What was your background and experience before joining the faculty at OU?
One could say that I am a journeyman faculty. I earned my MA at the University of Pittsburgh, then my PH.D. at UC Berkeley. My first job in the US was at Wesleyan University, then I moved back to Cal for a year, before joining OU for the first time in 2012. The year after I went to University of Arizona, and then in 2014 I returned to OU.
What topics are you most passionate about and what projects are you working on right now?
What interests me most is political theory and literature. I always read works through the political lens, both theoretically and practically. Currently, beside my own articles and book projects, with friend and colleague Dr. Paola Bonifazio (she is at UT Austin) I am editing a special issue on transmedia storytelling, with contributors arguing about topics crossing over a garden-variety of media, such as novels, films, YouTube videos, tourist guide, even a soccer club social media strategies… It’s going to be published sometimes in 2020 in Italian Culture.
What do you most enjoy about teaching at OU?
I love that OU is a large public school, with down-to-earth students whose life is going to be positively affected by the degree that they work hard to earn. Listening to the stories of our alumni is always a very rewarding, and sometimes humbling, experience.
What would you tell a student who is thinking about studying Italian at OU but who may be on the fence?
Learning a different language equals to travel to an unknown place, you might not know what you’ll get, but it sure would turn out to be a growing experience, in more ways than one. You might get to know other worlds, people, lifestyles, or perhaps you will simply better understand yourself, in itself a remarkable gift, in my opinion.
What is your teaching motto or favorite piece of advice for students in your classes?
If you want to be successful, work consistently, that’s the only secret I discovered in my life (and don’t come late to class…).
How do you like to spend your free time?
Watching American football, hiking, playing with my neighbor’s cat, and grab a beer or two with friends.