Chiara Giovanni (UK)

Life After Ertegun House

Since leaving Oxford, I have embarked upon a PhD in Comparative Literature at Stanford University: I am currently in the stage of broadening my interests and expertise, but aim to continue my work on identity. I see my future work as interdisciplinary, bridging literary, performance and anthropological studies to investigate identity- and subjectivity-formation strategies in the Dominican Republic and its associated U.S. diaspora. I would like to draw a parallel between two concepts I see as fundamental to these processes of identity formation: love, specifically sexual and romantic love, and dance. I wish to work with theorizations of intimacy, specifically in a post-colonial context, and how intimate micro-spaces can be exploited or threatened on the public stage by oppressive powers. I also wish to consider the performativity inherent to romantic/sexual relationships and partner-based dance (particularly bachata), and how established gender roles can be reimagined, queered, or rejected. The movement of peoples to the United States is also of interest, as I am interested in combining a exploration of how the lost homeland mediates diasporic desire with an investigation into the changes (or lack of such) that take place in Afro-Caribbean music and dance after crossing the ocean.

One of my priorities as a scholar is to bring as much of my work as possible into the public sphere. I published an article with Buzzfeed Reader in August 2017 on a well-known internet poet, regularly write a TinyLetter, and hope to produce more cultural criticism over the rest of my time at Stanford. I was a 2017-8 Latino Museum Studies Fellow at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, D.C., and I hope to continue combining my academic interest in Latino/Caribbean Studies with public outreach and engagement.