Comparative Literature Program
Comparative Literature Program
Prof. Pireddu is a specialist in Comparative Literature. She holds an Italian laurea, and doctoral degrees from both Italy and the United States. She is the Director of Graduate Studies for the Italian M.A. Program and a core member of the Comparative Literature Program, which she directed until 2010. Her research revolves around European literary and cultural relations, with particular attention to the Italian, French and British domains from the nineteenth-century to the present; questions of national and European identity; literary and critical theories; interdisciplinary approaches to literature; relationships between anthropology and literature; history of ideas; early science-fiction; translation studies.In the seminars she has created at Georgetown in Italian and Comparative Literature she explores with her students such topics as the making of an Italian and European consciousness in modern and contemporary literatures and cultures; the literary construction of an ethnographic imagination through cultural exchanges; the avant-garde and neo-avant-garde in literature and the arts; authorship, autobiography and the relationship between genre and gender; science as a motif and formal principle in literary works within the "two-cultures" debate; the challenge to realist aesthetics in decadence, modernism, and postmodernism; law, justice and truth in detective fiction; the representation of mafia in literature and film; theoretical and practical questions of literary writing and translation, also on the basis of her experience as a freelance translator. Read a story about "Mafia: Reality and Fiction," a course taught by Professor PiredduActive in many professional organizations in the U.S. and Europe, Professor Pireddu has published over fifty articles in American and European volumes and journals such as "Comparative Literature", "Romanic Review", "Research in African Literatures", "The Comparatist", "Annali d'italianistica", "The Translator", "Comparatistica", dealing with questions of Europeanness and national identity, literary and cultural influences, interdisciplinarity, translation issues, relationships between aesthetics and ethics, and focusing on a variety of authors among which Claudio Magris, Paolo Mantegazza, Tahar Ben Jelloun, Virginia Woolf, Gabriele D'Annunzio, Carlo Emilio Gadda, Samuel Beckett, Primo Levi, Anna Banti, Diego Marani, Edgar Allan Poe, Oscar Wilde, Joris-Karl Huysmans, Angela Carter, Gianni Vattimo, Michel Foucault, Vernon Lee, Stéphane Mallarmé, Thomas De Quincey.She is the recipient of the 2003 American Association for Italian Studies book award for her volume Antropologi alla corte della bellezza. Decadenza ed economia simbolica nell'Europa fin de siècle (Fiorini, 2002), a study of the relationships between decadent aesthetics and the anthropological discourse on gift-economy in turn-of-the-century European culture. Prof. Pireddu's book-length publications also include the first English annotated edition of Paolo Mantegazza's The Year 3000. A Dream (U of Nebraska P, 2010) and of other selected works by Mantegazza The Physiology of Love and Other Writings (U of Toronto P, 2007), as well as an edition of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest for the "Great Authors" series at Loffredo Editore.Prof. Pireddu's research has been sponsored by fellowships and grants from numerous institutions among which the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Howard Foundation at Brown University, the Italian Foreign Ministry, the Borchard Foundation and the Paris Program in Critical Theory.In 2005 she received the Georgetown University Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching. In 2008 she was the winner of the first prize of the "Mario Soldati" international literary award for criticism, sponsored by the Italian research institute "Centro Pannunzio" under the high patronage of the President of the Italian Republic.Before her appointment at Georgetown, Prof. Pireddu taught in the Department of Romance Studies at Duke University, in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages at the University of Houston, and in the Department of Comparative Literature at UCLA, offering courses in the humanities, comparative literature, and Italian and French language and literature.