GAFIS Symposium

Graduate Association of French and Italian Students



Presenters, GAFIS Symposium 2018: "Skin" 


Debora Bellinzani, University of Wisconsin-Madison // Towards the familiar: Reversing Freud’s “uncanny” in four short ghost stories by Capuana

Debora Bellinzani is a Teaching Assistant and a Ph.D. Candidate in Italian at the Department of French & Italian, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her doctoral research, under the guidance of Professor Ernesto Livorni, focuses on the reciprocal connections in the works by Giovanni Verga, Luigi Capuana, Federico De Roberto, and Luigi Pirandello. Debora is an Italian professional journalist and a teacher of Italian as a foreign language with Masters degrees in Sociology (University of Rome “La Sapienza”), Italian Literature (Middlebury College, VT), and Teaching Italian as a Foreign Language (University of Milan). She has two published pedagogical articles on teaching language through cooperative writing and through the “learning in motion” technique.


Lauren De Camilla, Ohio State University // Queering the Final Girl in New Italian Horror Cinema

Lauren De Camilla is a PhD candidate at The Ohio State University. She is writing a dissertation on New Italian Horror Cinema read through the lens of queer theory and genre studies. She specializes in horror cinema, gender and sexuality studies, and queer theory.


Aniello Di Iorio, University of Wisconsin-Madison // Unveiling the Hidden Skin: Dante’s Visualization of the Prideful through the Allegorical Representation in the Illuminated Manuscript MS. Holkham 48 

Aniello Di Iorio is a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate of Italian Studies in the department of French & Italian at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. His main areas of research are Dante, Petrarch and Boccaccio, with a focus on Dante and the notion of memory across the realm of Medieval Literature and Culture. He is also interested in studying the different crossings of the comic figure between English, Italian, Spanish and French Medieval Literature. Aniello has published articles, translations, and book reviews on Dante, Guittone d’Arezzo, and on other aspects about Italian Medieval literature in well-respected peer review journals. At the GAFIS Symposium Aniello will take into account some images from a fourteenth century Illuminated Manuscript on Dante’s Commedia and he will reveal other values to Dante’s text, whose empirical truths transpire from beneath the skin of the allegorical sphere.


Hilary Emerson, Univeristy of Wisconsin-Madison // Painted Faces and Creative Costume in La lotta non è finita

Hilary Emerson is a Ph.D. candidate in Italian at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She graduated from Wheaton College (MA) in 2010 with a double major in Italian Studies and International Relations and completed her M.A. in Italian at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2016. Her areas of interest include the representation of women and female sexuality and the expression of Feminism in Italian literature and cinema. She is particularly captivated by stylistic fragmentation and performative subjectivity in Italian Feminist film.


Nathan Germain, University of Wisconsin-Madison // Life Beneath the Tree Bark: Dynamic Representation of Fontainebleau Forest in Théodore Rousseau and Gustave Flaubert

Nathan Germain is a PhD Candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he is completing his dissertation entitled "Relational Geographies: Toward an Interconnected Vision of Place in French Literature and Geography, 1850-1900". He recently published « Lire et écrire  le paysage : dynamisme et relation dans la description de l’épisode de Fontainebleau » in Op. Cit., revue des littératures et des arts and "An Ecological Identity: Nature, Identity, and Poetics in L'Esclave vieil homme et le molosse" on ecological identity in a novel by Patrick Chamoiseau.


Rachel Hart, University of Wisconsin-Madison // Cross-Dressing and Perception of Gender in the Works of Herodotus and Ctesias 

Rachel Hart is a PhD candidate in the Department of Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies and will be defending her dissertation at the end of this semester. Her dissertation focuses on literary motifs concerning physical bodies of foreigners, arguing that Greek historians use these motifs to undercut their presentation of autopsy as a reliable source of knowledge. Her presentation at this symposium comes from her first chapter, which analyzes descriptions of clothing and other temporary means of body modification. Rachel also pursues interests in identity in the ancient world more generally, as well as Greek religion and ancient historiography.


Irene Hatzopoulos, University of Wisconsin-Madison // Shedding “Skin” and Reclaiming Identity in Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Teorema

Irene Hatzopoulos is a 5th year PhD Candidate and dissertator at UW Madison. Previously she studied Italian and French at Middlebury College, from which she received two consecutive MA degrees. The focus of her dissertation is the figure of the story teller in the works of Pier Paolo Pasolini. Her interests lie in 20th century literature (especially il secondo dopoguerra), the use of dialects in literature, cinema and more recently Italian food culture and history.


Rommel Jimenez, University of Wisconsin-Madison // Skin of the State: Paris’ Walls in Orlando Furioso

Rommel Jimenez is a doctoral student in the Department of French and Italian specializing in the Early Modern Period at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he earned a Master of Arts degree in Italian in 2014. He is interested in the sixteenth century and in particular the works of Ludovico Ariosto. His research currently focuses on political readings and interpretations of Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso as well as the representation of urban spaces in Ariosto's epic.


