Diana Garvin

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I am a Ph.D. candidate in Italian Studies at Cornell University. In 2006, I received my A.B. in Romance Studies (Italian, French, and Spanish) from Harvard University. Gender Studies and Material Culture Studies also inform my work. Following these themes, my dissertation “Feeding Fascism: Food, Gender, and Power in Italy, 1922-1945” analyses food as the physical evidence of power negotiations between individual women and the State. Oxford’s Cherwell Studentship (2013) and Cornell Institute for European Studies’ Michele Sicca Grant (2010) supported my archival visits to the Archivio Nationale di Stato (Rome), Ministero della Salute (Rome), Archivio Barilla (Parma), and the Museo della Figurina (Modena). Trips to 18 additional museums, libraries, and archives have helped me to complete the dissertation research. This project has been awarded the Julia Child Foundation Scholarship and the American Folklore Society Sue Samuelson Award for Foodways Scholarship.

Critical Inquiry will publish a version of my first dissertation chapter, "Taylorist Breastfeeding in Rationalist Clinics: Constructing Industrial Motherhood in Fascist Italy" in their Winter 2015 volume. Past publications include translated essays from biopolitics theorists Antonio Negri and Roberto Esposito, as well as original essays in the edited volume Communicating Italian Food and in Food and Material Culture: Proceedings of the 2013 Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery. My Teagle Fellowship pedagogy research on Italian culture, blogging, and student engagement is currently under contract with Routledge.

To spark interdisciplinary collaboration around the popular and accessible theme of food, I directed the conference, “The Language of Food: Exploring Representations of the Culinary in Culture” in 2012. In addition to panels and keynote speakers, this event involved a series of guided tastings, lessons, exhibitions, and film screenings at the Johnson Museum, the Olin Kroch Rare Books Library, and the Cornell Cinema. Prior to my graduate work at Cornell, I taught at the Johns Hopkins SAIS Associazione Italo-Americana in Bologna, Italy, and at the Université François Rabelais in Tours, France.

My favorite Italian proverb is "O mangi questa minestra o salti dalla finestra,"
"Eat this soup or jump out the window."

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