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Faculty: Roberto M. Dainotto  

Roberto M. Dainotto
Title: Professor
Office Location: 217A Language Center, Box 90257, Durham, NC 27708
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It is said in his legend that ProfessorDainotto's PhD from New York University was in Comparative Literature,and only when he was struck by an illumination under the statue ofWashington Duke, possessed by the spirit of JB our Founder, he startedpronouncing burning words in Italian and was appointed AssistantProfessor in that Field. The image of Garibaldi spake untohim and said: "Roberto, go and spread Italian words, that manyfoldstudents can hear." And he went and taught, as thou can see, onEighteenth- and Nineteent-Century Italian literature and culture, andfascism and Reconstruction, and Mediterranean Studies and EuropeanUnions; and he wrote in  European History Quarterly,  SubStance, Nepantla,            CriticalInquiry, Segno, NAE, Journalof Modern ItalianStudies, Annalid'italianistica, Italian-Americana, and incollections in Italy and abroad. On a time, he wrote about excrements,which scholars naturally abhor, but it reminded him of sublimeecstasies, and anon he wrote that for PostmodernCulture; wherefore he went to publish Il racconto americano (EinaudiScuola) and Placein Literature (Cornell UP, 2000), to which Europe (inTheory)will follow.


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


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

Office Hours:

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


  • Ph.D., New York University, 1995
  • M.A., New York University, 1990
  • Laurea, cum laude, University of Catania, Italy, 1986

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.

Representative Publications   (More Publications)


  • Dainotto, RM. Europe (in Theory).  Duke University Press, 2007 . (Winner of the 2010 Laura Shannon Prize of the Nanovic Institute for European Studies.)
  • Dainotto, RM. Place in Literature: Regions, Cultures, Communities.  Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2000 .
Articles in a Journal
  • Roberto Dainotto,. "Asimmetrie mediterranee. Etica e mare nostrum." Nae 3 (December, 2003): 3-18.
  • Dainotto, R. "The Gubbio Papers: Historic centers in the age of the economic miracle." Journal of Modern Italian Studies 8.1 (Spring, 2003): 67-83. [Gateway.cgi], [doi]  [abs]
  • Dainotto, R. "Historical Materialism as New Humanism: Antonio Labriola’s ‘In Memoria del Manifesto dei Comunisti’ (1895)." Annali D'Italianistica 25 (2008): 265-282.
  • Dainotto, RM. "The Canonization of Heinrich Heine and the Construction of Jewish-Italian Literature." The Most Ancient of Minorities: History and Culture of the Jews of Italy  (2002): 131-138.
  • Dainotto, RM. "Of the Arab origin of modern Europe: Giammaria Barbieri, Juan Andrés, and the origin of rhyme." Comparative Literature 58.4 (Fall, 2006): 271-292. [Gateway.cgi], [doi]
  • Dainotto, RM. "The Importance of Being Sicilian: Italian Cultural Studies, sicilitudine and je ne sais quoi." Italian Cultural Studies  (2001): 201-219.
  • Roberto Dainotto,. "Goethe's Backpack." Substance 105.33 (2005): 6-22. [html]
  • Dainotto, RM. "Tramonto and Risorgimento: Gentile’s Dialectics and the Prophecy of Nation." Making and Unmaking Italy: The Cultivation of National Identity around the Risorgimento  (2001): 241-256.
  • Dainotto, RM. "La citt e il represso. Moderno, postmoderno, e l’ immaginario del(la) capitale." Golem. Il futuro che passa  (2001): 49-72.
  • Dainotto, RM. "Die Rhetorik des Regionalismus. Architektonischer Ort und der Geist des Gemeinplatzes." Die Architektur, die Tradition und der Ort: Regionalismen in der europaäischen Stadt  (2000): 15-30.
  • Dainotto, R. "The Discreet Charm of the Arabist Theory." European History Quarterly 36.1 (2006): 7-29. [doi]  [abs]
  • "The `Other' Europe of Michele Amari: Orientalism from the South." Nineteent-Century Contexts 26.4 (2005): 18-27.
  • Roberto Dainotto,. "Vico's Beginnings and Ends: Variations on the Theme of Origins of Language." Annali D'Italianistica 18 (2000): 13-28.
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