About Ellen Nerenberg

Professor of Italian Ellen Nerenberg is a scholar of contemporary Italian culture with focus on Italian literature, cinema and television, media, and crime studies. She is the author of Prison Terms: Representing Confinement During and After Italian Fascism (U of Toronto P, 2001), an exploration of spaces and tropes of incarceration in Italian narrative between 1930 and 1960 and fwinner of the Howard R. Marraro Prize from the Modern Language Association. She is also the author of Murder Made in Italy: Homicide, Media, and Contemporary Italian Culture (U of Indiana P, 2012), an examination of the cultural significance of three post-1989 murder cases and the ways they were constructed in varied media. Body of State: The Moro Affair, A Nation Divided (Fairleigh-Dickinson U P, 2011), a collaboration, offers the English translation of Marco Baliani's acclaimed dramatic monologue about the kidnapping and assassination of former Italian prime minister Aldo Moro. The co-edited Writing Beyond Fascism (Fairleigh-Dickinson U P, 2000) examines the literary oeuvre of Alba de Cèspedes. She is one of the founders and associate co-editor of g/s/I: gender/sexuality/Italy , the reviews editor of the Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies, and editor of the Italian Studies Channel on the New Books Network. She holds the Hollis Chair of Romance Languages & Literatures and has served as the elected chair of the Wesleyan faculty as well as the Dean of the Arts and Humanities. She is the current President of the American Association for Italian Studies (2019-22). Current research projects include: Winx Nation: Educare la futura consumista (forthcoming, Rubbettino Editore), a feminist media studies examination that centers on WinxClub, the animated TV series for girls and tweens, its formats, spin-offs, and titanic merchandising empire, and essays on the nostalgic cinema of Paolo Sorrentino, and the North American reception of the tv and literary serials with protagonist Detective Montalbano.
Ellen Nerenberg, Wesleyan University
Ellen's website

NBN Episodes hosted by Ellen:

Italian Studies November 16, 2020

Italian Neorealism

A Cultural History

Charles L. Leavitt IV

Hosted by Ellen Nerenberg
In Italian Neorealism: A Cultural History (University of Toronto Press, 2020), Charles Leavitt steps back from the micro-histories focusing more narrowly on, for example, Italian cinema so as to weave together divers cultural strands (literature, the visual arts, drama, journalism, poetry, essays) into a tapestry of historical practice. Which realisms are being invoked under the category of “Neorealism” as it was plied and applied in the mid-20th Century? What were …
Film September 25, 2020

The Divo and the Duce

Promoting Film Stardom and the Political Leadership in 1920s America

Giorgio Bertellini

Hosted by Ellen Nerenberg
In 1927, the Hollywood stars (and spouses), Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr stood outside their California home, arms raised in fascist salute. The photo’s caption, referencing the couple’s trip …
Literary Studies January 6, 2020

Accidental Orientalists

Modern Italian Travelers in Ottoman Lands

Barbara Spackman

Hosted by Ellen Nerenberg
Barbara Spackman’s riveting study identifies a strand of what it calls “Accidental Orientalism” in narratives by Italians who found themselves in Ottoman Egypt and Anatolia in the late 19th and …
Film November 4, 2019

Italian Ecocinema

Beyond the Human

Elena Past

Hosted by Ellen Nerenberg
Elena Past’s recently published Italian Ecocinema: Beyond the Human (Indiana University Press, 2019) studies a complex of issues surrounding on-location films made in Italy and the way their production leaves …
Literary Studies October 1, 2019

Moral Combat

Women, Gender and War in Italian Renaissance Literature

Gerry Milligan

Hosted by Ellen Nerenberg
Gerry Milligan’s Moral Combat: Women, Gender and War in Italian Renaissance Literature (University of Toronto Press, 2018) takes as its subject the woman warrior in early modern Italy as she …