Italian Cinema, Italian Literature, Italian Language, Italian Culture, Women Filmmakers, Pier Paolo Pasolini, The sacred in Italian Cinema, Italophone and migrant writers, Italian Poetry - Amelia Rosselli


Stefania Benini is an Assistant Professor of Instruction in Italian at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She graduated summa cum laude in Italian Literature from the University La Sapienza in Rome, Italy. She holds a Master’s degree and a Ph.D. in Italian from Stanford University. Benini’s main research interests are the theory of the sacred in cinema and the gaze and the voice of Italian and Italophone women writers and filmmakers. She has published several articles on Italian Literature and Cinema, and her book, Pasolini: The Sacred Flesh (Toronto University Press, 2015), explores Pasolini’s immanent vision of the sacred. Benini was the recipient of the prestigious “Lauro De Bosis Fellowship” at Harvard University in 2014-15. Her current research focuses on Italian Women Filmmakers.

Curriculum Vitae

Selected Publications


  • Pasolini. The Sacred Flesh, September 2015, Toronto University Press. A book about the incarnational matrix of the Sacred in Pier Paolo Pasolini’s works in cinema and literature and his immanent reading of Christian themes such as Saintliness and Caritas. Pasolini, one of postwar Italy’s most influential intellectuals and filmmakers, was a forerunner of contemporary political debates on a materialist interpretation of the Christian legacy.
  • Parco giochi con pena di morte, 2001, Mondadori, An anthology of essays and articles from “cyberpunk” writers Bruce Sterling and William Gibson, edited by Stefania Benini, Milan: Oscar Mondadori, 2001.

Peer-reviewed Articles

  • “From Blasphemy to Saint Paul:  Multistable Subjectivities Between Queer Cinema and Pasolini’s Subversive Hagiographies,” special issue of Biblical Interpretations on Pasolini’s Saint Paul, 27, 4-5 2019: 549-567. 
  • “Tra Mogadiscio e Roma: le mappe emotive di Igiaba Scego,” Forum Italicum. Vol. 48(3), 2014: 477–494.
  • “Televised Bodies: Berlusconi and The Body of Italian Women,” Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies, 1:1, 2012: 87-102.
  • “A Face, a Name, a Story:” Women’s Identities as Life Stories in Alina Marazzi’s Cinema,” special issue on Italian Women Directors of Studies in European Cinema, edited by Flavia Laviosa, 8:2, 2011: 129-139.
  • “Amelia Rosselli e la poesia della differenza,” Italian Poetry Review 5, 2011: 273-295.
  • “Parole e sangue: parola, fede e retorica in Inferno XIII,” in “L’Alighieri,” Rassegna Dantesca edited by Andrea Battistini and Michelangelo Picone, 22, July-December 2003: 69-82.

Book Chapters

  • "Primo Amore di Matteo Garrone: il corpo femminile come campo di battaglia  tra logos e materia" , published in the volume Rappresentare la violenza di genere. Sguardi femministi sulla letteratura, il cinema, il teatro e il discorso mediatico contemporanei, edited by Marina Bettaglio, Nicoletta Mandolini and Silvia Ross, Bologna: Mimesis, 2018: 173-190.

  • “Acquaintance with Grief: Filmmaking as Mourning and Recognition in Nanni Moretti’s Mia Madre,” Italian Motherhood on Screen, New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2018, edited by M.Elena D’Amelio and Giovanna Faleschini Lerner: 137-153.

  • “A Sister without Arms: The Myth of Antigone in Liliana Cavani’s The Cannibals.” in Sister in arms: Italian Women at War from the Unification to the Twentieth Century, Madison, NJ: Farleigh Dickinson University Press, 2016, edited by Susan Amatangelo: 149-163.
  • “I sommersi della Meglio Gioventù” in Il cinema di Marco Tullio Giordana, Manziana, Roma:Vecchiarelli, 2014, edited by Federica Colleoni, Elena Dalla Torre and Inge Lanslots: 157-186 (refereed).

Courses Taught

  • Diversity in Italian Literature
  • Italian Women Filmmakers
  • Italian Film Comedy
  • Italy at work
  • The Politics of Food
  • The Shadow state: Mafia in Italy
  • The Italian Diaspora
  • World Cinema and the Sacred
  • Faith, Religion, and the Sacred in Italian Literature and Film.
  • Pasolini and Calvino
  • Survey of Italian Literature
  • Italian Composition
  • Elementary Italian I
  • Elementary Italian II
  • Italian Neorealism
  • Intercultural Encounters
  • Italian History on Screen
  • Visible Cities: Texts, Images, Bodies, and Places