Suzanne Stewart-Steinberg Professor of Italian Studies and Comparative Literature, Director of the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women

Suzanne Stewart-Steinberg works on the literature, culture and politics of 19th and 20th century Italian and German literature. She received her B.A. (Hons.) from the University of Essex, Great Britain, her Ph.D. in Political Science from Yale University, and M.A. in German Studies from Cornell University. After teaching at Cornell University, she came to Brown in 2005. Her book Sublime Surrender: Male Masochism at the Fin-de-Siecle was published by Cornell University Press in 1998. Her second book on the construction of modern Italian identity in the post-Unification period entitled The Pinocchio Effect: On Making Italians (1860-1930)" was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2007. The book was awarded the Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Best Manuscript in Italian Studies by the Modern Language Association. In Italy it was published to critical acclaim as "L'effetto Pinocchio" by Elliot Edizioni in October 2011. Her third book, entitled "Impious Fidelity: Anna Freud, Psychoanalysis, Politics," was published by Cornell University Press in 2012. She is currently working on a manuscript, with the working title: "A History of Italian Repression: Sexuality, Psychoanalysis and the War Against Memory."

Brown Affiliations

scholarly work

"La forza arcana della suggestione: Scipio Sighele e il soggetto postliberale." in Marco Pustianaz- Luisa Villa (eds), Maschilita' decadenti, Bergamo UP 2004 (pp 41-67).

"The Doubled Subject: Scipio Sighele's Criminal Couples," in G. Oesterle, ed., Déjà-Vu, Fink Verlag, 2004 (pp 311-326).

"The Secret Power of Suggestion: Scipio Sighele's Post-Liberal Subject." diacritics. Spring 2003 (pp. 60-79)

"Ideology," "Zizek." Contributing essays to The Dictionary of Postmodernism. London: Routledge Books, 2002.

Sublime Surrender: Masochism and the Crisis of Masculinity at the Fin-de-Siècle. Cornell University Press, 1998.

"The Theft of the Operatic Voice: Masochistic Seduction in Wagner's 'Parsifal'," The Musical Quarterly, vol. 80, no. 4, 1996 (pp. 597-628).

"Dancing with Philosophers: Review of Biddy Martin, Woman And Modernity," The Book Press, March, 1992.

"Speaking the Unspeakable: Review of Saul Friedlander, ed., Probing the Limits of Representation," The Book Press, May 1992.

Review article of B. Anderson, Imagined Communities, in Telos, Summer, 1984 (pp. 227-231).

research overview

Suzanne Stewart-Steinberg works on Italian and German literature of the 19th and 20th centuries, on psychoananlysis and literary and cultural theory, with particular interests in the construction of gender.

research statement

Suzanne Stewart-Steinberg received her B.A. (Hons.) in Sociology from the University of Essex (United Kingdom) in 1975 with a special focus on comparative political economy and on Antonio Gramsci's theories of ideology and the state. She received her Ph.D. from Yale University in the Department of Political Science in 1990. Her doctoral thesis on the problem of ideology in the works of Rousseau, Levi-Strauss, Marx and Freud sought to establish a methodological bridge between the social sciences and literary studies through an interrogation of the relationship between political and literary consent. She earned an M.A. in German Studies from Cornell University with a thesis on the question of consent through the psychoanalytic and cultural-historical lens of masochism. Professor Stewart-Steinberg taught at Cornell University from 1986 until she came to Brown University in 2005 to join both the Department of Italian Studies and the Department of Comparative Literature.

Professor Stewart-Steinberg's publications include Sublime Surrender: Male Masochism at the Fin-de-Siècle (Cornell University Press, 1998); and a series of articles on the construction of masculinity in the fin-de-siècle cultures of Italy and the German-speaking world, in the works of such authors as Wagner, Freud, Matilde Serao, Scipio Sighele and Maria Montessori. The Pinocchio Effect: On Making Italians (1860-1920) was published in 2007 by the University of Chicago Press and was the winner of the MLA's Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for best manuscript in Italian Studies. Its Italian translation appeared in October 2012 with Elliot Edizioni. The book interrogates the history of "making Italians" between Italy's national Unification and the rise of fascism, through a reading of Collodi's Pinocchio , of the works of the inventor of mass psychology Scipio Sighele, the fictional works of Matilde Serao and Edmondo De Amicis, the criminal anthropologist Cesare Lombroso, the debates surrounding the construction of the Italian welfare mother, and the pedagogical works of Maria Montessori. Her third book, entitled "Impious Fidelity: Anna Freud, Psychoanalysis, Politics" was published by Cornell University Press in 2012.

Professor Stewart-Steinberg's current research project deals with the memory wars in contemporary Italy, memory wars that have reopened the problem of Italy's fascist past, the ensuing civil war and the birth of the Republic in and as the experience of the Resistance. This book is now tentatively entitled "A History of Italian Repression: Sexuality, Psychoanalysis, and the War against Memory." In addition, she is working on a book on fascist land reclamation.

funded research

1993: European Studies Grant for new course development, Cornell University
2004: Cornell University, Humanities Council Grant for research in Italy
2006: Brown University, Department of Italian Studies: Humanities Research Fund for research in Italy ($1,500.00)