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                                                                                    2022 AAIS BOOK PRIZE

Literary and Cultural Studies

Francesca Vella, Networking Operatic Italy. The University of Chicago Press, 2022.

Visual Studies, Film and Media

Elena Dellapiana, Il design e l’invenzione del Made in Italy. Turin: Einaudi, 2022.

History, Society, and Politics

Rocco Rubini, Posterity: Inventing Tradition from Petrarch to Gramsci. University of Chicago Press, 2022.

First Book


David Escudero, Neorealist Architecture. Aesthetics of dwelling in postwar Italy. Routledge, 2023.

Honorable Mention:

James K. Coleman, A Sudden Frenzy: Improvisation, Orality, and the Power in Renaissance Italy. University of Toronto Press, 2022.


Previous Book Prize Winners


  • Literary Studies: Alessia Ricciardi. Finding Ferrante: Authorship and the Politics of World Literature. (Columbia University Press)

  • Visual Studies, Film and Media: Laura Watts. Italian Painting in the Age of the Unification. (Routledge)  

  • History, Society, and Politics:  Brian Brege. Tuscany in the Age of Empire.  (Harvard University Press)  

  • First Book: Erica Moretti. The Best Weapon for Peace: Maria Montessori, Education and Children's Rights. (University of Wisconsin Press) 


  • Literary Studies: Saskia Elizabeth Ziolkowski, Kafka's Italian Progeny (University of Toronto Press). 

  • Visual Studies, Film and Media: Charles Leavitt, Italian Neorealism: A Cultural History (University of Toronto Press). 

  • History, Society, and Politics: Pamela Ballinger, The World Refugees Made: Decolonization of Postwar Italy (Cornell University Press).  

  • First Book: Ramsey McGlazer, Old Schools: Modernism, Education, and the Critique of Progress (University of California Press). 


  • Medieval: G. Geltner, Roads to Health: Infrastructure and Urban Wellbeing in Later Medieval Italy (University of Pennsylvania Press). 

  • Renaissance, 18th, and 19th Centuries: Paola Cori, Forms of Thinking in Leopardi’s Zibaldone: Religion, Science and Everyday Life in an Age of Disenchantment (Legenda). 

  • 20th and 21st Centuries: Stephanie Malia Hom, Empire’s Mobius Strip: Historical Echoes in Italy’s Crisis of Migration and Detention (Cornell University Press). 
    *Honorable Mention: Marisa Escolar, Allied Encounters: The Gendered Redemption of World War II Italy (Fordham University Press). 

  • Film and other Media Studies: Giorgio Bertellini, The Divo and the Duce: Promoting Film Stardom and Political Leadership in 1920s America (University of California Press). 


  • Medieval: William Caferro, Petrarch's War: Florence and the Black Death in Context (Cambridge University Press).

  • Renaissance, 18th, and 19th Centuries: Cristina Mazzoni, Golden Fruit: A Cultural History of Oranges in Italy (University of Toronto Press).

  • 20th and 21st Centuries: Luca Cottini, The Art of Objects: The Birth of Italian Industrial Culture, 1878-1928 (University of Toronto Press).


  • Renaissance, 18th, and 19th Centuries: Barbara Spackman, Accidental Orientalists: Modern Italian Travelers in Ottoman Lands (Liverpool University Press).

  • 20th and 21st Centuries: Teresa Fiore, Pre-Occupied Spaces: Remapping Italy's Transnational Migrations and Colonial Legacies, (Fordham University Press).

  • Film and other Media Studies: Timothy C. Campbell, The Techne of Giving: Cinema and the Generous Form of Life (Fordham University Press). 


  • Medieval: Maria Luisa Ardizzone, Reading as the Angels Read: Speculation and Politics in Dante’s Banquet (University of Toronto Press).

  • Renaissance, 18th, and 19th Centuries: Giancara Periti, In the Courts of Religious Ladies: Art, Vision, and Pleasure in Italian Renaissance Convents (Yale University Press).

  • 20th and 21st Centuries: Serenella Iovino, Ecocriticism and Italy: Ecology, Resistance, and Liberation (Bloomsbury).

  • Film and other Media Studies: Robert Rushing, Descended From Hercules: Biopolitics and the Muscled Male Body On Screen, (Indiana University Press).


