Alide Cagidemetrio

English Literature, Università degli Studi di Venezia/ NYU Abu Dhabi

Alide Cagidemetrio is professor emerita at Università degli Studi di Venezia (Cà Foscari) where she taught, served as vice-rector, dean of Modern Languages, and created and directed the Cà Foscari Harvard Summer School. She also taught at University of Strathclyde, Harvard University, Wellesley College, Udine University, and at New York University Abu Dhabi.

Her publications include the monographs Una strada nel bosco: Scrittura e coscienza in Djuna Barnes (Neri Pozza, 1980), Verso il West: L’autobiografia dei pionieri americani (Neri Pozza, 1983), and Fictions of the Past: Hawthorne and Melville (University of Massachusetts Press, 1992), as well as numerous essays on such topics as Nabokov’s Lolita, “Henry James and the Evolution of the American Snob”, and John Hersey’s A Bell for Adano. She is editor of an extensive series of American classics for the Italian publisher Marsilio.

Together with Werner Sollors, also a HIAS Fellow-21/22, Alide Cagidemetrio works on their common book project Face to Face with Antiquity: Visitors of ancient sites have been inclined to express their reactions amply, in writing and in visual media. Some recorded faithfully what they saw, and their reports and drawings are of interest because the sites themselves may have changed since the time of their visit. Other visitors were moved to imagine themselves back into the past in dreamlike visions or erotic fantasies that would seem to bridge the gulf between present and past. Some took souvenirs along with them or bought parts of what they saw for their own collections or for public or privately owned museums. Others left things behind, like their names etched onto ancient statuary, tokens signifying that they had been there. The visitors came from many countries and drew on aesthetic traditions with which they were familiar to account for their encounters with the typically less familiar past. Yet they did not react in uniform or predictable ways to the various sites, each of which seemed to lend itself to different storylines.
This forms of expression chosen by famous writers and intellectuals as well as by little known travellers will be investigated on the basis of published accounts, archival materials, drawings, photography, site visits and other sources.

Her collaboration partner is Martina Seifert, professor and head of the institute for Archaeology and Cultural History of the ancient Mediterranean at Universität Hamburg.

Alide Cagidemetrio’s HIAS Fellowship is provided by the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg and the federal and state funds acquired by Universität Hamburg in the framework of its Excellence Strategy.


Alide Cagidemetrio


Universität Hamburg


Univ.-Prof. Dr. Martina Seifert, Professor and head of the Institute for Archaeology and Cultural History of the ancient Mediterranean at Universität Hamburg

Förderung durch das Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) sowie der Freien und Hansestadt Hamburg im Rahmen der Exzellenzstrategie von Bund und Ländern der Universität Hamburg


Ex-voto anatomici, Pompeii