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 winner 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: La nazione Winx: 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 female detectives in Italian serial fiction, 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 2023: In person T and TH --easy to catch me before or after class--and by appointment via Zoom. 



Spring 2024
ITAL 249 - 01
Italian Filmmaking by the Book

RL&L 242 - 01
Italian and Italian Am Cinema

Fall 2024
ITAL 225 - 01
Podcasting Middletown/Italy

ITAL 267 - 01
Female Dicks