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Luciana Fellin, Professor of the Practice

Luciana Fellin

Luciana Fellin ( Professor of the Practice of Italian and Linguistics, Director of the Italian Language Program. I received a Laurea in English and German Literature from the University of Bologna, and a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona where I specialized in sociolinguistics with a dissertation on language socialization practices and dialect revival in Italy. I have taught at the Universities of Trento and Bologna, as well as, San Diego State. My research interests include sociolinguistic aspects of second language learning and teaching as well as the study of language ideologies as linked to language obsolescence, maintenance and revival. I am currently working on an ethnographic project investigating language and identity in Italian American communities which include third, fourth+ generation Italian Americans whose ancestors immigrated to the US in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and Italians who have come to the US in the most recent, 21st century migratory wave. In addition to exquisitely linguistic practices such as code switching and mixing I look at gesture, prosody and food related symbolic practices and their role in identity construction. Recent discussion of this work can be found in “The Question of Language in the Italian American Experience” in L’Italia allo Specchio, (2015) Finotti, Johnston (Eds.) Venezia Marislio Editore pp. 449-462, and “The Italian new wave: identity work and socialization practices in a community of new Italian immigrants in America.” In Forum Italicum, May 2014 pp. 1-19. Work on language teaching and learning includes “Come insegnare italiano agli oriundi italiani? Il caso degli italo-americani.”, DITALS, edited by Pierangela Diadori, DITALS, vol. 7 (2010), Università per Stranieri di Siena; “Observe, document, reflect elaborate! Language learning through ethnographic observation and collaborative projects” in Gavioli, L. & F. Zanettin (Eds.) TAIL: Translation And Interpreting for Language Learners:  A volume of teaching/learning activities in honour of Guy Aston, Anna Ciliberti and Daniela Zorzi. Associazione Italiana Linguistica Applicata, November, 2018.


Contact Info:
Office Location:  104 Languages Building, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone:  (919) 660-3117
Email Address: send me a message

Teaching (Spring 2023):

    Gray 319, TuTh 12:00 PM-01:15 PM
    Languages 114B, TuTh 01:45 PM-03:00 PM
    (also cross-listed as LINGUIST 305S.01)
  • ITALIAN 330.01, GLOBAL ITALY Synopsis
    Old Chem 101, Tu 05:15 PM-06:30 PM
Office Hours:

Tuesdays 2:00-3:00 and by appointment (Languages 105)

Ph.D.University of Arizona2001
Laurea in Lingue e Letterature Straniere Moderne, cum laudaeUniversita degli Studi di Bologna, Italy

Linguistics and Theories of Pedagogy
Italian Studies
Research Interests: Sociolinguistics, Second Language Acquisition, Language ideologies, Language socialization, Language Pedagogies

Current projects: Communicative practices in Italian-American communities, Language food and citizenship, The effects of traditional and alternative assessment forms in language teaching and learning

Areas of Interest:

Language ideologies
Language and identity
Second and multiple Language Acquisition
Language socialization


Language ideologies • Language socialization • Language maintenance and loss and revival • Language and identity • Second Language Acquisition

Undergraduate Researches Supervised

  • Nelly A. Kontchu (April 2013)
    Thesis: Stigma and perception of Mental Illness in Italy 
  • Lauren Nicolescu (December, 2012 - April, 2013)  
  • Matthew Cagliostro (August, 2011 - May, 2012)
    Thesis: Code-switching among Italian Americans: A comparison of early 20th and 21st century family practices 
  • Hayes F. Tyler (August, 2011 - May, 2012)
    Thesis: Navigating the Science-Humanities Nexus: A franco-Italian Prespective
    Co-Chair with Deborah Jenson 
  • Nelly Kontchu (August, 2011 - May, 2013)
    Thesis: Working Title: Perception of Mental Illness in Chile and Italy-- 
  • Pollock Jordan (Spring 2004)
    Thesis: Immigrazione e umorismo in una zona di contatto linguistico: Il Cocoliche degli Italiani in Argentina, 
  • Lauren Lee Houghton (2010 Spring)
    Thesis: Language and identity in contemporary Italy: A focus on immigrant and Italian native interactions. Lauren lee Houghton (2010) 
  • Francesca -Co-directed with Roberto Dainotto Polvere (2007 - present)  
Recent Publications   (More Publications)

  1. Fellin, L, Observe, document, reflect, elaborate Language learning through ethnographic observation and collaborative projects, Intralinea, vol. 20 (January, 2018)  [abs]
  2. Fellin, L, “Parla Come Mangi! Ideologie Linguistiche e Identità Italiane alla Carta” In Gatta, F. (forthcoming 2016) Parlare insieme. Studi in onore di Daniela Zorzi. Bologna, Bononia University Press. (2016)
  3. Fellin, L, Storia Linguistica dell'emigrazione italiana nel mondo. Vedovelli, M. (Ed) 2011. p. 567, Carroccci Editore, The Italian American Review, vol. 4 no. 2 (Summer, 2014), pp. 147-149, Calandra Italian American Institute/ Queens College. (November, 2015)
  4. Fellin, L, “The Question of Language in the Italian American Experience” In Finotti, F,. & M Johnston, (Eds). L’Italia allo Specchio. Linguaggi e identità italiane nel mondo. . (2015), pp. 465-478, Venezia, Marsilio Editori,
  5. Thompson, RJ; Walther, I; Tufts, C; Lee, KC; Paredes, L; Fellin, L; Andrews, E; Serra, M; Hill, JL; Tate, EB; Schlosberg, L, Development and Assessment of the Effectiveness of an Undergraduate General Education Foreign Language Requirement, Foreign Language Annals, vol. 47 no. 4 (December, 2014), pp. 653-668, WILEY, ISSN 0015-718X [doi]  [abs]

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