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Nicole Gounalis


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Nicole Gounalis

Ph.D. Candidate in Italian, with a Ph.D. minor in Slavic Languages and Literatures.

Nicole joined the Italian department in September 2011. Her work focuses on twentieth-century and contemporary Italian literature and film, in particular the different aesthetic forms political engagement, or impegno, takes, relative to different historical periods and contexts. Her dissertation traces the concepts of the avant-garde and impegno during the first half of the twentieth-century through the Futurist, Italian imagist, and neorealist currents. The project seeks to reinsert a detailed study of Antonio Gramsci's ideas on aesthetics as an overlooked critical method in the exploration of the relationship between aesthetics and politics.


Research Interests

la scapigliatura, Italian and international Futurisms, Antonio Gramsci, fascism and aesthetics, neorealism in literature and film, Italo Calvino, the history of Italian cinema, the Gruppo ’63 and la neoavanguardia, Italian feminism, postcolonial and migrant literature


Conference Papers

"Interwar Aesthetic Nationalism: The Case of Marinetti's Democrazia futurista: dinamismo politico," AAIS, Baton Rouge, LA, April 2016. 

 “F.T. Marinetti’s Futurist Nationalism, or: How to Understand the Polemic Against Tradition,” NeMLA, Toronto, May 2015. 

 "Verso una valutazione gramsciana del futurismo italiano," Convegno annuale dell'Associazione per gli Studi di Teoria e Storia Comparata della Letteratura, Università di Bologna, December 2014.

 “L’ossessione lirica della materia: Futurist Montage in Poetry and the Visual Arts,” NeMLA, Boston, March 2013.

Paper accepted, “Fra tradizione e avanguardia: Maria Ginanni e Amelia Rosselli,” UCLA Graduate Conference on Italian Polarities, January 2013.

 "The Dynamics of Representation: Italian Futurist Photography and the Montage Aesthetic," Carolina Conference on Romance Languages, UNC-Chapel Hill, March 2012.



Stanford Centennial Teaching Award, June 2015.

ITALLANG 1, 2, 3, 5A, 5C, 2A (Italian language)

Italian 129: Modern Italian Culture, Avant-gardes and Politics. This course will provide students with an introduction to twentieth century Italian literature and culture through the lens of major trends in literary aesthetics, with an emphasis on the experimental and avant-garde. We will focus on gaining an understanding of the interrelationship between different aesthetic approaches and their expression in works of literature and film. We will also investigate political culture in twentieth-century Italy, in an attempt to map historical changes alongside ideas about literature. Taught in Italian. Prerequisites: ITALLANG 22A or equivalent (2 years of Italian). Spring 2016. 

Teaching Assistant for Italian 155: The Mafia in Society, Film, and Fiction, Spring 2016. 

Teaching Assistant for Italian 128: The Italian Renaissance and the Path to Modernity, Winter 2016. 

Teaching Assistant for Italian 101: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly; Spring 2014, Spring 2015, and Winter 2016.

Teaching Assistant for Italian 127: Inventing Italian Literature, Fall 2014. 

Teaching Assistant for Italian 129: Modern Italian Literature and Culture, Spring 2014.

Graduate Theme Affiliate, Stanford Casa Italiana, academic years 2012-2013 and 2013-2014.


Additional Study

Ghilarza Summer School-Scuola internazionale di studi gramsciani, September 2016.

Graduate session of the Middlebury Italian School, summer 2013.

FLAS/CREEES grant for intensive Russian language study in Moscow, summer 2012.


Languages: Italian, Russian, Spanish (reading), French (reading)


B.A. Bennington College, December 2010.

Other Information

Managing Editor, Stanford Arcade Colloquies; Spring 2014-December 2016.