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Assistant Professor of Italian, Wayne State University
Elena Past is an Assistant Professor of Italian at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, where she teaches courses in modern Italian literature, culture, and cinema. She began her studies of Italian as an undergraduate at the University of Texas at Austin, and received her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 2005 with a dissertation on contemporary Italian crime fiction and its roots in Italian criminological thought. Elena's research and teaching interests include contemporary Italian literature and cinema, literary theory, criminology, detective fiction, Italian horror cinema, food culture and in particular the Slow Food movement, the Italian Enlightenment, art and literature, Mediterraneanism, and Italy's participation in the Spanish Civil War. She is currently working on a book project that traces Italian epistemologies of crime, born in the work of Cesare Beccaria and Cesare Lombroso, in contemporary crime fiction.