Rhiannon Noel Welch is Assistant Professor in the Department of Italian and the program in Cinema Studies. Her research and teaching interests include 19th-21st century Italian cultural studies, literature, and film. Her work focuses on Italian (post-)colonialism and biopolitics; race thinking and nationalism in Italy; Italian migration literature and film; labor and work in the Italian cultural imagination; and fascism and ideology. Her approach to cultural texts is informed by critical theory, film theory, and political philosophy.

She received her Ph.D. in Italian Studies from the University of California, Berkeley (2008).

Her book manuscript, Vital Subjects: Race, (Re)productivity, and Italian Modernity,calls for a reading of the post-Unification project of “making” Italians as modern political subjectsthat takes into account the encounter between race, biopolitics, and colonialism in Italian literature, political narrative, and film produced between Unification (ca. 1861) and the end of the First World War.

Her second book project, entitled Economies of Loss: Colonial Drive in Modern Italian Visual Culture, reads Italian colonial visual culture (photography, popular cartography, architecture, and film) in relation to the pervasive rhetoric of loss in Italian colonial discourse.

She has recently begun work on an essay theorizing the relationship between biopolitics and film. Other recent projects include: an article on the rhetoric of hospitality in first-wave Italophone literature of the 1990’s; an article on the topos of mal d’Africa in the writings of Alfredo Oriani, F.T. Marinetti and Pier Paolo Pasolini; and an annotated translation of Gabriele D’Annunzio’s 1914 essay on early cinema. Her translation of political philosopher Roberto Esposito’s Terms of the Political: Community, Immunity, Biopolitics is forthcoming (Fordham University Press).

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