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History & Politics, Italian American Issues, Literature

Personal Effects

A Celebration of the Life and Work of Louise DeSalvo

March 2, 2020
6:30 pm

A Celebration of the Life and Work of
Louise DeSalvo (1942-2018)

On the occasion of the publication of the paperback edition of
Personal Effects
Essays on Memoir, Teaching, and Culture in the Work of Louise DeSalvo

(2019, Fordham University Press)


Moderator: Edvige Giunta, New Jersey City University

Emily Bernard, University of Vermont
Mary Jo Bona, SUNY, Stony Brook
Amy Jo Burns, writer
Nancy Carnevale, Montclair State University
Nancy Caronia, West Virginia University
Peter Covino, University of Rhode Island
John Gennari, University of Vermont

Introduced by
Josephine Hendin, NYU
Jason DeSalvo, son of Louise

Celebrating one of the most important Italian American female authors of our time, Personal Effects offers a lucid view of Louise DeSalvo as a writer who produced a vast and provocative body of memoir writing, a scholar who enriched our understanding of Virginia Woolf, and a teacher who transformed countless lives. More than an anthology, Personal Effects represents an author case study and an example for modern Italian American interdisciplinary scholarship.

Personal Effects examines DeSalvo’s memoirs as works that push the boundaries of the most controversial genre of the past few decades. In these works, the author fearlessly explores issues such as immigration, domesticity, war, adultery, illness, mental health, sexuality, the environment, and trauma through the lens of gender, ethnic, and working-class identity. Alongside her groundbreaking scholarship, DeSalvo’s memoirs attest to the power and influence of this feminist Italian American writer.