Carmen is a lecturer in the Department of French and Italian at the University of California, Davis. Currently, she teaches Italian language classes of all levels, and various literature and culture courses examining autobiography in Italy, topics in translation, and food and culture in Italy. Carmen earned her Ph.D. from the Department of Italian at the University of California, Los Angeles in June 2013. During her tenure at UCLA, Carmen taught a number of Italian language classes ranging from elementary to advanced levels, courses in Italian literature, film and critical theory, as well as acted as a guest lecturer for the UC “Fiat Lux” program.
Her research interests include Italian and Italian American literature and film, contemporary Italian feminist thought, gender studies, Italian cultural studies, and language pedagogy. Carmen’s dissertation, “Women Writers and Italian Fascism: Figures of Resistance in Paola Masino, Paola Drigo and Milena Milani,” focuses on three women writers yet to be fully acknowledged within the Italian literary panorama and highlights their contribution to a counter-discourse to Fascist gender constructions. Through an examination of the styles, modes, tropes and intertextual references that the authors employ in their novels and short stories, the project identifies the ways in which these women were able to anticipate and define the ethos of feminist theories to come. The dissertation maps, on the one hand, the socio-political and symbolic effects Fascism had on women’s experience in Italy and their immediate response to it; and on the other, investigates how these authors re-imagine and re-energize traditionally feminine realms and identities through their writing, creating new and empowering female figures and linking women’s narrative practices to the evolution of Italian feminist thought.
Carmen has published in Modern Language Notes and Carte Italiane. In addition to her own research and teaching, Carmen has acted as a copy-editor for the UCLA Department of Italian’s peer-reviewed journal, Carte Italiane, served as Graduate Student Representative for several years, and co-founded the department’s “Work-in-Progress” series—a symposium that allows graduate students and faculty the opportunity to present their current academic work. At UC Davis, Carmen hosts a weekly conversation hour for Italian speakers of all levels and teaches beginning and intermediate language courses, as well as courses in Italian culture. Beyond the world of academia, Carmen has worked as a translator, copy-editor, copy-writer, and grant writer for various publications and organizations.