Samantha Gillen

PhD in Italian Studies

Lecturer, University of Georgia

I received an M.A. in Italian Studies (2015) and a B.A. magna cum laude in Italian and Music (2013) from the Florida State University where I was a two-time recipient of the Ada Belle Winthrop King Foundation grant to study abroad. At the University of Pennsylvania, I have taught Italian language from beginning to advanced, TAed for several film classes, and designed a course on twentieth century topics in Italian cinema, focusing on Fascism, World War II, and the economic boom. I have received a Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching (2021) and a Penfield Dissertation Fellowship (2020). Since 2018, I have also served as an assistant copy editor for the online, annual journal gender/sexuality/italy.

My dissertation, “Narrating the Industrial City: Intellectuals and the Italian Economic Boom (1955-1965),” explores how writers of the subgenre letteratura industriale (Calvino, Bianciardi, Volponi, Ottieri) represented the relationship between their semi-autobiographical protagonists and the industrialized spaces they inhabited, a reflection of the rapidly changing world of the second postwar period. I am also interested in the “boom” of 1950s literary journals (Il Menabò, L’Officina, Nuovi Argomenti, etc.) and their discourses about how literature should represent the new, industrial reality embodied on page and on screen.