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:
Italian Literature and Art (16th and 20th century); Intersections of Otherness in Italian culture (Gender and Sexuality, Race and Ethnicity, Religion); Word and Image Studies (emblems, im-prese, visual poetry, illustrated books); Trans-Historical Chivalry (from medieval paladins to Jedi knights); The Avant-Garde (Italian Futurism and its relationship with Africa) and Neo-Avant-Garde (experimental poetry, narrative, and art)
Pronouns: him/he/his lui/lo/gli/tu
Alessandro works on trans-historical and interdisciplinary topics at the crossway of textual and visual studies, modernity and the Renaissance, classicism and vanguardism. His first book, Nell’officina del nonsense di Toti Scialoja, was published in 2014 and won the Harvard edition of the Edinburgh Gadda Prize in 2015. He is currently working on a new book, titled The Poet in Marble: Ludovico Ariosto and 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 fascism, colonialism, and the World Wars.
Alessandro was trained as a literary historian in Rome, where he grew up. During his doctoral studies at Scuola Normale Superiore, he won a visiting fellowship at New York University, where he taught for a semester in the Department of Italian Studies. Before joining the faculty of the Department of Italian and Italian Studies at Bryn Mawr, he was a Cotsen Fellow in the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts at Princeton University, where he taught in the Department of French and Italian. While at Princeton, he taught as a volunteer and directed the Humanities curriculum in the Prison Teaching Initiative.
In addition to scholarly papers and essays in Italian and in English, Alessandro published literary translations, a book of poems, and a number of articles and op-eds for Italian national newspapers and magazines. His first book of creative nonfiction (a collection of narrative personal essays on America and Fitzgerald) was published in 2018 with the title: Una serie ininterrotta di gesti riusciti: Esercizi su Il Grande Gatsby di Francis Scott Fitzgerald.
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
“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