Alessia Ricciardi is a Professor in the French and Italian Department and the Comparative Literature Program. She has a BA in philosophy from the University of Pisa, a DEA (master's degree) from Paris VII in psychoanalysis, and a Ph.D. in comparative literature from Yale University. Her main areas of interest are French and Italian contemporary literature, cinema, political philosophy, psychoanalysis and gender studies.
Her first book, The Ends of Mourning, won the Modern Language Association's 2004
Scaglione Prize for Comparative Literature. Her second book, After La Dolce Vita: A Cultural Prehistory of Berlusconi's Italy, has just been published this summer by Stanford University Press. Divided into four chapters titled, respectively, "Sweetness" "Lightness," "Weakness," "Softness," the book describes how the dominant figures in Italian culture in the 1980s dangerously abandoned any attempt at critical thinking.
Currently, she is writing her third book, which is titled Woman as a Form of Life: Gender Politics in Antonioni's Films. The book revisits the films that Antonioni made in the early 1960s starring Monica Vitti in light of their ongoing influence on contemporary artists such as Anne Carson and Cindy Sherman.
Her essays have appeared in PMLA, Modernism/Modernity, Modern Language Notes, Diacritics and The Romanic Review, among other publications. Her most recent articles are about works by Pasolini, Foucault, Deleuze, and Agamben.
Professor Ricciardi is on leave for the academic year 2013-2014. She is currently a senior fellow at the IFK in Vienna and is working on a research project on Foucault and Agamben.
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