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Massimiliano L. Delfino

Assistant Professor of Instruction in Italian

Massimiliano L. Delfino (Italian, Ph.D. Columbia University 2020). He earned his B.A. in Comparative Literature from “La Sapienza” University of Rome, and his Ph.D. in Italian Studies and Comparative Literature from Columbia University. 

His research focuses on post-World War II Italian political cinema and literature. He uses film theory, literary theory and critical theory to shed light on the nexus between the aesthetic and the political. He is currently working on a book manuscript that analyzes representations of terrorism in Italian films and novels of the 1970s and their relationship to the concept of “civility.” A related article titled “Italian Polizieschi of the Anni di Piombo and the Filmic Aesthetics of Random Violence: Children, Community and Catharsis” was published in The Italianist (2023). Other publications include “A Cinematic Anti-Monument against Mafia Violence: P. Diliberto’s La mafia uccide solo d’estate” published in Annali d’italianistica (2017) and “Reaffirming the Author: Gesualdo Bufalino’s Calende greche and Autofiction between Sadism and Masochism,” Italica (2021). He regularly presents his research at conferences in the USA and Italy. 

He has taught content classes and various levels of Italian at UNC-Chapel Hill, Columbia University and Ca’ Foscari in Venice. For his excellence in teaching, at Northwestern he won the ASG Faculty Honor Roll Teaching Prize for the 2021-22 academic year. He was awarded the Chancellor’s Excellence in Teaching Award (SUTA) at UNC-Chapel Hill (2013), and was a finalist for the Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching at Columbia University (2018). At Northwestern he is part of the Undergraduate Committee in Italian and of the CLI, and he is currently serving as co-chair of the Faculty Development Subcommittee. His classes have a strong cultural component, and his interests in language pedagogy include intermediality in language classes, intercultural communicative competence, and diversity and inclusion. 

As a literary author, he is working on his first collection of poems, titled “L'apocalisse nuda - Poesie per una generazione”. His poems have appeared in the Italian Poetry Review (2023) and have won awards in Italy and in the United States—such as I Murazzi (2022); Premio Apollo Dionisiaco (2022); Premio italiani per il futuro, Italian Cultural Institute of New York (2023); menzione speciale al Premio Mario Luzi; segnalazione, Premio Renato Giorgi (2023).