Center for Food Studies at the American University of Rome, Italy (October).
“Autarchic by Design: Aesthetics and Politics of Kitchenware,” plenary session for the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery at Oxford University, Oxford, England (July). 2013
“A Fine Linea: How Italian Food Advertisements Reflected and Affected Gender Division,” lecture for the Gastronomy Lecture Series, then invited to reprise lecture for “Food and the Visual Arts” Gastronomy Program seminar at Boston University, Boston, MA (March, June).

Conference Panels Organized

“The Business of Pasta: The Chairman, The Grandma, and the Curious Case of the Industrial Artisan,” panel at the Roger Smith Cookbook Conference, New York, NY (April). 2014
“Food as a Site of Coercion” panel at “The Language of Food” Conference, Ithaca, NY (April). 2012

Conference Papers  

“Mapping the Merkato: Fascist Urban Planning in Addis Ababa and Asmara” presentation slated for “Colonialisms, Cinema, and Cartographic Imaginaries“ panel at the Modern Language Association “Boundary Conditions” Annual Convention, Philadelphia, PA. (January). 2017
“Making Mamma Africa: Breastfeeding Photography in Italian East Africa,” presentation slated for “New Directions in East African Gender Studies“ panel at the African Studies Association “Imagining Africa at the Center” Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C. (December). 2016
“Market Diorama: Food, Race, and Ethnicity from Africa to Europe,” presentation slated for “In Their Own Words: Women Narrate Political Change and Resistance“ panel at the National Women’s Studies Association “Decoloniality” Conference, Montréal, Canada (November).  
“Milkways: Transnational Politics of Breastfeeding across Ethiopia and Italy,” presentation for the “African Foodways and Cultural Diaspora” panel at the Association for the Study of Food and Society Conference, Toronto, Canada (June).  
“Black Markets: Constructing Race through Commercial Space in Ethiopia and Eritrea,” presentation for the “Mediating Time and Space” panel at the Association for the Study of Food and Society Conference, Pittsburgh, PA (June). 2015
“Feeding Under Fire: The Racial Politics of Domestic Work in Italian East Africa,” presentation for the “Intersections of Race and Gender in Italy” panel at the American Association for Italian Studies Conference, Boulder, CO (March).  
“Performing Pain: Women’s Work Songs as Cultural and Social Tools,” Skype presentation for the “Gender and Trauma” panel at the American Comparative Literature Conference, Seattle, WA (March).  
“How to Build the Perfect Mother: Rationalist Obstetric Clinics, Taylorist Breastfeeding, and the Construction of Industrial Motherhood in Fascist Italy,” presentation for the “Scientific Committee” panel at the European Network for Avant-garde and Modernism Studies Conference, Helsinki, Finland (August).  2014
“Personal, Political, Edible: Gender and Power in the Modern Italian Kitchen,” presentation for the “Progress and Propaganda” panel at the Roger Smith Cookbook Conference, New York, NY (April).  
“Prescriptive Cookbooks,” presentation for the “Wartime Cookbooks: Artifacts of Home Front Culture, Tools of Social Engineering, Narratives of Survival” panel at the Roger Smith Conference, New York, NY (February).  2013
“Architectural Solutions for Demographic Problems: Rationalist Obstetric Clinics in Fascist Italy,” presentation for the “The Poetics of Fascism” panel at American Comparative Literature Conference, New York, NY (March).
“Producing Consumers: How 1950s Food Advertisements in La Cucina Italiana Evoked and Created Gendered Bodies,” presentation for the “Il dopoguerra culinario” panel at the Italian Food: Fact and Fiction Conference at the Umbra Institute, Perugia, Italy (June). 2012
“From Fascist Ideals to Consumer Appeals: Negotiating the Significance of Food Stuffs in Mass Media,” presentation for the “Defining Society: Representations of Food in Italian Literature and Culture” panel at the Northeast Modern Language Association Convention, New Brunswick, NJ (April). 2011