University of Richmond French and Italian Studies Professor Awarded Fellowship to Study Italian Transnational Literature

July 13, 2022

UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND — Associate professor of French and Italian studies Lidia Radi has been awarded a Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges Mednick Fellowship for her research on transnational literature.

Radi was born and raised in Albania but fled to Italy at the age of 16. Her life-long experience navigating global spaces inspired her research on transnational literature, which focuses on the narratives of those who have lived between two different cultures, languages, and countries. Radi will use the VFIC funding for her book project, "Living in-between: Displacement, Longing, and Dissent in Diasporic Narratives," which details the works of Albanian-born, women authors who write in their non-native language of Italian.

“Two of the most impactful experiences in my life have been my challenging past as a political refugee and my training in the humanities,” Radi said. “The latter allowed me to acquire the tools necessary to understand my own journey of displacement and the culturally fluid identity that this experience yielded.”

Through this fellowship support, Radi will travel to Italy in the fall of 2022 to interview one of the authors whom she highlights in her forthcoming book — award-winning novelist Anilda Ibrahimi, who migrated to Italy in the late 1990s. Ibrahimi’s books are written in Italian and have been published in one of the most prestigious Italian presses, Einaudi. Her transnational works discuss life in Albania and expand the notion of literature beyond the boundaries of a specific culture, nation, and language.

“My project goes beyond an examination of a specific diaspora, as it allows for a multifaceted analysis of in-between spaces,” Radi said. “The narratives of contemporary transnational writers that depict the dynamic nature of national identity have become particularly provocative and relevant in the current social, cultural, and political climate around the world.”