• Giovanna F Lerner
Associate Professor of Italian
Italian

Biography

Professor Lerner is currently at work on a book project on contemporary Italian migration cinema.  Her first book, Carlo Levi's Visual Poetics: The Painter as Writer, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2012.  She has also published articles and book chapters on Italian cinema and twentieth-century Italian literature and critical theory.

In 2011-2012, Professor Lerner was the recipient of a Mellon regional fellowship at the Penn Humanities Forum on "Adaptation."  

As a doctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania, she received a University fellowship for dissertation research in 2002-2004, and summer research grants from the Center for Italian Studies (2001) and the Department of Romance Languages (2002).  She was also awarded a research fellowship by the Bellonci Foundation in 2002.

At F&M, Professor Lerner has taught all levels of Italian language and has developed new courses in Italian cinema and literature, including "Italian Contemporary Cinema," "Italy and the Mediterranean," "Italian literature and the visual arts," "Italian Urban Cultures," and "Dante in Italian Culture." 

She also contributes to the program in Comparative Literary Studies.

She has created and directs, together with Professor Scott Lerner, the F&M in Tuscany Summer Program.

Education

Professor Lerner holds a Laurea in Modern Languages and Literatures (Russian and English) from the Catholic University of Milan, and a MA and PhD in Italian from the University of Pennsylvania. Before becoming Assistant Professor of Italian in 2007, she served as visiting faculty at the College for three years.

Research

Her research interests include representations of history in film and literature, inter-art criticism, women writers, and the literature and cinema of migration.

Publications

Book

Carlo Levi's Visual Poetics: The Painter as Writer.  New York and London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.  Reviewed in Journal of Modern Italian StudiesChoice, Poetiche, Italian Culture.

Journal articles

"Ksenia Rappoport and Transnational Stardom in Contemporary Cinema." Journal of Italian Media and Cinema Studies 1.1 (2013): 7-20.

“From the Other Side of the Mediterranean: Hospitality in Italian Migration Cinema.” California Italian Studies 1.1 (2010) 

“Francesco Rosi’s Cristo si è fermato a Eboli: Toward a Cinema of Painting.” Italica 86.2 (2009): 272-292.

“Carlo Levi’s New Humanism.” Annali d’italianistica 26 (2008): 283-97.

“Visconti’s Senso: The Art of History.” Forum Italicum 41.2 (2007): 342-58.

Book chapters

“Sogno, memoria e storia: la Roma di Carlo Levi e di Federico Fellini,” The Lions of Rome: Carlo Levi’s L’Orologio, Survival, and the Copresence of Times.  Ed. Fabio Camilletti.  (Forthcoming)

"Contemporaneità and Ecological Thinking in Carlo Levi's Writing." Thinking Italian Animals: Human and  Posthuman in Modern Italian Fiction and Film.  Eds. Elena Past and Deborah Amberson. New York and London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.  197-214.

"Il cinema come strumento d'incontro: Vittorio Moroni e il nuovo documentario italiano."  Zoom "d'oltreoceano": istantanee sui registi italiani e sull'Italia.  Eds. Simone Dubrovic and Daniela De Pau.  Manziana: Vecchiarelli, 2010. 319-344.

“Ending ‘ventriloquistic’ discourses and creating a dialogue of difference: Lettere dal Sahara and Le ferie di Licu.” From Terrone to Extra-Comunitario: The New Racism in Contemporary Italian Cinema.  Ed.  Grace Russo Bullaro. Leicester, UK: Troubador Publishing (Italian Studies Series), 2010. 366-390.

“Carlo Levi’s L’orologio: A Revolution in Words and Images.” Creative Interventions: The Role of the Intellectual in Contemporary Italian Culture.  Eds. Eugenio Bolongaro, Rita Gagliano, and Mark Epstein.  Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2009. 63-91. 

“La stanza degli orologi: Storia e memoria in Rinascimento privato di Maria Bellonci.” Narrare la storia. Dal documento al racconto. Ed. Fondazione Bellonci.  Milan: Mondadori, 2006.  113-124.

Review article

“Reading Carlo Levi Beyond Eboli: Joseph Farrell’s The Voices of Carlo Levi and Levi’s Fear of Freedom.”  Forum Italicum 42.2 (Fall 2008): 416-21. 

Book reviews

De Franceschi, Leonardo, ed.  L’Africa in Italia. Per una controstoria postcoloniale del cinema italiano. Roma: Aracne, 2013.  Pp. 512.  Quaderni del CSCI 9 (2013): 313.

Bartalesi-Graf, Daniela.  Voci dal sud: A journey to Southern Italy with Carlo Levi and his Christ stopped at Eboli.  New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2011.  Pp. 419.  Annali d’italianistica 29 (2011): 545-547. 

Binetti, Vincenzo.  Città nomadi: Esodo e autonomia nella metropoli contemporanea. Verona: Ombre corte, 2008.  Pp. 140.  Annali d’italianistica 28 (2010): 582-584.  

Bruck, Edith.  Letter to My Mother.  Ed. Gabriella Romani.  Trans. Brenda Webster.  New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 2006.  Pp. 250.  Forum Italicum 41.2 (Fall 2007): 536-7.

Presentations

CONFERENCE PAPERS

“Spazi urbani di ospitalità nel cinema delle donne,” FASCinA 2nd Annual International Conference, University of Sassari, October 23, 2014.

