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Anna Botta

Professor Emerita of Italian Studies and of World Literatures

Anna Botta


138 Elm Street, # 102B


Anna Botta’s academic training began at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, and continued at the University of Turin, Italy (laurea in Lingue Straniere Moderne). She subsequently studied in France, England and the Netherlands before moving to the United States, where she received a master and a doctorate in comparative literature and literary theory from the University of Pennsylvania. At Smith, she shuttles between the Department of Italian Studies and the Comparative Literature Program, with forays into Film and Media Studies.

Her current book project, tentatively titled Solid Mediterraneans, builds on previously published articles and the special issue “Mediterraneans” that she co-edited for the Massachusetts Review in 2014. She has edited two volumes of essays: Italo Calvino newyorkese (Avagliano, 2002) and Scrittrici eccentriche (Tre lune, 2003). She has published articles on Italo Calvino, Cristina Campo, Gianni Celati, Antonio Tabucchi, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Renato Poggioli, Georges Didi-Huberman, Julia Kristeva, Georges Perec, Patrick Modiano and Predrag Matvejević in journals such as Modern Language Notes, Italian Culture, California Italian Studies Journal, Contemporary Literature and Spunti e parole, as well as in various volumes of critical essays. Her most recent articles in visual studies include a study of Luigi Ghirri’s photography and a cinematic analysis of Roberto Rossellini’s Stromboli. She has also served as member of the MLA Forum on the Mediterranean (2013-2018).

Selected Publications

Anna Botta and Michel Moushabeck, eds. “Mediterraneans.” Massachusetts Review 55.4 (Winter 2014). 527–728.

“Matvejević’s Mediterranean Breviary: Nostalgia for an Ex-World, or Breviary for a New Community?” In California Studies Journal 1 (1). Special issue “Italy and Mediterranean Studies,” edited by Claudio Fogu and Lucia Re (2009).

“Pain sans frontières: l’identité méditerranéenne dans l’œuvre de Predrag Matvejević,” In Le Silence et la parole au lendemain des guerres yougoslaves, edited by Lauren Lydic et Bertrand Westphal. Limoges: Presses universitaires de Limoges, 2015. 113–129.

 “Open Encyclopedias: Teaching Italo Calvino’s Works from a Comparative Perspective,” In Approaches to Teaching the Works of Italo Calvino, edited by Franco Ricci. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2013. 42–49.

“Renato Poggioli and the Byzantine Origins of Comparative Literature,” in Renato Poggioli: An Intellectual Biography, edited by Roberto Ludovico, Lino Pertile and Massimo Riva. Introduction by Roberto Ludovico. Firenze: Olschki, 2012. 145­–161.

Anna Botta, Monica Farnetti, Giorgio Rimondi, eds., Le eccentriche. Scrittrici del Novecento. Mantova: Tre Lune, 2003.

Anna Botta and Domenico Scarpa, eds., Calvino newyorkese. Salerno: Avagliano, 2002. 

Office Hours

Spring 2023 office hours:

Thursday, 2:30-3:30 p.m.; Or by appointment via Zoom. Contact Professor Botta for an appointment.


Ph.D., M.A., University of Pennsylvania
M.A., Laurea, Università di Torino

Selected Works in Smith ScholarWorks