Understanding Primo Levi Symposium In Honor of Nicholas Patruno

Presented by the Department of Transnational Italian Studies. Co-Sponsored by the President's Office, the Provost's Office, the Class of 1902 Lecture Fund.

Image at top of page: Bryn Mawr College Photo Archives: Nicholas Patruno performing, with colleagues, ‘L’Apres Midriff d'un Faune' with Laboratory Performance by the Ballet Rustique de Montparnass" as part of the 1979 Faculty Show "Curriculi, Curricula!" at Bryn Mawr

April 22, 2022 | Wyndham Alumnae House

Writer Primo Levi is one of the most widely-read post-World War II Italian writers, thinkers, and cultural influencers.  

This event is held in memory of Professor Emeritus Nicholas Patruno (1941-2020) distinguished scholar of Primo Levi's work.

Wyndham Alumnae House, on Marion Avenue, has accessible parking and entrances. All events
will take place on the ground floor.

Refreshments will be served outside and efforts will be made to keep the air in all rooms fresh.


9:30 a.m. | Breakfast on the Terrace

Offered by the Provost's Office


10 a.m. | Symposium in the Ely Room

Chair: Chiara Benetollo, Bryn Mawr College

Come lavorava Nicholas Patruno: Methods, Practices, Perspectives

Roberta Ricci & Alessandro Giammei | Bryn Mawr College

Nicholas Patruno, Primo Levi, and the Chain of Witness

Millicent Marcus | Yale University

Abyssal Foundations: Primo Levi and Giambattista Vico on Terror

Julian Bourg | Boston College

Projections of Memory: Interpreting Primo Levi

Gaetana Marrone | Princeton University


1 p.m. | Lunch

Offered by the President's Office


2 p.m | Poster Session by Students of ITAL313: "Primo Levi, The Writer" Taught by Roberta Ricci

Introduction: Daria Bozzato, Bryn Mawr College

Ava Blumer “The Memory of the Offense: Style and Accuracy in Levi's Se questo è un uomo”/“La memoria dell'offesa: stile e precisione in Se questo è un uomo”

Maia Carvalho “Levi’s Journey through Chemical Elements: The Periodic Table (1975)”/ “Il viaggio di Levi attraverso gli elementi chimici: Il sistema periodico (1975)”

Elise DeBiasio “The Humanity of Animals and the Animality of Humans in Primo Levi”/“L’umanità degli animali e l’animalità degli esseri umani in Primo Levi”

Camryn Karis-Sconyers “Tropes and Myths of Primo Levi” /“Tropi e miti di Primo Levi”

Joseph Lukner “A Third Option for Us and Them: the Grey Zone”/“Una terza opzione per noi e loro: la zona grigia”

Ava Panetto “Writing as an Intergenerational Healing Process”/“Scrittura come guarigione intergenerazionale”

Lake Sanchez, “La Tregua: A Journey of Body, Mind, and Soul”/“La tregua: un viaggio del corpo, della mente e dell'anima”

Olivia Schaffer, “Which Holocaust? Primo Levi and Holocaust Education”/“Quale Olocausto? Primo Levi e l’insegnamento dell’Olocausto”

Eleanor Taylor, “From Babel to Buna: Language and Memory in the Writing of Primo Levi"/“Da Babele a Buna: linguaggio e memoria nella scrittura di Primo Levi”

Meenakshi Thirumurti, “Primo Levi, the Poet: Poetic Justice and License” /“Primo Levi, il poeta: giustizia e licenza poetica”


3 p.m. | Remembering Nicholas Patruno

Memories of Professor Patruno Shared by:

  • Tommasina Gabriele (Wheaton College)
  • Nicola Gentili (Dear friend of Nick Patruno)
  • Marissa Golden (BMC Political Science)
  • David Karen (BMC Sociology)
  • George Pahomov (BMC Russian, Emeritus)
  • Brunilde Ridgway (BMC Archaeology, Emerita)
  • Darby Scott (BMC Classics, Emeritus)
  • Azade Seyhan (BMC German & Comparative Literature, Emerita)
  • Ute Striker (HC Italian, Emerita)
  • Nancy Vickers (BMC President Emerita, Italian)
  • Julia Farmer '99
  • Jessi Harvey '09
  • Allison Galea ’04
  • Rachel Lavenda '08
  • Jessica Lee '08
  • Emily Breslin Markos '04
  • Emilia Otte ’18
  • Patricia Rizzo '77
  • Jessica Lee '08
  • Elizabeth Schwartz ’08
  • Sofia Bella Vitale '14
  • Emily Wiseman ’11
  • Francesca Wiseman ’81
  • Sharon Zimmer '70

Learn More: Read the April 6, 2022, article previewing this event


Contact Us

Transnational Italian Studies Department

Old Library 103
Bryn Mawr College
101 N. Merion Avenue
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010-2899
Phone: 610-526-5198
Fax: 610-526-7479

Roberta Ricci, Chair
Phone: 610-526-5048

Leslie Diarra, Academic Administrative Assistant
Phone: (610) 526-5198