Perfezionamento (Ph.D.), Scuola Normale Superiore
Laurea Magistrale (M.A.), Università di Roma La Sapienza
Laurea (B.A.), Università di Roma La Sapienza
Areas of Focus:
Modern Italian literature & visual culture, Renaissance revivals, reception aesthetics, chivalric fiction, intersections of otherness in Italian Studies (gender & sexuality, race & ethnicity, religion, language), word&image studies, avant-garde & neo-avant-garde experimentalism, translatology, Nonsense as a literary genre, posthuman & queer theory.
Pronouns: he/him · lui/tu
Alessandro works at the crossway of textual and visual studies, focusing on European modernity and its fantasies of genealogical roots in Renaissance and classical cultures. He specializes in mediterranean surrealisms and magical realism, the boundaries of legibility and translatability, experimental poetry and its rapport with painting, and objects that queer what we call ‘textuality’, ‘humanism’, ‘authenticity’, and ‘Italian identity’. He was trained as a literary historian in Rome, where he grew up, then completed his doctoral studies in literature and philology in Pisa. He taught at New York University and, as a Cotsen Postdoctoral Fellow, at Princeton University, where he was part of the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts for three years. As a volunteer in the Prison Teaching Initiative, he also developed and taught courses for incarcerated students in New Jersey. In addition to writing scholarly essays in English and in Italian, he publishes regularly in newspapers and literary magazines such as Domani, il manifesto, Flash Art, and Nuovi Argomenti.
Alessandro’s first book, Nell’officina del nonsense di Toti Scialoja, won the Harvard edition of the Edinburgh Gadda Prize in 2015. In 2018, he published a collection of auto-theory essays on Fitzgerald and Central New Jersey titled Una serie ininterrotta di gesti riusciti. In his most recent books, Ti basta l’Atlantico? (2021, co-edited with Chiara Valerio) and Figurative Fulminations (2022, co-edited with Ara Merjian), he wrote about queer epistolaries and radical art history, and he translated Lytton Strachey into Italian and Pier Paolo Pasolini into English. He is currently working on the first Italian edition of Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Case for Spirit Photography, which will include an essay on historicism and magic and will be published in 2022. He is also revising a new book, titled Ariosto in the Machine Age, about how the multimedia legacy of a Renaissance poem, the Orlando furioso, shaped modern Italian literature, art, cinema, and politics in the age of avant-garde movements, fascism, colonialism, and the World Wars.
Products of Courses
- ITAL B315 · A Gendered History of the Avant-Garde: http://remote-gallery.com
- CSTS H222B · Creating Classics: http://creating-classics.com
- ITAL B308 · Rome as Palimpsests: from Ruins to Virtual Reality: http://giammei.com/ROAM
Alice had quite a hard time leaving Wonderland for the land of Pinocchio, especially during the fascist regime. This scholarly monograph, which was awarded the Harvard edition of the Ed-inburgh Gadda Prize in 2015, analyzes the influence of Victo-rian nonsense-verse in Italy and treats the interplay of literary tradition, iconographic models, and continental philosophy in the comedic poetry of a master of Italian abstract painting: Toti Scialoja, the true Italian heir, according to Italo Calvino, of Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear. The book was published thanks to a grant from the Fonazione Toti Scialoja in Rome. Reviews include: Gillo Dorfles, Corriere della Sera; Paolo Mauri, La Repubblica; Marco Belpoliti, La Stampa; Riccardo Donati, Alfabeta2; Martina Piperno, Arabe-schi; Viola Ardeni, Italian Culture.
Una serie ininterrotta di gesti riusciti: Esercizi su Il Grande Gatsby di Francis Scott Fitzgerald (Venice: Marsilio, 2018)
Twenty-six narrative personal essays (one for each letter of the alphabet) on Fitzgerald’s Gatsby, on contemporary America, on what is fiction and why we need it.
“Within the great tradition of Ennio Flaiano’s A Martian in Rome, Alessandro Giammei tells us the impressions of a young Roman who just landed, disoriented, in Princeton. His anthropological gaze on the academic province—sharp, alienated, in love—is splendidly contradictory, as much sardonic as it is sincere” Jhumpa Lahiri.
“L’immaginario cavalleresco”, Il contributo italiano alla storia del pensiero - Letteratura, ed. Giulio Ferroni, (Rome: Istituto dell’Enciclopedia Italiana Treccani, 2018): pp. 78-83
The first Italian edition of the whole epistolary between Virginia Woolf and Lytton Strachey, based on original unexpurgated documents. It was written and translated by correspondence during a global pandemic, and it is introduced by an essay written in the form of an epistolary between the curators.
“Stratigraphy of Andromeda: Giorgio de Chirico, Alberto Savinio, Origins, and Originality”, Modernism/modernity, 25.1 (2018): 21-43
“Ariosto, the Great Metaphysician”, Modern Language Notes, 132.1 (2017): 135-162
“Macbeth as Mussolini in Saba’s Secret Shakespeare”, Echoing Voices in Italian Literature: Tradition and Translation in the 20th Century, eds. Teresa Franco and Cecilia Piantanida (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars, 2018), pp. 182-201