Samantha Gillen

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Ph.D. Candidate, Italian Studies
Contact Information
(215) 898-7429
(215) 898-0933
Office Location: 
Williams Hall 537
Office Hours: 
Wednesdays 11-12pm and Thursdays 11-12pm

I hold an M.A. in Italian Studies and a B.A. magna cum laude in Italian and Music from the Florida State University. In 2015, I extended my master’s program by two semesters to be able to teach, study, and work in Florence, Italy, as a member of Florida State University’s International Programs team. I was a two-time recipient of the Ada Belle Winthrop King Foundation grant to study in Italy and have utilized these awards for language study and research in both Perugia and Lecce. At Penn, I received the Henry E. Salvatori grant (2019) and the Excellence in Teaching Award (2018-2019). Since 2018, I have also been an assistant copyeditor for the online, annual journal gender/sexuality/italy.

My dissertation, “Fireflies in the Factory: Industrialized Spaces in the Italian Economic Boom (1960-1965),” explores how factories and workplaces were represented during the first half of the 1960s. I focus on the tensions between poets Pier Paolo Pasolini and Paolo Volponi regarding Italy’s rapid modernization, using Elio Vittorini’s literary magazine Il menabò (1959-1967) as a starting point from which to examine cultural transformations and discourses about how literature would represent this new, industrial reality. I am also interested in early Italian Futurist manifestos, Futurist political performance in connection with World War I, neorealist cinema, affect theory, and foreign language pedagogy.