I am Professor of Italian & Director of the Program in Comparative and World Literature at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where I also hold affiliate appointments in Media & Cinema Studies, the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory, the European Union Center and the Campus Honors Program; I served as Acting Head of the Department of French & Italian for the 2017-2018 academic year, and on the College of LAS' Executive Committee 2018-. I teach, research and publish on 20th- and 21st-century Italian literature, culture and film, including contemporary Italian fiction, film and television; critical and interpretive theory; popular culture, including television (generally in a comparative context); comparative literary studies; and genre. I have published articles on topics ranging from Italo Calvino and Ovid to Mad Men and Antonioni, and genres: Italian Westerns, science fiction (especially apocalyptic and post-apocalytpic cinema), commedia all’italiana and the “peplum“ or the sword-and-sandals film. My most recent book, Descended from Hercules: Biopolitics and the Muscled Male Body on Screen, covers a century of peplum films from Cabiria to 300, and is the winner of the 2016 AAIS (American Association for Italian Studies) Film/Media book prize. My most recent co-edited volume (with Andrea Goulet (Penn)), is a volume of essays on the television series Orphan Black for Intellect, which came out earlier this year.
Prof. Rushing’s CV can be downloaded here
last updated 8/20/2019