Charles Kilian, University of Wisconsin-Madison // Mannequin Factory: The Uncanniness of Living Dolls in Visual Culture

Charles Kilian completed his BA at Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota in 2013. He received his MA from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 2015 and is currently working towards his PhD. He is interested primarily in 20th-century French literature, Francophone literature (especially that of North Africa and Quebec), and feminist and sexuality studies.


Giorgio Losi, Indiana University-Bloomington // Intersectionality under the skin

Giorgio Losi is a Master’s student and assistant instructor at the French & Italian Department at Indiana University, Bloomington. His main interests lie in Italian Literature and Critical Animal Studies. He contributes to Liberazioni - Rivista di critica antispecista (


Alice Main, University of Wisconsin-Madison // Merveilleuses et Muscadins: Clothing as Anti-Terror Critique in the Thermidorian Reaction

Alice  Coulter  Main is a Ph.D. student in the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin Madison. Her work focuses on the French Revolution, specifically the place of gender and sexuality in Thermidorian political culture.


Corie Marshall, University of Wisconsin-Madison // Alfieri and the Body as “scudo” 

Corie  Marshall is a third-year PhD student in Italian at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She earned her MA in Italian from UW-Madison in 2015 and graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 2013 with a concentration in Italian and European History. Her primary research interests concern 18 th -century Italian literature and theater, with a special focus on the teatro femminile of Vittorio Alfieri. She is also interested in Italian Romanticism and 19 th and 20 th century Italian and European theatre.


Giordano Mazza, University of Wisconsin-Madison // Environment and religion in Alice Rohrwacher’s cinema 

Giordano Mazza is a second-year PhD student in Italian at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He earned his MA in English and Spanish literature from Università degli Studi "G. D'Annunzio" Chieti-Pescara in 2014 and graduated from Università degli Studi Dell'Aquila in 2011. His primary research interests concern 20th-century Italian literature, with a special focus on Italo Calvino and the novels of his "periodo fantastico." He is also interested in 17th-century Spanish literature.


Thom Murphy, New York University // The Ontological Organ: Skin and the Primacy of Touch in Early Modern France

Thom Murphy is a Ph.D. student in the Department of French Literature, Thought and Culture at NYU, where he works mostly on early modern literature. Engaging with philosophy and ecocriticism, he studies the ways that early modern writers and thinkers push ontological boundaries and attempt to reconcile a metaphysics recognizing the activity of matter with an ethics capable of concrete action. In addition, he is more broadly interested in issues of classical reception in French literature, and has previously worked on the complicated politics of Senecan and Sophoclean influence in 18th-century theatre.


Danielle Nelson, University of Wisconsin-Madison // Just a Dime-Store Romance in A City Made To The Size of Love: Measuring Spatio-Temporal Distance in Hiroshima mon amour


Anthony Radoiu, University of Wisconsin-Madison // The Stones They Inhabit: Prison Cell Surroundings as a New Corporeality From the Middle Ages to the 19th Century

Anthony Nicolas Radoiu is originally from Staunton, Virginia and is currently a fourth-year PhD candidate in French at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received a double B.A. in International Studies and French from Virginia Tech in 2011 and a M.A. in French Language (Langue française) from Université Paris-Sorbonne IV in 2014. He previously lived in France for four years after a study abroad program in Caen, Normandy, and was an English assistant from 2011-2012 at Lycée and Collège Rollinat in Argenton-sur- Creuse through the Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF). He has been a French teaching assistant at UW-Madison since 2014, and has taught first, second, and third semester French to undergraduates and graduates. His interests include Medieval and Early Modern literature, poetry, and history with a focus on the French and European context, narratives of imprisonment and prison histories, and social and political history.


Katie Terry, University of Wisconsin-Madison // When You Can’t Love the Skin You’re In: Shame in Claire de Duras’s Ourika

Katie Blackman Terry is a PhD candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She earned a Master's in French Civilization from Middlebury College in 2011 and in French Literature from the UW in 2013. Her dissertation explores the evolution of shame and memory in a conceptual pair in late eighteenth and early nineteenth century French first-person prose. Additional research interests include melancholy, polyphony and authorial authority. 


Troy Williams, University of Wisconsin-Madison // Good Kids, Bad City:  The Examination of Crime Resistance in Low Income, High Crime, Communities of Color

Troy Williams is a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he is pursuing his Ph.D. in Human Ecology: Civil Society & Community Research. A native of College Park, Georgia he brings a wealth of experience in entrepreneurship, community engagement, and higher education. Troy completed his master's degree in Leadership Studies at the University of San Diego; where he studied the leadership patterns of Black men who are accepted, well-liked, and thought of as prominent figures in communities where criminal behavior is present. He plans to further this research in his doctoral studies by observing the human ecological factors that contribute to success in Black communities. His passion for serving historically underrepresented youth is evident in his previous and continuing research with these populations.