Photo Credit: courtesy of The William Demby Papers

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Event Details

Tue, February 16, 2021

18:00 – 19:30

Florence, Italy

Black American writer William Demby forged a dynamic career across Rome’s culture industries as a novelist, journalist, and screenwriter, translator, and actor in the Italian cinema in the 1950s and 1960s. Drawing on archival research into the author’s papers from this period, the talk will explore how Demby channels these experiences into his genre-blurring, semi-autobiographical novel The Catacombs (1965).

This event is realized in collaboration with The American Academy in Rome, where Sherazi is a Terra Foundation Affiliated Fellow

A collaboration with Black History Month Florence

Featured Biographies

Melanie Masterton Sherazi

Melanie Masterton Sherazi received her PhD in English from the University of California, Riverside, and is a former UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in English at UCLA. This talk comes from her manuscript in progress about Black American writers’ and artists’ genre-bending cultural work in Cold War Rome and their Italian creative cohorts in the cinema and literary and visual arts. In Spring 2021, Sherazi will be in residence at the American Academy in Rome as a Terra Foundation Affiliated Fellow. Her scholarly work appears in journals including Modernism/ModernityItalian QuarterlyARIEL, and MELUS, and is forthcoming in Pacific Coast Philology.