Serena Bassi is a Lecturer in the Department of Italian Studies. She obtained her PhD in Italian Studies from the University of Warwick (2014). She was research fellow at the Warwick Institute for Advanced Studies (2013- 2014) and Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at Cardiff University (2014- 2017).
At the MacMillan Center, she is affiliated with the Translation Initiative. Her research focuses on contemporary Italian literature and cultural studies, translation history, the theory and practice of literary translation, and queer studies. Her first book, Mistranslating Minority: Queer World-Making in Italy after 1968, traces the travel from the United States into Italy of theories of “sexual identity politics” at the end of the social movement era. The book argues that theories carving space for sexual minorities within sanctioned national narratives were translated and reformulated as to fit a public discourse traversed by post-fascist, catholic and communist ideologies, and their competing visions of modernity.
She is also currently at work on The Handbook of Translation and Sexuality co-edited with Prof. Brian Baer (Kent State University). Her writing has appeared in Translation Studies, Comparative Literature Studies, Gender/Sexuality/Italy and Modern Languages Open.
ITAL 185 Italian History from 1945
An examination of the major events in Italian history from 1945 to the present. Advanced grammar, writing, and speaking explored in the context of Italian history. Topics include World War II, the founding of the Italian Republic, postwar reconstruction, the major political parties, the protest movements of 1968, the collapse of the Left, and the rise of the Northern League and Berlusconi. Consideration also given to immigration, the environment, and cultural issues.
Ital 335 Fascism, Pop Culture and Everyday Life: Belonging and Excluding from Fascist Italy to the Present
The word “fascism” makes us think of a top-down ideology that celebrates homogeneity, conformity, and the cult of the leader. Yet, today’s far right subcultures like the Alt-Right present themselves as subversive grassroots movements making use of the internet’s democratising power to stand up against what they see as “liberal groupthink.” This course invites you to rethink fascism as a bottom-up process of identity formation as we examine the relationship between popular culture, modern leisure and the far-right throughout the twentieth century and in our own political moment. How are violent racist and sexist ideologies circulated through seemingly innocent leisure practices? What role have popular culture and everyday free time activities like watching sports, shopping and reading bestselling fiction historically played in fascist mobilizations? Why was the then emergent mass media so important to European fascist states and how did they write cultural policy? Finally, may we speak of a Euro-American fascist cultural imagination that spans the 20th and the 21st centuries? If so, what can we learn about the persistence of fascist ideas today when we choose to focus on the cultural politics of reception, consumption, belonging and exclusion?