GAFIS Symposium

Graduate Association of French and Italian Students



We are pleased to welcome the following presenters to the 2016 GAFIS Symposium:


PANEL A        Early Modern Hazards: Toxicity, Resistance & Exile

Lauren Surovi (UW-Madison) is a third-year PhD student in the Department of French & Italian at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She received her B.A. from Syracuse University with a concentration in International Relations, and a M.A. in Italian from Middlebury College. Her research focuses mainly on late Quattrocento and Cinquecento Florence, with a special interest in theater and politics, and duly, Machiavelli.  

Anthony Radoiu (UW-Madison) is a second-year PhD student in the Department of French & Italian at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received a double B.A. in International Studies and French from Virginia Tech and a M.A. from the Université Paris-Sorbonne IV. His research interests are 15th and 16th century French Literature; Medieval, Renaissance poetry; Medieval, Early Modern political and social history.

Emily Epperson (Harvard University), a graduate of Carleton College, is currently a first year graduate student in the French section of Harvard’s department of Romance Language and Literatures. As an undergraduate, she researched French food culture during an internship in Paris, and after graduation, she spent a year teaching high school English in eastern France. Emily is interested in sixteenth-century literature and the French Renaissance and is fascinated by questions of national identity, literary expression, and communal memory.


PANEL B        Taking Risks: On Aesthetics, Cinema and Painting

Mason Johnson (UW-Madison) is a first year graduate student in Classics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He graduated in 2015 from Rhodes College with degrees in both Greek & Roman Studies and Philosophy.

Caitlin Yocco-Locascio (UW-Madison) is a PhD student in French at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She is currently working on her dissertation examining engagement with the Posthuman in 20th and 21st centuries French literature and cinema.

Sophia Maxine Farmer (UW-Madison) is a PhD student studying under Prof. Barbara Buenger in the department of Art History at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.  She specializes in Italian modern art and the socio-political structures that affected the production of artworks during the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  Her dissertation focuses on the importance of the machine era to the development of Futurist art and literature. Her paper today is part of a larger research project she will continue to pursue next year as a pre-doctoral fellow at the Center for Italian Modern Art in New York.


PANEL C        Madwomen in the Attic: Mothers, Writers, Artists

Ashley Byczkowski (SUNY Buffalo) is a 2nd year graduate student studying French Literature at the State University of New York at Buffalo. She recently passed her qualifying examination in March of this year and will be spending the next year teaching English and starting her dissertation research in Paris.  Her research interests include the image of the Artist, the “Art for Art’s Sake” movement, and the presence of the plastic arts in 19th century French Literature. The paper she is presenting today explores the image of the Artist in a Caribbean setting. 

Sara Mattavelli (UW-Madison) received her Laurea in Language Sciences and Foreign Literature from the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan. She holds a Master’s in Italian Studies from the University of Virginia and she is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Italian Literature at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Her interests include 20th century and contemporary Italian literature and cinema, women's writing and second language acquisition.

Cari Landrigan (UW-Madison) is currently a PhD student here at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she also received her MA in 2014.  This past November, she presented at the French and Italian Research Seminar and at the MMLA in Columbus, OH.  She is interested in twentieth century trauma literature, especially pertaining to the World Wars.


PANEL D        Parts and Partitions: Social & Linguistic Marginalities

Hilary Emerson (UW-Madison) is a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin–Madison pursuing a master’s degree, followed by a doctor of philosophy in Italian.  She graduated summa cum laude from Wheaton College (MA) with a double major in Italian Studies and International Relations.  Her areas of interest include the representation of women and the expression of social, political, and moral critiques of society in Italian literature and cinema.  She is also interested in film adaptations of literature and contemporary Italian novel.

William B. Noseworthy (UW-Madison) is a PhD candidate in the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His dissertation research was funded by the Council of American Overseas Research Centers: Center for Khmer Studies Senior Fellowship, which allowed him to complete research in Vietnam and Cambodia. He has also researched in Laos, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. His most recent publications include contributions to Imperialism and Expansionism in American History (ABC-CLIO, 2016); serving as revising editor for two Vietnamese-English bilingual monographs, The Katé Festival & Bầu Trức Pottery (both Trí Thức Publishing House, 2015); and a series of articles on Southeast Asian history, literature and religion.

Lora Jury (University of Oregon) is presently pursuing a Masters in Italian literature and language at the University of Oregon as a Graduate Teaching Fellow. Her research interests are largely focused upon notions of class and gender, but also include postcolonial studies and queer theory. She also have a particular fondness for dystopian literature, and the GAFIS Symposium will be her very first time presenting a thesis in an international academic context.  She completed her bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Italian Studies at the University of Reading, England, with a year abroad at L’Università degli studi di Bergamo.