Roberto M. Dainotto, Professor of Literature and International Comparative Studies

Roberto M. Dainotto

Roberto Dainotto is Professor of Literature, Italian and International Comparative Studies at Duke University. He has been Professeur invitè at the Université Paris Ouest, and Fellow at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies in South Africa. His main research and teaching interests hinge on the concepts of place and space as narrative, rhetorical, and geopolitical organizational categories. His publications include Place in Literature: Regions, Cultures, Communities (Cornell UP, 2000); Europe (in Theory) (Duke UP, 2007), winner of the 2010 Shannon Prize in Contemporary European Studies; and Mafia: A Cultural History (Reaktion Books, 2015). He has also edited Racconti Americani del ‘900 (Einaudi scuola, 1999), a monographic issue of Italian Culture on Giambattista Vico (2017), and co-edited with Fredric Jameson Gramsci in the World (Duke UP, 2020).

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

Teaching (Spring 2021):

Office Hours:

M 3:00-4:30pm. To schedule an appointment: <>.

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

Cultural Studies
Modern and Contemporary
European Studies
Space Studies, Urban Studies
Theory of the Novel
The Enlightenment in a Global Perspective
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.

Current Ph.D. Students  

Representative 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, ISSN 1354-571X [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, ISSN 0010-4124 [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