Research, Publications & Conferences


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.


“Gender, Science, and the Modern Woman: Futurism’s Strange Concoctions of Femininity,” Carte Italiane (2010) []

“Milena Milani’s La ragazza di nome Giulio: A Forgotten Feminist Novel,” MLN (2010) []

Book review: Re-writing the Journey in Contemporary Italian Literature, Figures of Subjectivity in Progress by Cinzia Sartini-Blum. MLN (2010) []

BiGLI (Bibliografia generale della linga e della letteratura italiana), Contributor, Rome: Salerno (2009)


Conferences and Presentations

USC, Italian Language Teachers’ Workshop, “Messa in Scena: Performance as a Tool for Reading Comprehension in Intermediate Italian” (October 2017)

UC Davis Language Center, “From Canvas to Culture: A Web-based Approach to Language and Culture in Intermediate Italian” (November 2016)

Scripps College, CICIS, “La vita nella strada: Suburban Spectacle and Familial Fictions in Paola Masino’s Periferia” (February 2012 )

UCLA, International Institute and the Postcolonial Theory and Literature Colloquium, “Islands of Otherness: Representations of Sardinia in the Work of Grazia Deledda” (April 2010)

University of Wisconsin-Madison, GAFIS Symposium, “Scientific Subjugation and the Deformation of the ‘Feminine’ in Italian Futurism” (April 2010)

UCLA, Graduate Student Conference, “La pasta passatista e il pasto futurista: Food, Gender, and Feminine Identities in Futurist and Fascist Italy” (October 2009)

Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, California. Presenter: “Futurism + 100” (May 2009)

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