Melissa Coburn

Melissa Coburn

Melissa Coburn

Associate Professor of Italian


328 Major Williams Hall 
220 Stanger St. 
Blacksburg, VA 24061




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  • Italy 1865-1920
  • Narrative
  • Women’s Writings
  • Tropes
  • Race and Colonialism

Professional Activities

  • Program Director, Italian 


  • Ph.D. Purdue University
  • M.A. Purdue University
  • B.A. Indiana University

Research Interests

    Awards and Honors

    Fulbright Award, 2006

    Tenure and promotion to associate professor, 2015

    Teaching awards at Purdue University and at Scripps College, 2002 and 2006

    Selected Publications


    Race and Narrative in Italian Women’s Writings Since Unification. Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2013. 162 pp.


    “The Uncanny from Freud to Flaiano: A Reprise.” Italica: Journal of the American Association of Teachers ofItalian 92.4 (2015): 881-899.

    “‘The Argument is Reversible’: Tropological Revision in the Colonial Debate after the Battle at Dogali.” Italian Studies (annual issue on Cultural Studies) 69.3 (Autumn 2014): 340-56. 

    “Resistance-at-risk: The Critique of Fascism and the Ethics of Writing in Natalia Ginzburg’s Lessico famigliare.” Italica: Journal of the American Association of Teachers of Italian 84.4 (2007): 755-70.

    “Oltre ‘la razza non esiste.’ Nuove vesti della disuguaglianza e l’esigenza di un anti-razzismo più robusto.” Mai praticamente uguali.  Studi e ricerche sulla disuguaglianza e sull’inferiorità nelle tradizioni religiose. Ed. Federico Squarcini. Florence: Società Editrice Firenze, 2007. 205-20.