  • Medieval: Dennis Romano, Markets and Marketplaces in Medieval Italy (Yale University Press).

  • Renaissance, 18th, and 19th Centuries: Adrian Randolph, Touching Objects. Intimate Experiences (Yale University Press).

  • 20th and 21st Centuries: Giacomo Parinello, Fault Lines (Berghahn).

  • Film and other Media Studies:  Jacqueline Reich, The Maciste Films of Italian Silent Cinema (Indiana University Press).


  • Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque: Guido Ruggiero, The Renaissance in Italy (Cambridge University Press).

  • Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century: John Bessler, The Birth of American Law: An Italian Philosopher and the American Revolution (Carolina Academic Press).

  • Twentieth and Twenty-First Century: David Forgacs, Italy’s Margins: Social Exclusion and Nation Formation since 1861 (Cambridge University Press).

  • General: Rocco Rubini, The Other Renaissance: Italian Humanism between Hegel and Heidegger (The University of Chicago Press).


  • Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque:  Paolo Squatriti, Landscape and Change in Early Medieval Italy: Chestnuts, Economy and Culture (Cambridge University Press).

  • Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century: Steven Soper, Building a Civil Society (University of Toronto Press).

  • Twentieth and Twenty-First Century: Gaia Giuliani and Cristina Lombardi-Diop, Bianco e nero; Storia dell’identità razziale degli italiani (Le Monnier).


  • Pierpaolo Antonello, Contro il materialismo. Le “due culture” in Italia; bilancio di un secolo (Aragno).

  • Eleonora Stoppino, Genealogies of Fiction: Women Warriors and the Dynastic Imagination in the Orlando furioso (Fordham University Press).


  • Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque: Marcia B. Hall, The Sacred Image in the Age of Art (Yale University Press).

  • Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century: Paola Gambarota, Irresistible Signs: The Genius of Language and Italian National Identity (University of Toronto Press).

  • Twentieth Century: Philip Cooke, The Legacy of the Italian Resistance (Palgrave).

  • General: Dennis Looney, Freedom Readers: The African American Reception of Dante Alighieri and the Divine Comedy (Notre Dame University Press).


  • Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque: Heather Webb, The Medieval Heart (Yale University Press).

  • Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century: Francesca Savoia, Fra letterati e galantuomini (Società Editrice Fiorentina).

  • Twentieth Century: Michelangelo Sabatino, Pride in Modesty: Modernist Architecture and the Vernacular Tradition in Italy (University of Toronto Press).


  • Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque: Meredith Ray, Writing Gender in Women’s Letter Collections of the Italian Renaissance (University of Toronto Press).

  • Twentieth Century: Lina Insana, Arduous Tasks: Primo Levi, Translation, and the Transmission of Holocaust Testimony (University of Toronto Press).

  • Film: Giorgio Bertellini, Italy in Early American Cinema: Race, Landscape, and the Picturesque (Indiana University Press).

  • General: Andrea Mirabile, Scrivere la pittura: La ‘funzione Longhi’ nella letteratura italiana (Longo).


  • Cinzia Blum, Rewriting the Journey in Contemporary Italian Literature: Figures of Subjectivity in Progress (University of Toronto Press).


  • Guido Bonsaver, Censorship and Literature in Fascist Italy (University of Toronto Press).


  • Gabrielle Langdon, Medici Women: Portraits of Power, Love, and Betrayal (University of Toronto Press).


  • Christian Moevs, The Metaphysics of Dante’s Comedy (Oxford University Press).


  • John Picchione, The New Avant-Garde in Italy: Theoretical Debate and Poetic Practices (University of Toronto Press).


  • Luca Somigli, Legitimizing the Artist: Manifesto Writing and European Modernism, 1885-1915 (University of Toronto Press).


  • Nicoletta Pireddu, Decadenza ed economia simbolica nell’Europa fin de siècle (Edizioni Fiorini).


  • Massimo Lollini, Il vuoto della forma. Scrittura, testimonianza e verità (Marietti).


  • Olivia Holmes, Assembling the Lyric Self: Authorship from Troubadour Song to Italian Poetry Book (University of Minnesota Press).




© American Association for Italian Studies 

AAIS Senior Graduate Assistant, Julia  Pelosi-Thorpe  (   

AAIS Graduate Assistant, Marcus Papandrea  ( 

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