I am currently working on an interdisciplinary project that brings together women’s history, food and emotion studies. This project has developed into a series of publications, public engagement events and the organisation of two conferences. The monograph I am writing focuses on the fascist period, WWII, the 1968 cultural revolution, and the contemporary diasporic world. I investigate how taste and alimentary imagination help narrate significant moments of women’s history and subjectivities. This project is supported by a two-year Visiting Fellowship at the Centre for the Study of Cultural Memory, Institute of Modern Languages Research, School of Advanced Studies, University of London. The fellowship has given me the opportunity to organise the conference ‘The Taste of War: Values and Meanings of Food in WWII Italy and France’ held at Senate House, University of London, and the online conference “The Diasporic Plate: Food in the Contemporary Diasporic World”.
I was awarded a public engagement grant to take my food and war research to the War Museum of Scotland and the Italian Cultural Institute in Edinburgh during the Being Human Festival 2019. This is a project of comparative nature (Italian and British history and cultural memory) for which I collaborated with my colleague Dr Kelly Spring (University of Southern Maine). I am currently working on two more projects of comparative nature, which will generate articles co-authored with colleagues in French Studies and German History.
My interest in food policies and practices has developed through more research trajectories which include a visiting fellowship at Seton Hall University, New Jersey, for my project ‘Food and Americans in Italy during WWII’.
In terms of publications I have further explored alimentary imagination in an article titled ‘Desserts, Breastfeeding and Pleasure as Opposition to Fascism in the 1930s Works by Pina Ballario’, published in Italian Studies 73.3 (2018), where I consider alimentary imagination as a tool through which a discourse of emotions is articulated to challenge, and at times criticise, Fascist colonialism, nationalistic concepts of motherhood, and marriage. In recent articles, I have analysed food consumption in relation both to films (Luca Guadagnino, Ferzan Ozpetek) and fiction (Dacia Maraini).
My interest in food and emotion studies intertwines with my work in cultural memory. My volume Transmissions of Memory: Echoes, Traumas and Nostalgia in Post-World War II Italian Culture (2018) deals with topics of memory transmissions and you can read more about it here.