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Soraya Cipolla

PhD Candidate, Teaching Assistant


Soraya Cipolla is a PhD Candidate in Italian Studies and Queer Studies. Her research focuses on LGBTQIA+ representation in 20th and 21st Italian literature and cinema. Her dissertation “Queer Specters: Sapphic Desire in Italian Literature and Cinema (1980 – 2023)” illuminates how gatekeepers of distribution made sapphic narratives ghost-like in Italian culture. Her interests include as well gender identity exploration within contemporary language and literature, gender-inclusive language in the classroom, and inclusive pedagogy.



Research Interests

Italian Contemporary Literature 

Italian Cinema

Queer Women History (20th and 21st centuries)

Queer Theory 

Critical Race Theory




M. A. in Italian Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

M.A. in Linguistics Università degli Studi di Siena, Italy

B. A. in Humanities, Università degli Studi di Catania, Italy

Erasmus scholarship, University of Murcia, Spain

Awards and Honors

Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning's (CITL) Teachers Ranked as Excellent by their Students in Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, and Spring 2022. 

Department of French & Italian Senior Award for Excellence in Teaching in Italian Spring 2022

American Association for Italian Studies Conference Graduate Students Travel Grant

Courses Taught

ITAL 101: Elementary Italian I

ITAL 102: Elementary Italian II

ITAL 103: Intermediate Italian I

IFLIP Beginner Italian

IFLIP Intermediate Italian

Additional Campus Affiliations

Gender and Women Studies

Unit for Criticism

Recent Publications

"La maternità imposta come oppressione patriarcale attraverso i secoli", Dicembre 2023, Bossy: Beyond Stereotypes 

“Lessico Famigliare in Tempi di Cambiamento,” Idee in Form@zione, March 2022, Year 11, n. 10, pp. 259-304.