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Roberto M. Dainotto, Andrew W. Mellon Assistant Professor of Romance Studies; Italian

Roberto M. Dainotto
Contact Info:
Office Location:  209 Franklin Center
Office Phone:  919-668-1910
Email Address: send me a message

Office Hours:

Tuesday: 1:00pm - 3:00pm

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:

Current projects: Mediterranean Studies, Europe (in Theory)

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.


Europe • Italy • Literature • Theory • Nationalism • Autobiography

Curriculum Vitae
Current Ph.D. Students   (Former Students)

  • Giuseppe Prigiotti  
  • Martin G. Repinecz  
  • Fiammetta Di Lorenzo  
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, 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

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 Language. And then, 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 Nineteenth-Century Italian literature and culture, and fascism and Reconstruction, and Mediterranean Studies and European Unions; and he wrote in the journals Nepantla, Critical Inquiry, Journal of Modern Italian Studies, Annali d'italianistica, Italian-Americana, and in various essay 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 published that in Postmodern Culture; wherefore he went to publish 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.