Samantha Gillen

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Ph.D. Candidate, Italian Studies
Contact Information
(215) 898-7429
(215) 898-0933

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 and have utilized these awards for language study and research in both Perugia and Lecce. 

At Penn, I received the Penfield Research Fellowship (2020), 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 of 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 intellectuals 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, neorealist cinema, ecocriticism, affect theory, and foreign language pedagogy.