Giuseppina Mecchia

  • Associate Professor of French and Italian


1328 B Catherdral of Learning


Area of Interest

I am a modernist working on theoretical, literary, and cinematic issues, mostly in the fields of transnational political theory and esthetics, capitalist encroachment on sexuality, literature and film as popular media in the age of capital, and the gendered restrictions surrounding female authorship. My primary corpus in research and pedagogy spans the French Studies field from the early 19th century until the present day, but I have a strong, ongoing interest and publication record in 20th- and 21sth-century Italian cultural production and political theory. I am now also working on transmedial adaptations of 19th-century novels in a European contest.

My translations and critical editions of contemporary Italian political thinkers such as Paolo Virno, Christian Marazzi and Franco Berardi “Bifo” are widely cited, as is my work on the French philosopher Jacques Rancière. I have worked and continue working on writers such as Marcel Proust, Stendhal, Elsa Morante, Natalia Ginzburg, Giuseppe Genna, and film-makers such as Michael Haneke, Paolo Sorrentino and Raùl Ruiz.

 My theoretical approach is grounded in post-Marxist and Deleuzian theory, and considers questions related to gender and environmental politics from the point of view of a cultural critique of capitalist organization.



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)



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 
  • 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
  • Euro Chic: The Invention of Fashion (new course in 2020)
  • Green France: Environmental Situations (new course in AY21)

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
  • Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory


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



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.