Giuseppina Mecchia

  • Associate Professor of French and Italian
  • Director of Graduate Studies in French


1328 B Catherdral of Learning

Area of Interest

Proust Studies; French Romanticism; Contemporary theories of language, esthetics and politics; Literature as immaterial labor in 19th, 20th and 21st c. Italy and France; French and Italian Modern and Postmodern esthetics


PhD, French, Princeton University
MA, French, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
BA, Università degli Studi di Roma, French and German


2002–present: Member of the Center for Western European Studies Steering Committee

Curriculum vitae (PDF)


My critical and pedagogical perspective stands at the intersection of literary, cultural and political theory, with a strong foundation in esthetics and linguistics.  I have worked mainly on authors and texts that allow for a strong theoretical and political discussion:  in the French literary and cinematic canon, I have published essays on Marcel Proust, Stendhal, Michel Houellebecq, and the Franco-chilean director Raúl Ruiz. In French cultural theory and esthetics, I have published on Jacques Rancière, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari and Jean Baudrillard.  In the Italian literary and cinematic canon, I have worked on the novelists Elsa Morante, Giuseppe Genna and the collective Wu Ming.  I have worked extensively, as critic and translator, on contemporary Italian post-workerist thought, mostly on Paolo Virno, Christian Marazzi and Franco Berardi “Bifo”. 


Undergraduate courses

(Including 1000 level courses)

  • French and Italian Poetry
  • May 68 in France
  • Autobiography and Politics in 19th Century France
  • Literature and Politics in French Romanticism
  • Women and War in 20th Century French and Francophone literature
  • Written French I
  • French Kiss: Sex Love, France
  • Love in the Age of Revolutions: The French Romantics
  • Women at War in the 20th Centur France
  • Advanced French Conversation
  • Writing and Stylistics

Graduate courses

  • Crossings:  From Decadence to Modernism in Italy and France, 1880-1919
  • French Political Thought from Félix Guattari to Jacques Rancière and Alain Badiou
  • The French Postmodern Novel from Samuel Beckett to Michel Houellebecq
  • Splendeurs et Misères de la Poésie, 1850-1900
  • French and Italian 20th Century poetry as marginal discourse
  • Marcel Proust and In Search of Things Past
  • Modernity and Postmodernity in 19th-Century France
  • The French and Italian Postmodern Novel
  • French and Italian Political Thought in the late 20th and early 21st Centuries
  • Subjectivity in French Romanticism
  • The Thought of Gilles Deleuze


Awards and Honors

January 2011, with Todd Reeser and Vivian Curran, “The Idea of France”, Global Academic Partnership Grant, $19,000.

August 2007, with Randall Halle and Sabine Von Dirke, “Interzone”, a total of $10,250 from The School of Arts and Sciences.

August 2007:  “Citizenship in the 21st Century”:  a total of $ 12,000 from the School of Arts and Sciences, UCIS, The Center for European Studies, The Office of the Provost and GSPIA. 

March 2004: with Donna Gabaccia and Paula Kane, Global Academic Partnership grant, within the University Center for International Studies at Pittsburgh.

Professional Service

2007-present: Administrative Officer, Cultural Studies Association – US

2002–present: Elected Member of the Senate Bylaws Committee



Undergraduate:  French Kiss:  Sex, Love, France; Love in the Age of Revolutions:  The French Romantics; May 68 in France; Women at War in 20th Century France; Advanced French Conversation, Writing and Stylistics. 

Graduate:  French Cultural and Political Theory in the 20th and 21st Centuries; Capital and the 19th Century Romantic Novel; The French Postmodern Novel; The Thought of Gilles Deleuze; Marcel Proust; Decadence and Modernism in Italy and France.



Edited Volumes:

With Tim Murphy, The Futures of Empire, symposium section of Theory and Event, Vol. 18, October 2015 on the legacy of Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s Empire volumes.

With Todd Reeser, The Idea of France, special issue of Sites: The Journal of French and Francophone Contemporary Studies.  (vol. 17, 2, March 2013).

With Max Henninger and Tim Murphy, Italian Post-Workerist Thought, edited, introduced and translated a special issue of Sub-stance, 112, v. 36, n.1, 2007.

