Faculty Spotlight: Andrea Righi

photo of Andrea Righi

  • associate professor of Italian in the Department of French and Italian
  • PhD at Cornell University and University of Bologna, Italy
  • coordinator of Italian Studies and its study abroad program in Reggio Emilia
  • conducts research on and teaches about Italian literature, continental philosophy, gender studies, and digital cultures


"I was born in the north of Italy, which is where I did my undergraduate education. I got my doctorate in comparative literature at the University of Bologna and then pursued another PhD, this time in Italian studies at Cornell University."


"I teach a variety of courses Italian literature, new media, and film. Popular course among students are: Mafia and Cinema (ITL/FST 350) where we discuss classic Hollywood production (and lesser known Italian films), and Italy: Matrix of Civilization (ITL 221) a great course on the history of Italian culture from the middle ages to the birth of the Italian state.

"Another experimental and ambitious course I taught is New Media and Psychoanalysis. The class is designed for students to understand present network culture and take a step back from their immersion in the social media platforms that surrounds us and is basically driving us.

"I think we built a really strong Italian Studies program at Miami. All our faculty are very collegial with each other, and their expertise in a variety of fields (Italian-American culture, food studies, migrant and black studies) puts us in a strong position to deliver a leading-edge education to students.

"I like doing the sort of interdisciplinary work that I think is needed for creating a student body that is aware of what is happening in the world and maintains their critical thinking. My goal is to have my students be able to have their own judgements and interact with the world in different ways."


"On a semester-by-semester basis, I usually am able to receive grants to do individual collaborations with students. My students provide support for my research and get credited in publications. This year I have two students working with me on a digital project that will be a story map website about the letters of St. Catherine of Siena from the 14th century. We will be mapping the journey of her letters and include animations of where she wrote them and who she was writing to.

"Research opportunities is one of the perks we can give students who enter the Italian Studies program at Miami. Collaborating one-on-one with professors helps a lot when it comes time for you to look for a job and when we are giving recommendations. We are able to talk about the students in more detail, not just say, 'Oh, this student took my class.'"

Outside the Classroom

"Our faculty are very active in the Italian Students Club, and we have an Italian cafe activity that meets every Monday for conversation. Personally, I am a big contributor to the Humanities Center's Altman Program. In addition to running two apprenticeship workshops, I was an Altman Scholar in the 2018-19 academic year."

[January 2020]