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Roberto M. Dainotto, Professor of Literature

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).

Contact Info:
Office Location:  106 Friedl Building, Box 90257, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone:  +1 919 660 3110
Email Address: send me a message
Web Page:

Teaching (Fall 2024):

    Languages 211, MW 01:25 PM-02:40 PM
    (also cross-listed as HISTORY 390.04, ICS 390.03, ITALIAN 390.03, JEWISHST 390.03)
    Languages 211, MW 01:25 PM-02:40 PM
    (also cross-listed as ICS 590.01, LIT 590.01)
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

Modern and Contemporary
European Studies
Space Studies, Urban Studies
Theory of the Novel
The Enlightenment in a Global Perspective
Research Interests:

Current projects: The Philosophy of Praxis from Labriola to Gramsci., Vincenzo Cuoco's epistolary novel "Platone in Italia*, The narrative of Luciano Bianciardi., The Italian-American represented in Italian Culture.

Modern and contemporary Italian culture. His publications include Place in Literature: Regions, Cultures, Communities (Cornell UP, 2000), Europe (in Theory) (Duke UP, 2007), and the edited volume Racconti Americani del ‘900 (Einaudi, 1999). His research interests include the Italian historicist tradition (Vico, Cuoco, Manzoni, Labriola and Gramsci), the formation of national identity between regionalism (including the so-called “Southern Question” and “Jewish Question”) and European integration; Italian cinema.

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
Conferences Organized

  • Shifting the Geographies of Knowledge, December 2005  
  • Romancing the Humanities, Co-Organizer, 2003-04  

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