Lina Insana

  • Chair, Department of French and Italian
  • Director of Italian Graduate Studies
  • Associate Professor of Italian


1332 Cathedral of Learning
F: 412-624-6263

Area of Interest

Post-Risorgimento Italian Literature and Culture; Holocaust Studies; Fascism and Resistance; Sicilian Literature and Culture; Translation Studies; Italian American Studies



PhD, Romance Languages and Literatures, U of Pennsylvania (2000)
MA, Italian Language and Literature, U of Pittsburgh (1996)
BA, Political Science and Italian, U of Pittsburgh (1991)

Selected Publications

"'Italians of Pittsburgh: Don’t Be Selfish!’ Consumer Citizenship and Italian Colonial Identity in WWI-Era Pittsburgh, PA.” Italian American Review 7.2 (Summer 2017): 121-47.

“Sicily, Terra Ballerina: Shifting Terrain in a Contested Fascist-era Mediterranean.” Sicily and the Mediterranean: Migration, Exchange, Reinvention. Eds. Claudia Karagoz and Giovanna Summerfield. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. 125-50. 

"Atti deliberati—e omissioni—di memoria" [Deliberate Acts—and Omissions—of Memory]. Il Memoriale italiano ad Auschwitz. Documentazione, conservazione e progetto di integrazione 2008-2012. Eds. Giuseppe Arcidiacono and Sandro Scarrocchia. Bergamo: Sestante Edizioni, 2014. 11-28.

"Translation Matters: Primo Levi, Translation, and the Transmission of Holocaust Tesimony." MLA Approaches to Teaching the Writings of Primo Levi. Eds. Nicholas Patruno and Roberta Ricci. NY: Modern Language Association, 2014. 89-104.

"On Italian Bridges: Navigating Rocks and Hard Places in Post-Wall Europe." The German Wall: Fallout in Europe. Ed. Marc Silberman. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. 187-204.

Arduous Tasks: Primo Levi, Translation, and the Transmission of Holocaust Testimony. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 2009.

"In Levi's Wake: Adaptation, Simulacrum, Postmemory." Italica 86.2 (2009): 212-38.

"Strega Nona’s Ethnic Alchemy: Stregheria, Magic Pasta, and That Amazing, Disappearing ‘N.’" MELUS 31.2 (2006): 207-43.

"Traumatic Translation: the Ancient Mariner’s voyage from English to Italian—and back again." Journal of Italian Translation 1.1 (2006): 23-35.

"Fascist Appropriations: The case of Jolanda de Blasi’s Le scrittrici italiane." Strong Voices, Weak History: Women Writers of the Middle Ages and Renaissance in England, France, and Italy. Eds. P. J. Benson and V. Kirkham. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 2004. 314-40.

"Redefining dulce et utile: Boccaccio’s defense of literature on economic terms." Heliotropia 2.1 (2004), 5 August 2004.

Selected Honors and Awards

University of Pittsburgh Humanities Center Fellow, Fall 2010

American Association of Italian Studies 20th c. Book Award, for Arduous Tasks: Primo Levi, Translation, and the Transmission of Holocaust Testimony (U of Toronto Press), 2009

Aldo & Jeanne Scaglione Publication Award for a Manuscript in Italian Literary Studies, for Arduous Tasks: Primo Levi, Translation, and the Transmission of Holocaust Testimony (U of Toronto Press), 2007 (awarded by the MLA)



Elementary, Intermediate, and Advanced Italian Language 
Italian Cultural Heritage II
Modern Italian Literature in Translation
Italian Novella 
Italian Novel   
Italian Detective Fiction
Italian America on Screen
Fascism and Resistance
Literature of the Holocaust
Translation Studies
From Novel to Screen


Representations of the Holocaust
Fascism and Resistance
Sicilian Literature
Translation Studies
Italian Detective Fiction

Selected Service Appointments

Chair of the Humanities Council, 2016-present

Chair of the Department of French & Italian, 2013-present

Director of Graduate Studies, Italian, 2011-present

Director of Undergraduate Studies, Italian, 2000-2010

Jewish Studies Program Executive Committee (elected yearly; 2012-present)

Heinz Regional History Center, Italian American Program Advisory Board, 2004-2010 (Advisory Board Chair 2007-2010)

Professional Affiliations