Filomena Mitrano
Anglo-American languages and literature

What do you teach at Ca’ Foscari? What are your main research interests? 
My name is Mena Mitrano and I arrived at Ca' Foscari, where I teach Anglo-American languages and literatures, on 1 November 2019. My research interests focus on two major discourses from the Anglophone world, Modernism and Theory, but also extend to US literature, language, psychoanalysis, visual arts, and great women thinkers. I wrote two books on two great American women writers and thinkers who have contributed so much to transatlantic culture: Gertrude Stein and Susan Sontag. I am currently finishing a new book on the concept of critique.

Tell us about your academic path.
I arrived at Ca' Foscari on 1 November 2019. After graduating in Modern Languages and Literatures at La Sapienza - University of Rome, I studied in the United States, at Rutgers University (New Jersey), where I obtained an MA and a PhD in English. Upon my return to Italy, I collaborated with La Sapienza and taught undergraduate courses in literature at the Loyola University Chicago's John Felice Rome Centre, where I also founded and managed the Discourses of Modernity Seminar.

What are your professional role models / references?
I have had great role models, extraordinary and charismatic women scholars and public intellectuals such as, for example, Carole Beebe Tarantelli and Catharine R. Stimpson, who taught me the value of freedom of research and thought, guided me towards excellence in research and taught me to have faith in the winning combination of institutions and democracy.

Have you always known that this was going to be your path?

What is the aspect of your research you are most passionate about?
What fascinates me most in my research is the fine line between aesthetic experience and thought; critical theory, then, lets me explore the boundary between literature and philosophical thought.

What does teaching and researching mean to you?
Breathing, living; the life of the mind.

What has given you the greatest satisfaction in your career?
Participating in conferences, talking to scholars from all over the world, and the satisfaction that will come.

The area you have always wanted to be involved in but have not yet had the opportunity to explore?
Becoming a good thinker.

What would you say to young people starting their university career?
The words of a great American thinker, Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

And to those approaching research today?
That our real emergency is critical thinking.

Why Ca’ Foscari and Venice?
Because at Ca' Foscari I found my academic family. Why Venice? Because it gives me that international perspective that I need to think and work.

Last update: 28/02/2023