CRI Visiting Scholar Will Study Cuban Reception of Pasolini’s Work

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The Cuban Research Institute has invited Dr. Sarah Atkinson to conduct research on "Pasolini’s Cuban Afterlives," between June 2024 and June 2025. Dr. Atkinson, who holds a Ph.D. in Italian Studies, will appraise the Cuban reception of the work of the Italian filmmaker and intellectual Pier Paolo Pasolini.

Dr. Atkinson’s project looks at Cuban interest in Pasolini's legacy during two significant moments: the 30th anniversary of his death in 2005 and the centennial commemoration of his birth in 2022. Through films, plays, visual art, and the surrounding discourse, the study examines evolving attitudes towards Pasolini's antifascist artistic practice. It engages analysis by Cuba’s leading film critic, Rolando Pérez Betancourt; the commentary of journalists who have written on Pasolini in Cuba, including Andrés D. Abreu, Osvaldo Cano, Norge Espinosa, Walter Lippmann, and Jorge Smith. Additionally, it delves into the reception of the play Vida y muerte de Pier Paolo Pasolini staged at the 2005 Havana Theater Festival and explores the tributes to Pasolini presented at the 2005 and 2022 International Festival of New Latin American Cinema in Havana. Dr. Atkinson anticipates the completion of a conference paper and journal article in the initial phase and plans to expand her findings in a monograph.

Dr. Sarah Atkinson joins us from a postdoctoral fellowship in Italian Studies at Villanova University. She earned her Ph.D., MPhil, and M.A. in Italian Studies at Yale University. She also holds an M.A. in Italian Language and Literature from the University of Chicago and a B.A. in Italian Language and Literature from Washington University in St. Louis. She has published critical essays, translations, and a book review. She has received numerous fellowships, grants, and awards, including from the National Humanities Center. She has a book manuscript in preparation, entitled Preserving Difference: The Literary Roots of Pasolini’s Poetic Cinema.