Selected Essays:

“Time, Sense and the Image in Raoul Ruiz’ La Vocation Suspendue and L’Hypothèse du Tableau Volé”, In Filiations, Rajeswari Valluri ed., Washington: Rowman and Littefield (forthcoming 2016).

"Birds in a Roman Sky:  Shooting for the Sublime in La Grande Bellezza”.  Forum Italicum, spring 2016, pp. 183-193. Special section Have fireflies disappeared? Cultural legacies and apocalyptic imaginary in twenty-first-century representations of Rome, Fabio Camilletti and Filippo Trentin, editors.

“An Underwhelming Apocalypse: The Islamization of France in Michel Houellebecq’s ‘Submission’”, Telos online, in Teloscope, winter 2015.

"What Does Mute Speech Say? Rancière’s aesthetics and the philosophy of language”.  In Understanding Rancière, Understanding Modernism, Patrick Bray Ed., London: Bloomsbury.  (forthcoming)

"Oublier Napoléon: l’économie du travail immatériel et le refus du travail dans les romans de  Stendhal", Nottingham French Studies, 55, 1, 2015, pp. 62-78. Special issue, The Politics of Laziness.

“From the Language of Labor to the Labor of Language:  On Paolo Virno’s Philosophy of Language”, Annali d’Italianistica 32, 2014, pp. 491-504.

 “On Anthropolitics:  From Capitalism and Schizophrenia to Occupy and Beyond”, in Andrew Conio ed., Occupy: A People Yet To Come, The Open Humanities Press, 2015, pp. 67-87.

“Elsa Morante at the Biopolitical Turn:  Becoming-Woman, Becoming-Animal, Becoming-Imperceptible”, in Animality In Italian Literature. London: Palgrave McMillan, 2014, pp. 129-144.

 “Moro’s Body Between Enlightenment and PostModernism:  Terror, Murder and Meaning in the Writings of Leonardo Sciascia and Jean Baudrillard”, in Remembering Moro: The Cultural Legacy of the 1978 Kidnapping, Giancarlo Lombardi and Ruth Glynn, eds. Oxford: Legenda, MHRA and  Maney Publishing, 2012. (pp. 63-78). 

“Anthro-politics:  Reconsidering Capitalism and Schizophrenia”, Actual/Virtual: The Online Journal of Deleuze Studies, n. 13 (autumn 2011). Online video resource, 69 min.

“Philosophy and Its Poor: Rancière and The Philosophical Tradition”, chapter in Rancière, Key Concepts, Jean-Philippe Deranty, Acumen, 2010, pp.38-54.

"The Classics and Critical Theory in Postmodern France :  The case of Jacques Rancière », in Jacques Rancière : History, Politics, Aesthetics, Duke University Press,  2009, pp. 67-82.

 “The Children are Watching Us, Hidden in the Folds of Time”, Studies in French Cinema, 7:1, February 2007, pp131-141

“Proustiens, encore un effort: la déconstruction de l’inceste maternel dans A La recherche du temps perdu”,  French Forum 31, 3 (Fall 2006), pp. 77-96.

Selected Book-length Translations:

When the Word Becomes Flesh:  Language and Human Nature, New York, Semiotext(e), 2015. (Translation, edition and critical introduction of Paolo Virno, Quando il verbo si fa carne.  Linguaggio e natura umana, Torino, Bollati Boringhieri 2003).

The Communism of Capital: Finance, Biopolitics of Labor and Global Crisis.  New York, Semiotext(e), forthcoming 2016.  (Translation, edition and critical introduction of Christian Marazzi, Il Comunismo del Capitale, Verona, Ombrecorte, 2010).

Capital and Affects: The Politics of the Language Economy. New York, Semiotext(e), 2011.  (Translation, edition and critical introduction of Christian Marazzi, Il Posto dei Calzini. La svolta linguistica dell’economia e I suoi effetti nella politica, Bellinzona, Casagrande Editore, 2001).

The Soul at Work: From Alienation to Autonomy. Berardi, Franco (Bifo). Translated by Francesca Cadel and Giuseppina Mecchia. Semiotext(e), Los Angeles, CA 2009.

Thought, Friendship and Visionary Cartography.  Berardi Franco (Bifo) Felix Guattari.  Translated and Edited by Giuseppina Mecchia and Charles J. Stivale, with an interview to "Bifo" by Giuseppina Mecchia, London, Palgrave McMillan 2008.