A photo of Marianna Nespoli

Marianna Nespoli

Ph.D. Student

Marianna Nespoli is a teaching fellow and PhD Candidate in Italian in the Department of European Languages and Transcultural Studies at UCLA. Her research focuses on modern and contemporary Italian literature, cinema, ecocriticism, food studies, and gender studies, as well as on language pedagogy and applied technology. 

In 2019, she was a Graduate Student Researcher at UCSB where she developed the Hybrid Language Program for the Italian Department. Marianna also served as editor and blind reviewer for the peer-reviewed academic journal Carte Italiane.

Currently, she is working on her dissertation entitled “Riso amaro: a Cultural History of Rice in Modern Italy” which analyses how the collective perception and consumption of rice in Italy since unification has been shaped by various forms of cultural production including literature, the arts and media, as part of the shifting role played by rice in the Italian imagination.

Marianna was born and raised in the countryside of Bologna, Italy. Besides her native language and English, she also speaks Spanish and French.

You can visit her website at: https://mariannanespoli.wixsite.com/mysite


  • M.A. (Italian), UCLA
  • B.A. (English and Comparative Literary Studies; Creative Writing emphasis), Occidental College

Selected Publications


  • Weaving Hope: Tonino Guerra, Fairy Tales and Edenic Holism in Red Desert,” Special Issue on Tonino Guerra, Journal of Italian Cinema & Media Studies (JICMS), forthcoming.
  • “Folle audacia femminile: metamorfosi entomologiche in Nascita e morte della Massaia di Paola Masino”, Filoloski Pregdel: The Philological Review, XLVI.1 (2019), University of Belgrade, pp.87-101.