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Dimmi ciò che mangi e ti dirò chi seiTell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.

—Unknown

Perhaps more than any other modern nation, Italy is defined by and celebrated for its food. Exports such as vino, pizza, and gelato, so quintessentially Italian, are now readily available across the globe. But what does food mean to Italians, and how does it reflect, magnify, and shape their collective identity as Italians, or “italianità”? In this talk we will explore references to food and gastronomy in Italian literature, and learn about some of the historical forces that influenced Italy’s evolving culinary traditions.

Sara E. Diaz earned her PhD in Italian studies from New York University with a dissertation entitled Dietro a lo sposo, sì la sposa piace': Marriage in Dante’s Commedia. Her research focuses on marriage, gender, and comedy in late medieval and early modern Italian literature. She has published on a number of Italian authors, including Dante and Boccaccio, and recently co-edited and translated Margherita Costa’s 1641 comedy, The Buffoons, for The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe series (Toronto: Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 2018). She is currently editing and translating Margherita Costa's 1639 Love Letters, again for the OV series. She is an assistant professor of modern languages and literature at Fairfield University.

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