top left: Colosseum, Italy; top right: Neuschwanstein castle, bottom left: ceiling of the Church of All Saints, Russia; bottom right: Paris at night

Clarissa Clò

Clarissa ClòOffice: SH 226C
Phone: (619) 594-1131
Email: [email protected]

Salve! I joined the Department of European Studies at SDSU in 2005 and am the current chair of the Department of European Studies. I teach primarily upper-division courses in Italian literature, cinema, and cultural studies and direct the Italian language program. I regularly work with LARC (Language Acquisition Research Center) to incorporate state of the art media technology in the Italian classroom. We have recently created an Italian Intermediate and Advanced CAST (Computer Assisted Screening Tool) to assess the oral proficiency of our students based on the ACTFL Rating Scale.  

I also collaborate with several other academic programs on campus, including the University Honors Program, the Florence Summer Program, and the LGBTQ Research Consortium, as well as in the region, including UCSD Italian Studies, USD Italian and the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at UCSD.  I was recently featured in article on Teaching in Quarantine.

My research interests include Italian culture, literature, film, music, popular culture, postcolonial, migration and diaspora studies, feminist and queer studies. My projects in Italian and Cultural Studies focus on regional and global cultures, postcolonial and Mediterranean studies, Italian cinema, documentary filmmaking, and Italian American culture. 

I have published articles, interviews, reviews and translations in journals such as Africa e Mediterraneo, Annali d’Italianistica, Diacritics, Diaspora, Forum Italicum, IBC, Italian Culture, Italica, Research in African Literatures, and Transformations. 

Several of my essays have appeared in books such as Postcolonial Italy: Challenging National Homogeneity, Teaching Italian American Literature, Film, and Popular Culture, The Cultures of Italian Migration: Diverse Trajectories and Discrete Perspectives.

I have edited two special journal double issues: one for the Italian journal Il Lettore di Provincia on regional cultural studies in Emilia-Romagna, and one, with Anita Angelone, for the journal Studies in Documentary Film on contemporary Italian documentaries.

In addition to my academic work at SDSU, I collaborate with several Italian American organizations in the community and I am on the Board of Directors of the San Diego Italian Film Festival and of the Italian American Academy of San Diego.

Prior to coming to San Diego I spent two years as Lecturer in Italian in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2003-2005). At UNC-CH I was also affiliated with the Center for European Studies and co-organized the annual American Association for Italian Studies (AAIS) conference in 2005 with my colleagues in Italian.

I received my Ph.D. in Literature from the University of California San Diego in 2003 with a dissertation entitled “Italy in the World and the World in Italy: Tracing Alternative Cultural Trajectories” which explored the regional and transnational dimensions of Italian culture in Italy and abroad throughout the 20th century. Some of the cultural productions I analyzed included novels and oral narratives such as Sibilla Aleramo’s Una donna and Marie Hall Ets’s Rosa: The Life of an Immigrant Woman, theatrical representations by the Federal Theatre Project and the Italian anarchist and immigrant theatre, films by Gillo Pontecorvo, Giuliano Montaldo, Davide Ferrario, and Guido Chiesa, and music by alternative bands like CCCP/CSI, and Modena City Ramblers.

I am originally from a village near Modena in Italy. I attended the Università degli Studi of Bologna, where I studied foreign languages and postcolonial literatures in English and wrote a thesis on Olive Senior, a Jamaican author, and other Caribbean women writers. Before coming to the US in 1995 as an exchange student at the University of Denver, I was an Erasmus exchange student at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, UK. 

I also hold an MA in Women’s Studies from the University of Cincinnati, where I studied feminist theory and criticism and wrote my final paper on the experience of immigrant women in Emilia-Romagna, Italy.

At SDSU, I am particularly involved in student life. I am the Faculty Adviser of the Circolo Italiano and of the local chapter of GKA, the Italian National Honor Society. I was also a Faculty-in-Residence in the Olmeca/Maya Residence Halls on campus (2009-2012), where I coordinated education programs for several living and learning communities.

“Hip Pop all'italiana. Immaginazione postcoloniale nelle seconde generazioni.” L’Italia Postcoloniale. Ed. Cristina Lombardi-Diop and Caterina Romeo. Firenze: Le Monnier-Mondadori Accademica, 2014. 249-264.

“Hip Pop: The Postcolonial Imagination of Second Generation Migration Authors in Italy.” Postcolonial Italy: Challenging National Homogeneity. Ed. Cristina Lombardi-Diop and Caterina Romeo. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. 2012. 275-291.

