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Alumna Barbara Zaczek, Ph.D. in Comparative Literature

Barbara Zaczek, Professor Emerita of Italian, Department of Languages, Clemson, University, Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, University of Oregon, 1992


Since coming to the Department of Languages at Clemson University in 1993, Barbara Zaczek was instrumental in creating a vibrant Italian Program that now offers both a minor and a major of Italian.…/faculty…/index.html

She has developed an intensive, introductory course to Italian language and culture for the Clemson Architecture Program in Genoa, Italy, which is now an integral part of the curriculum. She served twice as Interim Chair of the Department (2008-2010 and 2014-2015). Her research is strongly interdisciplinary, combining comparative literature, literary and feminist theory, history, and art. Her publications include three books: Censored Sentiments–Letters and Censorship in Epistolary Novels and Conduct Material (University of Delaware Press, 1997), Resisting Bodies: Narratives of Italian Partisan Women (co-authored with Rosetta D’Angelo, Annali d’Italianistica, Studi & Testi, vol. 9, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 2008) and a translation of Olimpo [Mount Olympus], a 2006 novel by Umberto Piersanti, (Sciascia Editore: Caltanissetta, 2012, co-authored with Rosetta D’Angelo) as well as numerous articles on modern Italian literature and culture in national and international journals (among others, Italica, Annali d’Italianistica, Quaderni d’italianistica, Italian Culture, Rivista di studi italiani and Leggendaria).

Her recent interests focus on two areas: Futurism and Fascism and representations of WWII in Italy, with particular emphasis on the images of women in individual and collective memory. She collaborated with Catherine Paul on two substantial publications related to the first area: “Margherita Sarfatti and the Italian Cultural Nationalism,” an annotated translation of six essays on art by Margherita Sarfatti, published during the 1920’s in the Fascist newspaper Il popolo d’Italia (Modernism/modernity, vol.13, January 2006, The John Hopkins University Press, 143-170) and “Venezia Passatista? Luigi De Giudici and a Broader Futurism” in Visual Resources. An International Journal of Documentation, Routledge, UK, vol. XXVI, no. 4, December 2010, (331-368). Dr. Zaczek’s research in the second area resulted not only in academic publications but led to a series of invited lectures in American universities, as well as Casa della memoria e della storia in Rome (2009), and participation in “III Giornata di studio Leggendaria” dedicated to Luce d’Eramo, an Italian writer and literary critic (March 1-2, 2013, Rome) and in an international conference “Luce d’Eramo, Une oeuvre plurielle à la croisée des saviors e des cultures,” organized by the University of La Sapienza and Universitè Sorbonne Nouvelle 3 (June 15-17, Paris). She assisted the Italian journalist and writer, Oriana Fallaci, with research on the Polish-Italian collaboration in the fight for independence in the 19th century for her novel Il cappello pieno di ciliege (Milan: Rizzoli, 2008). In 2011, Cristina de Stefano, who had been commissioned by Rizzoli to write the first authorized biography of Fallaci, interviewed Dr. Zaczek and thanked her in the Acknowledgements (Oriana, Una donna, Milan: Rizzoli, 2013, 300). A handwritten letter to Dr. Zaczek under a heading “Disgrazia delle disgrazie, non posso parlare” appeared in a collection of 120 letters written by Fallaci to various correspondents (La paura è un peccato. Lettere da una vita straordinaria, Milan: Rizzoli, 2016, 285-286).