Erica Moretti

Travel Fellow - Summer 2019

Erica Moretti is an Assistant Professor of Italian at the Fashion Institute of Technology-SUNY. She received a Ph.D. in Italian Studies from Brown University and a diploma in American Studies from Smith College. Her research — rooted in biopolitics, gender and sexuality studies, and critical theory — focuses on pacifism, refugees and displacement, and humanitarianism in Modern Italy. With Sharon Wood, she published a collection of essays on British-Italian writer Annie Chartres Vivanti. She has published on assimilation policies in the United States in the Progressive era, the Italian feminist movement, and Italian colonialism, among other topics. She is currently working on a book project that explores changes in pacifist thought in the first half of the twentieth century in Europe through the work of Italian educator Maria Montessori.

For her CIMA travel fellowship, she will explore the revolution of child-centered and child-sized furniture in the school environment in turn-of-the-century Italy. The goal of this study is to understand how progressive design for children manifested itself through a unique blend of political, social, artistic and cultural forces. Together, these forces aimed at re-shaping the public sphere and re-thinking the notion of democratic and inclusive citizenry. She will conduct research at the Archivi delle Arti Applicate Italiane del XX Secolo, Archivio Randone, Archivio Cambellotti, and the Wolfson Collection in Rome, Bologna, and Genoa, focusing on the work of painter and potter Francesco Randone, founder of the Scuola d’Arte Educatrice; artist and designer Duilio Cambellotti; and pedagogue Alessandro Marcucci.