Orvieto, Winter 2004

Born and raised in Orvieto, a small ancient town sitting on a cliff in the region of Umbria (Italy), I’m a first generation college student. After completing the Lyceum in Orvieto, I moved to Tuscany, where I attended the University of Siena and received my B.A. in Political Science, with a thesis on the circulation and recruitment patterns of Italian MPs. My specialization in parliamentary studies continued at the University of Florence, where I attended the Seminar “S. Tosi.” I returned to Siena to start a Ph.D. in Comparative and European Politics and in 2005 I could move to the United States for an exchange program with the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, thanks to a Rotary Ambassadorial Fellowship.

My initial stay in the United States changed my plans both from a personal and a professional point of view. In February 2006 I joined a group of students from the University of Michigan who were organizing a “Response Team” to rebuild houses in Biloxi, Mississippi, a community dramatically afflicted by Hurricane Katrina. There I discovered other sides of America, different from what I learned through the stereotyped images circulating in Europe. In Mississippi I understood that even the most sophisticated statistical techniques could not catch what I experienced in one week observing directly how people affected by a disproportionate tragedy were trying to rebuild their lives from what was left of their past.

Anthrohistory

At the University of Michigan I made many friends. Most of them were graduate students in the departments of history and anthropology. During informal conversations and after many soccer games they challenged my “positivist approach” to political science and invited me to consider other scholarly perspectives that would enable me to pay closer attention to real people’s experiences. A friend suggested I read Carlo Ginzburg’s The Cheese and the Worms. That book opened a completely new intellectual horizon for me. In a few months I decided to apply to Ph.D. programs in anthropology and history, but my goal was to go back to Michigan to attend the fascinating Anthrohistory program, which I joined in the Fall of 2008. For six years I had the privilege of sharing my days and ideas with a fantastic group of young scholars and capable mentors. Their generosity, ingenuity, and friendship continue to warm my heart and to inspire my research.

Now

After graduating in Anthropology & History and STS, I moved to Virginia Tech (Northern Campus, Falls Church) for a postdoc position, which I held until the summer of 2016, before joining the History Department at Mississippi State University.

I am currently an Assistant Professor of history at Mississippi State University, where I teach STS, History of Technology, and European History. My research is grounded in STS, an interdisciplinary field that examines the mutual shaping of society and technoscience. My first book Life in the Nuclear Archipelago analyzes the environmental and public health controversies following the installation of a U.S. Navy base for nuclear submarines in the Archipelago of La Maddalena, off-shore the northeastern corner of Sardinia, between 1972 and 2008. My second book project tentatively titled Half-lives/Afterlives: Labor, Technology, Nature, and the Decommissioning Business explores the decommissioning of nuclear power plants from a socio-ecological perspective. In parallel, I am collaborating to the development of a project titled Below the Surface: A New Wave of Interdisciplinary Mediterranean Studies and Environmental Changes. This international research initiative aims at creating an interdisciplinary dialogue on the environmental history of the Modern Mediterranean with a focus on its coastal and marine ecosystems.

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