Wesleyan portrait of Ellen  Nerenberg

Ellen Nerenberg

Hollis Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures

Professor of Italian

300 High Street, 306


AB Stanford University
PHD University of Chicago

Ellen Nerenberg

Professor of Italian Ellen Nerenberg is a scholar of contemporary Italian culture with focus on Italian literature, cinema and television, media, and crime studies. She is the author of Prison Terms: Representing Confinement During and After Italian Fascism (U of Toronto P, 2001), an exploration of spaces and tropes of incarceration in Italian narrative between 1930 and 1960 and fwinner of the Howard R. Marraro Prize from the Modern Language Association. She is also the author of Murder Made in Italy: Homicide, Media, and Contemporary Italian Culture (U of Indiana P, 2012), an examination of the cultural significance of three post-1989 murder cases and the ways they were constructed in varied media. Body of State: The Moro Affair, A Nation Divided (Fairleigh-Dickinson U P, 2011), a collaboration, offers the English translation of Marco Baliani's acclaimed dramatic monologue about the kidnapping and assassination of former Italian prime minister Aldo Moro. The co-edited Writing Beyond Fascism (Fairleigh-Dickinson U P, 2000) examines the literary oeuvre of Alba de Cèspedes. She is one of the founders and associate co-editor of g/s/I: gender/sexuality/Italy , the reviews editor of the Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies, and editor of the Italian Studies Channel on the New Books Network. She holds the Hollis Chair of Romance Languages & Literatures and has served as the elected chair of the Wesleyan faculty as well as the Dean of the Arts and Humanities.  As the current President of the American Association for Italian Studies she has been working on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion within the organization as well as the field of Italian Studies. 

Current research projects include: Winx Nation: Educare la futura consumista (forthcoming, Rubbettino Editore), a feminist media studies examination that centers on WinxClub, the animated TV series for girls and tweens, its formats, spin-offs, and titanic merchandising empire, and essays on the nostalgic cinema of Paolo Sorrentino, and the North American reception of the tv and literary serials with protagonist Detective Montalbano.  

Ellen Nerenberg holds degrees from Stanford University and the University of Chicago and has been the recipient of fellowships from the Giles Whiting Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. At Wesleyan she has held a number of leadership positions ranging from the Chair of Romance Languages & Literatures, the elected Vice Chair and subsequently Chair of the Wesleyan Faculty, and Dean of the Arts and Humanities. She holds the Hollis Chair of Romance Languages & Literatures. 


Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

Fall 2021: Fridays 9:30-10:30 in person, by appointment via Zoom. Please email for coordinates if you do not already have access to them. (Students and advisees, check Moodle). 



Fall 2021
ITAL 223 - 01
Italian "Families" on Film

RL&L 115F - 01
Italian Cinema (FYS)

Spring 2022
ITAL 102 - 01
Elementary Italian II

ITAL 102 - 02
Elementary Italian II

ITAL 247 - 01
Coming Out/Coming of Age