Isabella Maria Livorni

Isabella Maria Livorni

I am a Ph.D. candidate in Italian and comparative literature at Columbia University. My dissertation, supervised by Elizabeth Leake, is titled "(Contro) Natura: Amelia Rosselli's technological aesthetics as commentary on linguistic, cultural, and racial differences in postwar Italy." In it, I examine two main threads: first, how Rosselli's focus on different recording technologies in her poetry, music composition, and ethnomusicological endeavors relates to her contemporaries' and interlocutors' understandings of recording technologies (across Italy, France, and the United States); and second, how these discussions of aesthetics and technology come to bear on conceptions of the human after World War II, especially regarding linguistic, cultural, and racial differences.

More broadly, I am interested in the relationship between poetry and recording technologies in twentieth and twenty-first century Italy; multilingualism and sound in Italian and Italian diasporic poetry, experimental music, and popular music; and (proto)ethnomusicology's role in conceiving the Italian nation throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. My peer-reviewed articles have appeared in California Italian Studies ("'Ché non finire so cominciare': Orality's Role in Shaping the Circular Poetics of Guittone's ballate-laude," 2018) and the Italian American Review ("'Parla Comme T'Ha Fatta Mammeta'?: Identity Formation through Sonic Code-Switching in 1920s Italian American Song"). I am also active as a literary translator. My translations have appeared in West 86th (2020, peer-reviewed), Lunch Ticket (2018), and Asymptote (2016).

At Columbia, I am currently a Graduate Core Preceptor for Literature Humanities. Also at Columbia, I have taught Elementary and Intermediate Italian language courses, and I have also taught these levels at the Italian American Committee on Education (2019–). In 2019–2020, I was Lead Teaching Fellow for the Italian department through Columbia's Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), and in 2021–2022 I am a Senior Lead Teaching Fellow through the CTL.