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                                                                                    2021 AAIS BOOK PRIZE ANNOUNCEMENT

The AAIS is pleased to announce that the submission window for the 2021 AAIS Book Prize competition is now open. As in recent years, up to four prizes will be awarded for the best books in Italian Studies published in 2021. Winners will be announced at the AAIS Conference in Bologna, May 29-June 1, 2022.

The Book Prize Committee will award prizes in the following categories: 

  • Literary and Cultural Studies (including Theater, Performance, and Critical Theory)
  • Visual Studies (including Art History, Film, Media, etc.)
  • History, Society and Politics (including Intellectual History and Philosophy)
  • First Book

When sending your entry, please indicate the category that best reflects the primary area of your publication from among those listed above. If authors submit an entry without specifying a category, they will be contacted for clarification before their book goes out to judges. 

Authors may indicate if they would like their book to be considered for First Book in addition to one of the other categories, but a book can win no more than one prize. If an author enters their work into the First Book competition, they are kindly requested to provide a CV with complete list of publications.

Translations, textbooks, creative writings, and edited volumes cannot be entered into the competition. 

Kindly send 5 copies of the volume (or bound photocopies if the publisher cannot spare additional copies) by January 5, 2022 to: 

Luna Sarti
TCU Modern Languages - SCHAR 3200
2901 Stadium Drive
Fort Worth, TX 76129 

NB: In an effort to allow ample time for Book Award Committee members to carefully read all submissions, we encourage authors or their representatives to send in their books as soon as possible.

Please contact AAIS Vice President Monica Seger with any questions: mjseger@wm.edu

Previous Book Prize Winners

Congratulations to the 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, Deion Dresser (ddresser@sas.upenn.edu

AAIS Graduate Assistant, Lourdes Contreras 

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