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Chiara Giovanni



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Caribbean Literature
Critical Race Studies
Emotion Theory
Dance Studies
visual culture
cultural studies
Dominican Republic
US Latino/a Studies

Chiara Giovanni

this is a moment of endings, and it is a moment of transitions. these two things are not the same. i write this in lower case in recognition of the latter: i am in a moment of personal and intellectual transition, and upper case letters seem too large a gesture for these points in between cycles. if you wish to read my previous bio, featuring capitalisation, you may do so here.
i am midway through my doctoral program in comparative literature and hold a minor in anthropology. i am a stanford interdisciplinary graduate fellow (2019-2022) and a haas center graduate public service fellow (2020-2021). i am happy to answer any questions about any of these things.
i am a queer woman of colour from the united kingdom, now living in san francisco. you may use the pronouns she, her, hers and ella when referring to me. i am involved in many kinds of community building projects around the bay area, from student advocacy at stanford to qtpoc healing, solidarity, and dance in san francisco and the east bay. i am a graduate representative for the department of comparative literature, a participant in the 2019-2020 humanists at large program, and the previous coordinator of the humanities education focal group. i was a smithsonian latino museum studies program fellow in 2018. i studied modern languages at the university of oxford and received my masters in spanish literature there under the auspices of the ertegun graduate scholarship in the humanities before coming to stanford. again, i am happy to talk about any of these things.
i write consistently at and would be honoured if you felt like receiving my writing. i also tweet and instagram at @carambalache.
as to my work: i am stirred and moved by those invisible moments between people, especially two people. those moments in which two pairs of eyes lock, or one hand reaches for another, and something happens. something clicks, something snags, something comes alive. i believe that it is through desire––desiring and seeking to be desired––that we come to matter in the world. i think that the body is the how of desire, rather than only ever the what. i am most alive in asking why people choose to build something out of a moment of desire, and with that comes curiosity about the communities people build in order to imagine different kinds of worlds, alternative pasts and presents and futures for themselves. like adrienne maree brown, i believe that desire is crucial to these imaginative world-making projects.
i study this specifically through partnered social latin dance, as well as through literature, in the dominican republic and the dominican diaspora in the united states. i think both these things––dance and literature––are necessary for an understanding of how dominicans and other latinx people reimagine the world. histories of desire are deeply embedded in how the dominican republic and the rest of latin america came to exist as we know them in the modern world, and marginalised communities have so often engaged desire in their world-making projects, both through their/our words and through their/our bodies. i use a combination of literary analysis and ethnography to make this work happen. i really enjoy my work: i have been conducting it in oakland so far, and plan to conduct the rest in new york city and santo domingo when we are permitted to travel and dance and share space with one another again.



2017-present: Ph.D. in Comparative Literature (Minor in Anthropology), Stanford University, Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellow (2019-2022)
2016-2017: M.St. in Modern Languages (Spanish), Magdalen College, Oxford (Distinction), Ertegun Scholar in the Humanities
2012-2016: B.A. (Hons) in Modern Languages (German and Spanish), Magdalen College, Oxford (Congratulatory First Class)

Other Information

English (Native)
German (Superior)
Spanish (Superior)
Portuguese (Intermediate)