Chiara Benetollo

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I am a fifth-year graduate student in the Department of Comparative Literature and a Laurance S. Rockefeller Graduate Fellow at the University Center for Human Values. 

My research focuses on cultural and literary exchanges among Italy, France and Russia, investigating the role of publishing houses, political parties and cultural institutions in the production of literature and in its circulation across national borders. 

My dissertation, Languages of Reproduction: Literature, Politics and Public Health in the Soviet Union and Italy, examines how childbirth and natality were understood and represented in the Soviet Union and Italy after the Second World War and into the late fifties. My research complicates traditional Cold-War narratives: rejecting the polar opposition between the Western and Soviet blocs, I investigate how the Soviet government, the Italian Communist Party and the Catholic Church struggled to define their position in relation to and in contrast with one another, while fundamentally sharing the single core value of pronatalism.

Prior to joining the Department of Comparative Literature at Princeton, I earned a Master’s degree at the Scuola Normale Superiore and the University of Pisa, with a thesis focused on the publishing house Giulio Einaudi Editore and its role in the circulation of Soviet literature in Italy between 1945 and 1978. Over the past five years, in addition to continuing to work on the history of this publishing house, I have carried out several smaller projects centered on individual Italian writers (in particular Italo Calvino) and on the translation of Pasternak’s works into Italian,  as well as on Russian Petrarchism and on the biographies of anti-Tsarist terrorists.  


“Un Manifesto per Tempi di Crisi: Letteratura e Realtà tra Alì Babà e I Cinque Sensi”. Modern Language Notes, vol.143, no.1 (Italian issue), 2019, pp.157-171.

“Ripellino, Einaudi, and Pasternak: The Collection Poesie. Lazar Fleishman (ed.), Novoe o Pasternakakh: materialy pasterankovskoj konferentsii 2015 goda v Stenforde, Moscow 2017, pp. 501-512.

“Fenoglio nei ‘Gettoni’ Einaudiani: Vicende del Dialogo tra Vittorini e Calvino”. Italianistica, vol. 33, no.2, 2014, pp. 185-193. 

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