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Chiara Giovanni



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Caribbean Literature
Critical Race Studies
Emotion Theory
visual culture
cultural studies
Dominican Republic
Puerto Rico
Chicano/a Studies & US Latino/a Studies
Border Studies

Chiara Giovanni

I received my training in Medieval and Modern Languages at the University of Oxford, completing an undergraduate and a master's degree in Spanish and German. My graduate work at Oxford, generously funded by the Mica and Ahmet Ertegun House Graduate Programme in the Humanities, addressed questions of identity, whether individual or literary: I produced work on race and performativity, and on love and the self, in Early Modern Spanish writing. My thesis examined a little-known West German novel from 1967, Don Quichotte in Köln, that explicitly refashions Cervantes' magnum opus in the service of contemporary political concerns, and the manuscript of this piece is currently under peer review. 
Now at Stanford, I am currently in the stage of broadening my interests and expertise, but aim to continue my work on personal and literary identity. The following is a very preliminary sketch of my tentative interests and research aims. I am hoping to investigate identity- and subjectivity-formation strategies in the Spanish Caribbean, specifically Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, and its associated U.S. diaspora. I would like to draw a parallel between two concepts I see as fundamental to these processes of identity formation: love, specifically sexual and romantic love, and dance. I wish to work with theorizations of intimacy, specifically in a post-colonial context, and how intimate micro-spaces between two lovers or dancers can be exploited or threatened on the public stage by oppressive powers. I also wish to consider the performativity inherent to romantic/sexual relationships and partner-based dance (especially salsa and bachata), and how these established roles can be reimagined, queered, or rejected. The movement of peoples across the ocean to the United States is also of interest, as I am interested in combining a exploration of how the lost homeland mediates diasporic desire with an investigation into the changes (or lack of such) that take place in Afro-Caribbean music and dance after crossing the ocean.
One of my priorities as a scholar is to bring as much of my work as possible into the public sphere. I published an article with Buzzfeed Reader in August 2017 on a well-known internet poet, and hope to produce more cultural criticism over the rest of my time at Stanford. I am a 2017-8 Latino Museum Studies Fellow at the Smithsonian, D.C., and my work there will investigate the role of museums in public engagement, particularly with regards to marginalized communities in this country.


2017-present: Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, Stanford University 
2016-2017: M.St. in Modern Languages (Spanish), Magdalen College, Oxford (Distinction)
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)