Barbara Spackman

Job title: 
Distinguished Professor Emerita; Former Giovanni and Ruth Elizabeth Cecchetti Chair of Italian Literature
Italian Studies
Comparative Literature

Barbara Spackman, Ph.D. Yale University, is a distinguished professor emerita of Italian studies and comparative literature, and former Giovanni and Ruth Elizabeth Cecchetti Chair of Italian Literature. She works on 19th- and 20th-century Italian literature and culture, with special interests in decadence, the cultural production of the fascist period, feminist theory, travel writing and Italian Orientalism. She has published on topics as diverse as Macaronic poetry, film of the fascist period, the rhetoric of sickness at the fin de siècle, Italian futurism, contemporary feminist theory, the rhetoric of Mussolini’s speeches, Orientalism in the 19th century and migrant writing in the 21st. She is the author of Decadent Genealogies: The Rhetoric of Sickness from Baudelaire to D’Annunzio (Cornell University Press, 1989) and Fascist Virilities: Rhetoric, Ideology, and Social Fantasy in Italy (University of Minnesota Press, 1996), which won the 1998 MLA Howard R. Marraro and Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prizes for Italian Literary Studies. Her most recent book, Accidental Orientalists: Modern Italian Travelers in Ottoman Lands, was published by Liverpool University Press in 2017 and won the 2018 American Association of Italian Studies Prize (Renaissance, 18th and 19th Centuries), and the 2018 MLA Howard R. Marraro Prize Honorable Mention.