Una bella notizia

December 5, 2023
From the chair of the department:
I’m delighted to announce the wonderful news that our dear colleague Penny Marcus has just won the 2023 American Association of Teachers of Italian (AATI) Book Award in the area of Performance and Visual Culture for her marvelous Italian Film in the Present Tense! Published with the U. of Toronto Press earlier this year, Penny’s new book is an engaging study of the last 20 years of Italian film - and is prefaced by her moving thanks to the ‘passionately engaged members’ of our many graduate student communities who have dedicated themselves to the annual Yale Festival of New Italian Cinema which Penny herself started. I can do no better than to cite the glowing words of the prize committee:
This study reveals an exceptional ability to combine scholarly depth with an engaging and accessible style. Through a rich roster of thematically organized case studies (plus, “in a category unto itself,” Sorrentino’s La grande bellezza), all sharing a commitment to an ethical approach to cinema, the book addresses the “contemporary Italian condition” and offers a critical survey of the “present” of Italian culture as rooted in the enduring, structural questions of its longue durée. The author’s nuanced and incisive close readings and theoretical insights are steeped in a profound knowledge not only of Italian cinema but also of cinematic scholarly studies. Equally impressive is the author’s expert knowledge of the political, social, and historical context surrounding each film under analysis. This volume will undoubtedly become the seminal text for the study of contemporary Italian cinema.
Please join me in offering Penny our warmest congratulations for this magnificent achievement. Penny, you make our department very proud!