Book Presentation and Panel Discussion: “Where the I is the Public”: Amelia Rosselli in Translation

New York University, Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò

24 West 12th Street
New York, NY 10011

Thursday, 5 April, 6:30 pm

A musician, musicologist, and self-defined “poet of research,” Amelia Rosselli (Paris 1930– Rome 1996) was one of the most important poets to emerge from Europe in the aftermath of World War II. Following a childhood and adolescence spent in exile from Fascist Italy between France, England, and the United States, Rosselli was driven to express the hopes and devastations of the postwar epoch through her demanding and defamiliarizing lines. Rosselli’s body of work synthesizes a hybrid literary heritage in which playful inventions across Italian, English, and French coexist with unadorned social critique. Rosselli aspired to compose stanzas characterized by a new objectivity and collective orientation, “where the I is the public, where the I is things, where the I is the things that happen.” Having chosen Italy as an “ideal fatherland,” Rosselli rendered the public multiple; she wrote searching and often discomposing verse that redefined the domain of Italian poetics and, in the process, irrevocably changed the Italian language.

On the occasion of the publication of Locomotrix: Selected Poetry and Prose of Amelia Rosselli (University of Chicago Press, 2012), the book’s editor and translator, Jennifer Scappettone (University of Chicago), will present aspects of her work on the formal and political research of Rosselli’s oeuvre in conversation with Teresa Fiore (Montclair State University) and Gian Maria Annovi (University of Denver).

Gian Maria Annovi is an Assistant Professor of Italian at the University of Denver. He is the author of Altri corpi: poesia e corporalità negli anni Sessanta (Bologna: Gedit, 2008) and recently edited Piercing the Page: Selected Poems 1966-1989 by Antonio Porta (Los Angeles: Otis Books/Seismicity Editions, 2012). He is the recipient of the 2011 “Pier Paolo Pasolini Award” for the best doctoral dissertation, and he is currently working on a manuscript on Pasolini’s legacy. He writes for the Italian newspaper Il Manifesto.

Teresa Fiore is Associate Professor and Inserra Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies at Montclair State University, New Jersey, and CEMS Visiting Scholar at New York University (2011-12). Her research interests focus mainly on migrations from and to Italy within a cultural perspective. The recipient of several fellowships (De Bosis at Harvard University, Rockefeller at Bellagio, and a Fulbright), she has been Visiting Assistant Professor at Harvard University (2007), NYU (2008), and Rutgers University (2009). Some of her current essays address issues of un-documentedness, citizenship, and emigrant colonies in the Italian geo-cultural context and will appear in edited collections to be published by Palgrave and Cambridge University Press. The translation of a 2011 article of hers on the tension between writing and building in Italian American literature has just come out in the latest issue of Alberto Asor Rosa’s Bollettino di Italianistica focusing on the theme of exile. She is completing a study called Pre-Occupied Spaces: Re-Mapping Italy’s Emigration, Immigration, and (Post)-Colonialism.

Jennifer Scappettone is Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing, Associated Faculty of Romance Languages and Literatures, and Faculty Affiliate of the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality at the University of Chicago. In 2008 she guest-edited a dossier dedicated to contemporary Italian “poetry of research” for the journal Aufgabe. As a poet, she has published widely and her work has been included in a range of anthologies in the United States, Portugal, and Cile; she is the author of From Dame Quickly: Poems (Litmus, 2009) and of the bilingual Thing Ode: Ode oggettuale (La Camera Verde, 2008). She is completing a critical study titled Killing the Moonlight: Modernism in Venice. Scappettone was the Andrew W. Mellon Rome Prize Fellow in Modern Italian Studies for 2010-11.

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