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Massimiliano Cirulli

Assistant Teaching Professor
Coordinator, Italian Language Program
Primary office:
Wescoe Hall
Room 2063
Unievrsity of Kansas
1445 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, KS 66045


Massimiliano Cirulli joined the University of Kansas in 2019 as an Assistant Teaching Professor and Coordinator of the Italian Language Program. Previously, he taught Italian and Spanish at the Lorenzo De’ Medici School in Rome, Italy, and at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC, where he received his Ph.D. He has experience teaching at all levels of the language curriculum, ranging from beginning to advanced courses. In the former, his focus is on building a solid grammar basis while offering a consistent exposure to the target language to achieve a basic communication fluency. In the latter, he challenges his students with a variety of assignments such as web research, creation of blogs, and production of real documents such as a resume or a cover letter, in order to expand their ability to communicate in different situations. His belief is that a language cannot be separated from the cultural milieu of its speakers, and therefore the goal of his classes is to offer students a comprehensive knowledge of the target culture, using language as a key to access the real Italian experience. His research interests include Second Language Acquisition and Language Pedagogy, 20th century Italian literature and cinema, Italian folklore, and the Italian Post-war period, with special regard to the economic boom and the industrialization process in Italy between the 1950s and the 1970s.



Ph.D. in Italian Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2019.

M.A. in Teaching Italian as a second language, University of Urbino “Carlo Bo,” Urbino, Italy, 2012.

B.A. in Foreign Language and Literatures, University of Rome “Roma Tre,” Rome, Italy, 2005.



“Descending into Hell: Northerners, Southerners, and Spectators in Rosi’s Salvatore Giuliano.” L’avventura: International Journal of Italian Film and Media Landscapes, vol. 1, no. 1, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2015, pp. 141-53.

Rev. of Landscapes in Between: Environmental Change in Modern Italian Literature and Film, by Monica Seger. Annali d’italianistica, vol. 33, 2015, pp. 551-53.

“I popoli del Mediterraneo e le guerre tra Roma e Cartagine.” 2012. Online publication of a work produced during the Master’s program “Teaching Italian as a second language” in order to teach Italian language and history to foreign pupils in the Italian primary school.


Selected Conference Presentations:

“From Concentration Camp to Fortress: Discipline and Resistance in Pasolini’s borgata.” American Association for Italian Studies (AAIS) 39th Annual Conference. Wake Forest University, Winston Salem, NC, USA. Mar. 14-16, 2019

“Playing Italy: Using Italian outside the language and literature curricula.” 71st Annual Kentucky Foreign Language Conference (KFLC). Lexington, KY, USA. Apr. 19-21, 2018.

“From Ritual to Commodity: Staging Pizzica in Contemporary Italy.” Northeast Modern Language Association (NEMLA) 47th Annual Convention. Hartford, CT, USA. Mar. 17-20, 2016.

“Relitti and Sopravvivenze: Myth, History, and Rituals in the Works of Ernesto De Martino and Pier Paolo Pasolini.” South Atlantic Modern Language Association (SAMLA) 87th Annual Conference. Durham, NC, USA. Nov. 13-15, 2015.

“The Mercantile World in Boccaccio’s Decameron: Between Epic and Satire.” Carolina Conference on Romance Literatures. Chapel Hill, NC, USA. Apr. 9-11, 2015.

“La mongolfiera,” in “Beyond the Textbook: How to Engage Students without Going Nuts!” by Dr. Glynis Cowell and Dr. Hannelore Jarausch. Foreign Language Association of North Carolina (FLANC) Spring Conference. Wilmington, NC, USA. Feb. 21, 2015. Invited to present, after the presentation was awarded as one of the “Best of 2014 FLANC” presentations in the previous edition of the conference.


Research Interests:

Second Language Acquisition

Language Pedagogy

20th century Italian literature and cinema

Italian folklore

The Post-war, the economic boom, and the industrialization process in Italy

2020 Graduation


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January 2020

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