Assistant Professor of Italian, General Faculty, Director of UVa in Italy (CET-Siena and ISI-Florence) & Co-Director of the Italian Language Program
New Cabell Hall 461
Italian women’s writing Gender Studies Cultural Studies Representations of food and the body in diverse genres -- fiction, pop culture, advertisements, and film Medical Humanities Literatures of Migration Italian Language and Gender Italian Language taugh
Dr Francesca Calamita’s interdisciplinary research, transnational and anchored in feminist theory, bridges Italian women’s writing, cultural studies and gender studies. More specifically, she investigates how women’s relationship with food and body is portrayed in fiction, as well as pop culture, advertisements, video performances and films. Her research interests also include the intersections between gender and medical humanities as well as migrant literature.
She is the author of the monograph Linguaggi dell’esperienza femminile: disturbi alimentari, donne e scrittura dall’Unità al Miracolo Economico (2015), featured in the prestigious literary journal Nuovi Argomenti and at the 2016 edition of Feminism: Fiera dell'editoria delle donne, a number of peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. She is co-editor of a volume on anorexia and bulimia in French, German and Italian literature, funded by a Buckner W. Clay Dean of Arts and Sciences grant and she has just published a new edited collection (with Bloomsbury Academic) on gender, women and food. Before joining UVa, Dr Calamita was a Visiting Fellow at the University of London’s Centre for the Study of Contemporary Women’s Writing where she completed her post-doctoral research project and where she currently continues to serve as an associate member. Previously Dr Calamita was a Teaching Fellow at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand where she earned her PhD in 2013 and taught European Studies and Italian Studies. She is thrilled to join the cohort of College Fellows at UVa in Fall 2021 and to offer an Engagement course on food and gender across countries and cultures.
She is a member of the interdisciplinary research network “Hungry for Words”, based at the University of Nottingham and funded by AHRC, where she was an invited speaker at the inaugural workshop of the collective.In Spring 2018 at UVa Dr Calamita organised the symposium "Through Their Gazes: Screening Women and Feminism" with Shilpa Davé (Media Studies) and a series of collateral events supported by a UVa Inclusion and Diversity grant and she is currently working on a new interdisciplinary project with Giulio Celotto (Classics) and Giulia Paoletti (Art) on women's voices across several disciplines supported by an AHSS, DDEIs and Clay Endowment grants. Dr Calamita is also interested in the intersections between Italian language and gender and has published in this area; she is currently working on a textbook (under contract with Kendall Hunt) to teach elementary Italian with inclusion, diversity and gender equality with Chiara De Santi (Farmingdale).
In the Italian Program, she serves as co-director of the language program (1000-2000 level) and the placement and transfer of credits coordinator. She is the project leader for Dolcissimo: Speak the Sweet Life, a second language acquisition and food studies activity funded by the Institute of World Languages, and for A Gendered Wor(l)d: Grammar, Sexism and Cultural Changes in Italian Language and Society, a multimodal learning experience which allows students to engage critically with Italian media and to become sensitive to the gendered politics of the language.
Outside her home Department, she collaborates with ISO; Dr Calamita is the director of UVa in Italy (CET-Siena and ISI-Florence) and oversees the academic development of the Programs, serving also as chair of the SCOC committee and co-chair of the ISI Consortium. She is delighted to see students travelling the world, opening their minds, learning new languages and choosing Italy as their destination for study abroad. She serves as the Institute of World Language Reading & Research Group's coordinator for the Language Forward Initiative (supported by a Jefferson Trust award) and chair of the Speaker Series committee. Dr Calamita is an affiliate faculty of the Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality and offers regularly classes on gender issues from a transnational perspective; she also teachea COLA seminars and enjoys helping her advisees with their academic careers. In this spirit, she has recently created a Global Studies J-term course "Global Challenges, Local Responses" with colleagues across various disciplines.