"Maternity Blues: Mothers as Monsters, Mothers as Victims." NEMLA XLV Annual Conference, Harrisburg, PA, April 4, 2014.

“Landscapes of Alienation in Contemporary Italian Cinema,” Society for Cinema and Media Studies Annual Conference, Seattle, WA, March 19, 2014.

“Specters of the Maternal in Italian Women’s Cinema,” AAIS XXXIII Annual Conference, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, April 11, 2013.

“Esplorazioni dell’altrove urbano nel nuovo documentario italiano.” “Echi d’oltremare” International Conference, Rome, June 16, 2012.

"Ksenia Rappoport and Transnational Stardom in Contemporary Cinema,” AAIS XXXII Annual Conference, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, May 3, 2012.

“Spaces of Adaptation in Italian Documentary Filmmaking,” Penn Humanities Forum “Adaptations” Faculty Seminar, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, October 18, 2011. 

"Mediterranean Mirrors: Otherness and Selfhood in Mohsen Melliti's Io, l'altro." "The Mediterranean in Italian Culture" international conference.  University of Venice and University of Udine, May 3-4, 2010. 

"Inhospitable Landscapes: Il vento fa il suo giro e La giusta distanza."  AAIS XXX Annual Conference, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, April 22-25, 2010.  

“Landscapes of Alienation in Contemporary Italian Cinema.”  41st NeMLA Annual Conference, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, April 10, 2010.

"The Other as Mirror in Melliti’s Io, l’altro.” XXIX AAIS Annual Conference, St John’s College, New York, May 9, 2009.

“Gli sconfinamenti della narrativa di Jarmila Ockayová.”  40th NeMLA Annual Conference, Boston University, February 26, 2009.

“Resisting Modernity in the Mediterranean: Carlo Levi’s Christ Stopped at Eboli.”  X Modernist Studies Association Annual Conference, Vanderbilt University, November 16, 2008.

Contemporaneità and Ecological Thinking in Carlo Levi’s Writing.”  Sixty-first Kentucky Foreign Language Conference, University of Kentucky, April 18, 2008.

“Mediterranean Crossings in Contemporary Italian Cinema.”  “Mediterranean Journeys: From Odysseus to Migrant Workers,” Central Pennsylvania Consortium Mediterranean Studies Colloquium, Franklin & Marshall College, April 12, 2008.

“The Ethics of Hospitality in Marco Tullio Giordana’s Quando sei nato non puoi più nasconderti.”  XXVII AAIS Annual Conference, Colorado College, May 5, 2007.

“When the dissertation is not your only child: going through graduate school with children.”  “Women and Work,” Central Pennsylvania Consortium Women’s Studies Conference, Franklin & Marshall College, March 3, 2007.

“The Abject in Sergio Castellitti’s Film and Margaret Mazzantini’s Novel, Non ti muovere.”  Film/Literature Annual Conference, Towson, MD, November 5, 2006.

“La Milano sovversiva di Aldo Nove e Luca Doninelli.”  XXVI AAIS Annual Conference, Genoa, May 26, 2006.

“Carlo Levi’s L’Orologio: A Revolution in Words and Images.”  37th NEMLA Annual Conference, Temple University, March 3, 2006.

“The Room of the Clocks: History and Memory in Maria Bellonci’s Rinascimento privato.”  XXIII AAIS Annual Conference, Georgetown University, March 14, 2003.

“La Stanza degli orologi: I segni del tempo in Rinascimento privato di Maria Bellonci.” “Narrare la storia: dal documento al racconto” International Conference, Teatro Bibiena, Mantua, November 22, 2002.

“Light Symbols, Heavy History: Italo Calvino’s Ultimo viene il corvo,” with Meg Greenberg, Elena Past, Nicoletta Marini Maio.  XXI AAIS, University of Pennsylvania, April 19, 2001.

"Innovations in Language Pedagogy: Confronti.  A Cross-Cultural Approach to Teaching Italian,” with Kathryn McMahon, Nicoletta Marini Maio, Meg Greenberg.  XXI AAIS Annual Conference, University of Pennsylvania, April 21, 2001.

INVITED LECTURES and WORKSHOPS

 “Il cinema della migrazione: dimensioni del multiculturalismo italiano.” St. Joseph’s University, Pedagogical Seminar, April 20, 2013.

“Pride and prejudice in Italian multicultural society: Carlo Mazzacurati’s film La giusta distanza.”  Seton Hall University,  Charles and Joan Alberto Italian Studies Institute, December 1, 2009.

“When Christ Stops at Eboli: The Experience of Repatriated Italian Emigrants According to Carlo Levi.”  Lancaster Italian Cultural Society, Millersville University, November 12, 2006.

Course Information

Language Courses

Elementary italian I

Elementary Italian II

Intermediate Italian I

Intermediate Italian II


Cultural and Literary Studies Courses (300- and 400-level)

Women and Gender in Modern Italian Literature and Cinema

Italian Literature and the Visual Arts

Italy and the Mediterranean

Multicultural Italy

Contemporary Italian Fiction


Film Studies Courses

Neorealism

Italian Cinema and the Arts

Italian Cinema 


General Education Courses

What is Friendship? (Foundations)