Roberto M. Dainotto, Professor of Romance Studies and Literature and International Comparative Studies and Arts of the Moving Image Certificate

Roberto M. Dainotto

Modern and contemporary Italian culture. Publications include Place in Literature: Regions, Cultures, Communities (Cornell UP, 2000); Europe (in Theory) (Duke UP, 2007); The Mafia: A Cultural History (Reaction Books, 2015);  and the edited volume Racconti Americani del ‘900 (Einaudi, 1999). Work in progress: a monograph on Antonio Labriola.

Contact Info:
Office Location:  217A Language Center, Box 90257, Durham, NC 27708
Email Address:   send me a message
Web Page:

Teaching (Fall 2019):

  • ITALIAN 385.01, MAFIA AT THE MOVIES Synopsis
    Gray 228, TuTh 11:45 AM-01:00 PM
    Languages 114B, Th 03:05 PM-05:35 PM
Office Hours:

TH 3:00-4:30pm, or by appointment

Ph.D.New York University1995
M.A.New York University1990
Laurea, cum laudeUniversity of Catania, Italy1986

Cultural Studies
Research Interests:

Literature and Place, Nationalism and Regionalism, Aesthetic Theory, Italian Idealism, Translation Theory, Autobiography, Ideas of Europe, European Visions of the New World, The Cultural Formation of the Italian Nation.

Curriculum Vitae
Representative Publications   (More Publications)

  1. Dainotto, RM, Europe (in Theory) (2007), Duke University Press (Winner of the 2010 Laura Shannon Prize of the Nanovic Institute for European Studies..) .
  2. Roberto Dainotto,, Asimmetrie mediterranee. Etica e mare nostrum, Nae, vol. 3 (December, 2003), pp. 3-18 .
  3. Dainotto, R, The Gubbio Papers: Historic centers in the age of the economic miracle, Journal of Modern Italian Studies, vol. 8 no. 1 (Spring, 2003), pp. 67-83, Informa UK Limited [Gateway.cgi], [doi]  [abs].
  4. Dainotto, RM, Place in Literature: Regions, Cultures, Communities (2000), Ithaca: Cornell University Press .
  5. Dainotto, R, Historical Materialism as New Humanism: Antonio Labriola’s ‘In Memoria del Manifesto dei Comunisti’ (1895), Annali D'Italianistica, vol. 25 (2008), pp. 265-282 .
  6. Dainotto, RM, The Canonization of Heinrich Heine and the Construction of Jewish-Italian Literature, in The Most Ancient of Minorities: History and Culture of the Jews of Italy, edited by Pugliese, S (2002), pp. 131-138, Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press .
  7. Dainotto, RM, Of the Arab origin of modern Europe: Giammaria Barbieri, Juan Andrés, and the origin of rhyme, Comparative Literature, vol. 58 no. 4 (Fall, 2006), pp. 271-292, Duke University Press [Gateway.cgi], [doi] .
  8. Dainotto, RM, The Importance of Being Sicilian: Italian Cultural Studies, sicilitudine and je ne sais quoi, edited by Parati, G; Lawton, B, Italian Cultural Studies (2001), pp. 201-219, Boca Raton: Bordighera Press .
  9. Roberto Dainotto,, Goethe's Backpack, Substance, vol. 105 no. 33 (2005), pp. 6-22 [html] .
  10. Dainotto, RM, Tramonto and Risorgimento: Gentile’s Dialectics and the Prophecy of Nation, in Making and Unmaking Italy: The Cultivation of National Identity around the Risorgimento, edited by Ascoli, A; Henneberg, KV (2001), pp. 241-256, Oxford: Berg. .
  11. Dainotto, RM, La citt e il represso. Moderno, postmoderno, e l’ immaginario del(la) capitale, in Golem. Il futuro che passa, edited by Nigrelli, FC (2001), pp. 49-72, Roma: ManifestoLibri. .
  12. Dainotto, RM, Die Rhetorik des Regionalismus. Architektonischer Ort und der Geist des Gemeinplatzes, in Die Architektur, die Tradition und der Ort: Regionalismen in der europaäischen Stadt, edited by Lampugnani, VM (2000), pp. 15-30, Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt .
  13. Dainotto, R, The Discreet Charm of the Arabist Theory, European History Quarterly, vol. 36 no. 1 (2006), pp. 7-29, SAGE Publications [doi]  [abs].
  14. The `Other' Europe of Michele Amari: Orientalism from the South, Nineteent-Century Contexts, vol. 26 no. 4 (2005), pp. 18-27 .
  15. Roberto Dainotto,, Vico's Beginnings and Ends: Variations on the Theme of Origins of Language, Annali D'Italianistica, vol. 18 (2000), pp. 13-28 .
It is said in his legend that Professor Dainotto's PhD from New York University was in Comparative Literature, and only when he was struck by an illumination under the statue of Washington Duke, possessed by the spirit of JB our Founder, he started pronouncing burning words in Italian and was appointed Assistant Professor in that Field. The image of Garibaldi spake unto him and said: "Roberto, go and spread Italian words, that manyfold students can hear." And he went and taught, as thou can see, on Eighteenth- and Nineteent-Century Italian literature and culture, and fascism and Reconstruction, and Mediterranean Studies and European Unions; and he wrote in European History Quarterly, SubStance, Nepantla, Critical Inquiry, Segno, NAE, Journal of Modern Italian Studies, Annali d'italianistica, Italian-Americana, and in collections in Italy and abroad. On a time, he wrote about excrements, which scholars naturally abhor, but it reminded him of sublime ecstasies, and anon he wrote that for Postmodern Culture; wherefore he went to publish Il racconto americano (Einaudi Scuola) and Place in Literature (Cornell UP, 2000), to which Europe (in Theory) will follow.

Professor Eric Zakim, Assistant at Maryland, coediteth a volume on Mediterranean Studies with him (Mercy and Truth have met together!), in whose stable of doctrine thou shalt find, among other things, the rack of scripture, the ass of simpleness, the ox of discretion, and Miriam illuminating. Zakim and Dainotto both weep bitterly for each word.

Then let us devoutly pray this teacher, Professor Dainotto, to be our instructor and soccur and aid us in our adversities and curricula, and help, that we may after this short life at Duke come into everlasting life in the other world called real.