Felice Beneduce, Lecturer

In November, 2013, Felice was invited to give a lecture in the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral for the 175th Anniversary Remembrance commemoration of Lorenzo Da Ponte. The speech highlighted Da Ponte’s life, his efforts to create an opera in New York City and his founding of the Italian Department at Columbia University. In March of 2014, Felice presented a paper entitled “Primo’s Ents: The Rebellion of Trees in Levi and Tolkien” at the American Comparative Literature Association Conference held at New York University. In the paper, he analyzed the many commonalities which exist between Primo Levi’s short story “Mutiny” and JRR Tolkien’s ents, positing a direct connection between the two authors with the hypothesis that Levi may have read The Lord of the Rings in the original. Felice presented another paper in April, 2014 entitled “Friendship in Levi’s Canto di Ulisse,” at the Symposium in Honor of Franco Masciandaro, held at the University of Connecticut. In his paper, Felice offered a close reading of the chapter “Canto di Ulisse” from Survival in Auschwitz through the lens of the theories regarding friendship in literature, an aspect of the piece which has previously gone unexamined.

Felice had two reviews published in 2013-2014. The first is of Lindsay Myers’ Making the Italians: Poetics and Politics of Italian Children’s Fantasy which appears in the most recent issue of The Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts. The second review has been published in the most recent issue of Italian Culture and is of the volume New Reflections on Primo Levi, edited by Millicent Marcus and Risa Sodi. He is currently working on four reviews: one for NEMLA Italian Studies (Chiara Francesca Ferrari, Since when is Fran Drescher Jewish? Dubbing stereotypes in The Nanny, The Simpsons and The Sopranos); two for The Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts (Franco Ressa, Il fantasy in Italia and Giulia Iannuzzi, Fantascienza italiana. Riviste, autori, dibattiti dagli anni Cinquanta agli anni Settanta); and one for an issue of Science Fiction Studies dedicated to Italian Sci-Fi (Paolo Mantegazza, L'anno 3000. Sogno).

Felice also in this past year again organized the compilation and correction of the Italian Placement Exam for the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University. He was again invited by the Association for the Recognition of Excellence in Science Fiction & Fantasy Translation to be a judge in the Annual Science Fiction and Fantasy Translation Awards, which have reached their fourth edition. Finally, Felice was invited by the Emilia-Romagna Regional Institution and the Consulta degli emiliano-romagnoli nel mondo, which is organizing to promote its culture abroad, to present the book The Complete Little World of Giovannino Guareschi, in Chicago on July 15th.