Rossella Di Rosa

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Italian Language Program Director

Lecturer in Foreign Languages

+1 215 - 898 - 6071

538 Williams Hall

Rossella Di Rosa graduated cum laude from the University of Siena in 2008, where she studied Modern Languages and Intercultural Studies. After an inspiring year at Vassar College as a language fellow, she completed her MA and PhD in Italian at Rutgers University.  

Her academic interests focus on second language acquisition, critical and digital pedagogy as well as modern and contemporary Italian literature, especially women’s writing. Her research lies at the intersection of literature, ecocriticism, posthumanism, new materialism, and gender studies. She has published several articles that analyze nomadic spaces and subjectivities, discuss the definition of nature, and explore the interdependence between human and nonhuman beings in Giacomo Leopardi, Anna Maria Ortese, Elsa Morante, María Zambrano, Fabrizia Ramondino, and Elena Ferrante.

Before joining the University of Pennsylvania, she taught Italian and Spanish at Rutgers and the University of Georgia.


Office Hours
Spring 2024: Mondays 11-12 pm and Wednesdays 3-4 pm and by appointment

Ph.D. Italian, Rutgers University

MA, Italian, Rutgers University

MA cum laude, Modern Languages and Intercultural Studies, University of Siena

BA, Foreign Languages and Literature (English and Spanish), University of Siena

Research Interests
  • Second Language Acquisition & Foreign Language Teaching
  • Critical and Digital Pedagogy
  • Modern and Contemporary Italian Literature
  • Women's Writing
  • Gender Studies
  • Literary Ecology
  • Posthumanism
  • New Materialism 
Courses Taught
  • ITALIAN 0092 - Black Italy (First Year Seminar)
  • ITALIAN 1000 - Advanced Italian I
  • ITALIAN 1200 - Advanced Italian II
  • ITALIAN 3401 - Black Italy and Black Italians
  • ITALIAN 3508 - Italian Literature: Italian Women Writers
  • ITALIAN 3508 - Italilan Literature: Italian Ecologies
  • ITALIAN 5910 - Italian Teaching and Learning
  • ITAL/FREN/GERMN 5990 - Teaching and Learning
Selected Publications

“Tying Thoughts and Forging Bonds in Language and Content Instruction. Redefining Literacy Through Social Annotation Tools.” TILCA - Teaching Italian Language and Culture Annual, 2023, pp. 29-39, (co-authored with Julia Heim).

“Enhancing Foreign Language Learning and Interaction Inside and Outside the Classroom Through Video Streaming Services.” TILCA - Teaching Italian Language and Culture Annual, 2022, pp. 4-10.

“Material and Trans-corporeal Identities in Ferrante’s and Atwood’s Narratives.” MLN: Elena Ferrante in a Global Context, edited by Tiziana de Rogatis et al, 136.1, 2021, pp. 143-163.

“Women’s Eccentric and Nomadic Cooking in Fabrizia Ramondino’s Althénopis: When Food Tastes Good and Subversive.” Food and Women in Italian Literature, Culture, and Society: Eve’s Sinful Bite, edited by Claudia Bernardi et al., Bloomsbury Academic, 2020, pp. 116-127.

“From Nature to Matter: Leopardi’s anti-anthropocentrism and inchoate proto-ecological thinking.” Mapping Leopardi, Poetical and Philosophical Investigations, edited by Emanuela Cervato et al., Cambridge Scholars, 2019, pp. 409-432.

“Portrait of Antigone as Idiot Savant: Elsa Morante’s La Serata a Colono.” The Italianist 38.1, 2018, pp. 27-47.

“‘La questione animale’ di Anna Maria Ortese: Alonso e i visionari e l’etica del soccorso.” Ecozon@ 7.2, 2016, pp. 134-148.

Divenire animale – divenire Elisa. La centralità del gatto Alvaro in Menzogna e Sortilegio.” Carte Italiane 2.10,

2015, pp. 89-105.

Anna Maria Ortese e María Zambrano: da ‘luoghi d’esilio’ per una filosofiapoetica.” Italica 92.1, 2015, pp. 62-82.