Francesca Calamita headshot

Francesca Calamita

Assistant Professor
Unit: College of Arts and Sciences
Department: Department for Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese
Office location and address
NCH 482
1335 Lee St
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
Ph.D., Victoria University of Wellington (2013)
M.A., Università degli Studi di Bergamo (2008)
B.A., Università degli Studi di Perugia (2005)

Dr Francesca Calamita’s interdisciplinary research, transnational and anchored in feminist theory, bridges Italian women’s writing, cultural studies and gender studies. More specifically, she investigates how women’s relationship with food and body is portrayed in fiction, pop culture, advertisements, video performances and films. Her research interests also include medical humanities and migrant literature.

She is the author of the monograph Linguaggi dell’esperienza femminile: disturbi alimentari, donne e scrittura dall’Unità al Miracolo Economico (2015), featured in the prestigious literary journal Nuovi Argomenti, a number of peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. Francesca has also organized symposia over the course of her teaching fellowship at Victoria University of Wellington (2013) and Visiting Fellowship (2013-2014) at the University of London’s Centre for the Study of Contemporary Women’s Writing where she continues to serve as an associate member.  She is co-editor of a volume on anorexia and bulimia in French, German and Italian literature, funded by a Buckner W. Clay Dean of Arts and Sciences grant and she is working on a new edited collection on gender, women and food. Dr Calamita is a member of the interdisciplinary research network “Hungry for Words”, based at the University of Nottingham and funded by AHRC, where in July 2016 and January 2018 she was an invited speaker at the inaugural and final workshops of the collective. Dr Calamita is also interested in second language acquisition and in the intersections between Italian language and gender and serves as the Institute of World Language Reading & Research Group's team leader.

Her teaching interests complement her research in gender systems, global modes of exchange, and foodways. At Victoria University of Wellington Dr Calamita taught and coordinated a number of courses in Italian and European Studies. At UVa, she is also the project leader for Dolcissimo: Speak the Sweet Life, a second language acquisition and food studies project funded by the Institute of World Languages, and for A Gendered Wor(l)d: Grammar, Sexism and Cultural Changes in Italian Language and Society, a multimodal learning experience which allows students to engage critically with Italian media and to become sensitive to the gendered politics of language.

ITAL 1010: Elementary Italian I
Credits: 4
Introduction to speaking, understanding, reading, and writing Italian. Five class hours and one language laboratory hour. Followed by ITAL 1020.
COLA 1500: College Advising Seminars
Credits: 1
COLA courses are 1-credit seminars capped at 18 first-year students, all of whom are assigned to the instructor as advisees. They are topically focused on an area identified by the faculty member; they also include a significant advising component centered on undergraduate issues (e.g., choosing a major, study abroad opportunities, undergraduate research, etc.). For detailed descriptions see
ITAL 2010: Intermediate Italian I
Credits: 3
Continued grammar, conversation, composition, readings, and an introduction to Italian literature. Prerequisite: ITAL 1020 or the equivalent. Note: The following courses have the prerequisite ITAL 2010, 2020, or permission of the department.
ITAL 2020: Intermediate Italian II
Credits: 3
Continuation of ITAL 2010.
ITAL 2030: Intermediate Italian II for Professionals
Credits: 3
This is the fourth class in the four-course sequence that fulfills the language requirement with modules on issues applicable to the work context. Films, TV series and articles from Italian newspapers will help students to learn more about the Italian society of the new millennium and strengthen their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills at a high intermediate level appropriate for an intercultural professional environment.
ITAL 3020: Advanced Italian II
Credits: 3
Emphasis is placed on conversation, as well as composition and vocabulary. Students attending this class will deepen their knowledge of Italian culture and society, with a special focus on socio-cultural debates concerning politics, migration and gender issues. This course is designed with a series of activities focused on experiential learning to achieve fluency in Italian through real-life situations. Prerequisite: ITAL2020.
ITTR 3559: New Course: Italian in Translation
Credits: 3
This course provides the opportunity to offer new topics with the subject of Italian in Translation.
WGS 3559: New Course in Women, Gender and Sexuality
Credits: 3
This course provides the opportunity to offer a new course in the subjects of women, gender and sexualities.
WGS 3680: Eve's Sinful Bite: Foodscapes in Women's Writing Culture and Society
Credits: 3
This course explores how Italian women writers have represented food in their short stories, novels and autobiographies in dialogue with the culture and society from late nineteenth century to the present. These lectures will offer a close reading of the symbolic meaning of food in narrative and the way it intersects with Italian women's socio-cultural history, addressing issues of gender, identity and politics of the body.
ITTR 3685: Italy on Screen: Sex, Gender, & Racial Identities
Credits: 3
This course considers representations of sex, gender and racial identities in Italian films, television, advertisements and other forms of visual culture. With a focus on the contemporary Italian context, students will explore issues of intersectionality from a global perspective. What can Italian critically acclaimed and more mainstream works tell us about diversity and inclusion in the worldwide context?
ITAL 4980: Distinguished Majors Colloquium - Italian Studies
Credits: 3
The Colloquium allows DMPs in Italian Studies to meet regularly with the DMP coordinator to discuss research strategies, documentation styles, and structure and style in extended expository writing as they are working independently on a thesis. It also provides a forum for presenting and discussing work-in-progress. Prerequisite: Acceptance in DMP.
ITAL 4989: Distinguished Major in Italian Studies Thesis
Credits: 3
Distinguished majors in Italian Studies will meet individually with their thesis advisors to discuss progress and revise drafts of their theses. At the end of the semester, they will present the results of their research in a public forum.
ITAL 4993: Independent Study
Credits: 1–3
Independent Study

College of Arts and Science, UVa. Diversity and Inclusion Grant (2018)

Institute of World Languages, UVa, Course Enhancement and Developement Grant (2017)

Institute of World Languages, UVa, Language Program Grant (2017)

Institute of World Languages, UVa, Travel Grant (2016)

College of Arts and Sciences, UVa, Selected for the “Faculty Seminar on the Teaching of Writing” (2016)

Institute of World Languages, UVa, Language Program Grant (2016)

College of Arts & Sciences, Learning & Design Technology, UVa Development stipend (2016)

AATI (American Association of Teachers of Italian), Travel Grant (2016)

AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK) and the University Nottingham, Travel and Research Grant (2016 and 2017)

Buckner W. Clay Dean of Arts and Sciences, UVa, AHSS Research Grant (2015)

Institute of World Languages, UVa. Language Program Grant (2015)

Visiting Fellowship, Centre for the Study of Contemporary Women’s Writing, University of London (2013-2014)

Teaching Fellowship, Victoria University of Wellington (2013)