New Focused Inquiry faculty member, Dr. Incoronata “Nadia” Inserra, has published a book with the University of Ilinois Press. Global Tarantella: Reinventing Southern Italian Folk Music and Dances was supported by grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the L. J. and Mary C. Skaggs Folklore Fund. On the publisher’s website, the book is described as follows, “Incoronata Inserra ventures into the history, global circulation, and recontextualization of this fascinating genre. Examining tarantella’s changing image and role among Italians and Italian Americans, Inserra illuminates how factors like tourism, translation, and world music venues have shifted the ethics of place embedded in the tarantella cultural tradition. Once rural, religious, and rooted, tarantella now thrives in settings urban, secular, migrant, and ethnic. Inserra reveals how the genre’s changing dynamics contribute to reimagining southern Italian identity. At the same time, they translate tarantella into a different kind of performance that serves new social and cultural groups and purposes. Indeed, as Inserra shows, tarantella’s global growth promotes a reassessment of gender relations in the Italian South and helps create space for Italian and Italian American women to reclaim gendered aspects of the genre.”
Dr. Inserra is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Focused Inquiry. She holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. in English from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, a Doctorate in Letterature di lingua inglese [Anglophone Literary Studies] from Universita La Sapienza, Italy and an M.A. in Comparative Studies from Universita L’Orientale, Italy.