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Enrica Quaroni

Faculty Lecturer, BA, PhD (McGill)
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The first PhD graduate from the McGill Department of Italian (1974), Dr. Quaroni has served the Faculty of Arts and the Department in various and demanding capacities. She was, for example, Chair of the Interdepartmental Program in Modern Languages (1978-1982), Assistant to the Chair of the Department (1985-1987), Chair of the Faculty of Arts Curriculum Committee (1991-1995), member of the New and Revised Courses and Programs (NRCP) Committee (1991-1994), and is now Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts (1997-). Since 1992 she has promoted and directed a very successful Summer School for McGill students in Florence, Italy.

Research Interests

Dr Quaroni's research interests focus mainly on the Italian novel of the late nineteenth century. She has published articles on Luigi Capuana's theory of "impersonality" and on his essays dealing with theatricality in the novel. Having co-organized in 1989 an international conference on the theorist of the "Verismo" movement, and co-edited its Proceedings as L'illusione della realtà. Studi su Luigi Capuana, Dr Quaroni then turned her attention to another particular aspect of Luigi Capuana's writings, his interest in spiritualism. Dr Quaroni's research surveyed the notion of spiritualism from Swedenborg to Capuana and revealed the widespread interest for this practice and belief in late nineteenth-century Europe. Renowned authors such as Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Charles Dickens dabbled in spiritualism, the former even going so far as to invite a famous medium into her Florentine home for a demonstration of his powers of levitation. In 1994, Dr Quaroni gave several lectures on this topic and the perceived role of spiritualism in literary creation.

More recently, Dr Quaroni has explored the serialization of the nineteenth-century popular novel, or "romanzo d'appendice" as it was called in Italy. She undertook a precise review of all texts published in the major Florentine daily, La Nazione, between 1870 and 1880. Her findings illustrate the various typologies of the texts selected for serialization and document the lax editorial practices that presided over their publication. The results of her research were published in the Italian literary journal Misure critiche in 1997.