Other Visions: Contemporary Italian Documentary Cinema as Counter-Discourse. Guest editors Anita Angelone and Clarissa Clò. Spec. double issue of Studies in Documentary Film 5.2 & 5.3 (2011): 81-271.

“The Poetics of Reuse: Festivals, Archives, and Cinematic Recycling in Italian Documentary.” By Marco Bertozzi. Co-translated with Anita Angelone. Studies in Documentary Film 5.2 & 5.3 (2011): 91-106.

“Orchestrating Reality Through A Cinema of Relation: Interview with Agostino Ferrente.” Studies in Documentary Film 5.2 & 5.3 (2011): 211-221.

Improvvisamente l’inverno scorso/Suddenly Last Winter: Queer Sex in Public.” Studies in Documentary Film 5.2 & 5.3 (2011): 255-261.

 “Dagli Appennini alle Risaie: Italian Glocal Soundscapes, Memory, History, Performance, in the Voice of Women.” The Cultures of Italian Migration: Diverse Trajectories and Discrete Perspectives. Ed. Graziella Parati and Anthony J. Tamburri. Madison: Farleigh Dickinson University Press, 2011. 23-44.

“African Queens and Italian History: The Cultural Politics of Memory and Resistance in Teatro delle Albe’s Lunga vita all’albero and Gabriella Ghermandi’s Regina di fiori e di perle.” Research in African Literatures 41.4 (2010): 26-42.

“‘How is Sicily Like Jamaica?’: Gendered Multiethnic Identities and Cross-Cultural Encounters.” Teaching Italian American Literature, Film, and Popular Culture. Ed. Edvige Giunta and Kathleen Zamboni McCormick. Options for Teaching Series, New York: MLA. 2010. 258-265.

“Il mondo salvato dai ragazzini: Palandri e le giovani generazioni.” Generazione in movimento. Viaggio nella scrittura di Enrico Palandri. Ed. Enrico Minardi and Monica Francioso. Ravenna: Longo Editore, 2010. 49-63.

“Italiani in America: intervista a Guido Fink.” Una parola dopo l’altra, ed. Valeria Cicala and Vittorio Ferorelli, Bologna: Bononia UP, 2010. 351-358.

“Mediterraneo Interrupted: Perils and Potentials of Representing Italy’s Occupations in Greece and Libya Through Film.” Italian Culture 27.2 (2009): 99-115.

“Out of the Shadow: Gabriella Ghermandi’s Ethiopian Italian Performances.” Teaching Performance. Spec. issue of Transformations: The Journal of Inclusive Scholarship and Pedagogy 20.1 (2009): 141-154.

“‘Revolutionaries of the World Unite’: Reclaiming The Battle of Algiers as an International Manifesto for Militancy.” African Diasporas: Ancestors, Migrations and Boundaries. Ed. Robert Cancel and Winifred Woodhull. Trenton, NJ and Asmara, Eritrea: Africa World Press, 2008. 202-223.

“Visions of Italy Beyond the North/South Divide: Regional Documentaries, Global Identities.” Annali d’Italianistica 24 (2006): 41-64.

“From Ethiopia to Harlem: Anti-Fascist Spectacles across the Atlantic.” Forum Italicum 40.1 (2006): 61-84.

“‘Lavorare con impegno’: il cinema tra musica, documentario e politica - Intervista a Guido Chiesa.” Italica: Journal of the American Association of Teachers of Italian 83.1 (2006): 85-97.

Spaesamenti. Studi Culturali sull’Emilia-Romagna. Ed. Clarissa Clò. Spec. double issue of  Il lettore di provincia 123-124 (2005): 1-173.

Italian Colonialism and the Southern Question: A Conversation with Professor Clarissa Clò. By Issayas Tesfamariam, Lecturer in Amharic, Stanford University, for his Blog. Part I, 26 May 2013; Part II, 31 May 2013.

Radio Interview with Maureen Cavanaugh during Midday Edition on The San Diego Italian Film Festival’s CineCucina Program, KPBS, May 21, 2012.

Radio Interview with Beth Accomando on La Siciliana Ribelle (The Sicilian Girl, dir. Marco Amenta, 2008). KPBS, Sept. 16, 2010.

Radio interview, “The Songs of the Italian Rice Workers,” Old Mole Variety Hour, KBOO FM, 90.7 Portland, OR. May 12, 2008.