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Harvey Teacher Alexandra Matthews To Present Original Essay at Conference
Posted 02/10/2018 11:33AM

Harvey Spanish teacher Alexandra Matthews has been invited to speak at Nazareth College Casa Italiana “In Memoriam" Conference celebrating the life of Italian writer Giose Rimanelli (1925-2018) Friday, February 16 in Rochester, N.Y. Her presentation,“To Leave, to Abandon: A First Foray into Rimanelli’s Poetry,” will focus on her 40-page essay, “Andare e anche abbandonare. L’abbandono della terra d’origine nelle poesie di Rimanelli,” written in Italian, which explores the theme of abandoning one’s homeland in a small selection of Rimanelli’s poetry.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to share my work and celebrate Giose Rimanelli’s life and art at the Nazareth “In Memoriam" Conference,” said Ms. Matthews. “I will present alongside scholars who have studied his work for many years and knew him personally. It will be an amazing learning experience, one that will hopefully mark the beginning of a long academic relationship with Rimanelli’s vast opera.”

Ms. Matthews' essay was just published in a collection of essays (in Italian) on Giuseppe De Santis (director) and Rimanelli, both Italian “exiles” of sorts. The book “Due esiliati: Giuseppe De Santis e Giose Rimanelli,” was edited by Antonio Carlo Vitti, Professor of Italian Cinema at Indiana University Bloomington and the Director of the Middlebury College Italian School, where Ms. Matthews received her M.A. in Italian.

Ms. Matthews read Rimanelli’s poetry and prose for the first time in 2016 during her final semester of her graduate studies in Italian, in the course “Journey Through Italian-American Literature” taught by Professor Daniela Privitera. That same summer, Ms. Matthews actually met Rimanelli and his wife, Sheryl Postman when they were guest professors in her literature class at the Middlebury Italian School. “It is certainly unusual to discuss an author’s work while the author himself and his wife, who is a scholar as well as literary expert on her husband’s work, are sitting across from you in a seminar room,” recalled Ms. Matthews. “Needless to say, it was incredible.”

Ms. Matthews was asked to include her essay in the collection by Professor Privitera, who was helping to edit the book. Ms. Matthews was transitioning back to living the U.S. after five years teaching and living abroad. She returned to Florence for about three months to revise her essay and conduct research at the National Central Library of Florence. This is her first original, published essay. Ms. Matthews has a B.A. in English and Italian, minor in Hispanic Studies from Vassar College, and a M.A. in Spanish, concentration in Linguistics, in addition to her M.A. in Italian, concentration in Literature. Ms. Matthews joined Harvey in the 2017-18 school year as an Upper School Spanish teacher and assistant girls varsity soccer coach.

Giose Rimanelli was born in Italy and came to the United States in 1960, teaching at many prestigious universities all across the country. He recently passed away in January 2018. To read more about him, visit:

For further information about the conference, visit:


For information about the book that contains Ms. Matthew's essay, “Due esiliati: Giuseppe De Santis e Giose Rimanelli,” visit:


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