Professor of Comparative Literature at Bard College, he holds a PhD in Italian Literature from Yale University. He is the author of five books, including My Two Italies (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014), a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice; and In a Dark Wood: What Dante Taught Me About Grief, Healing, and the Mysteries of Love (HarperCollins, 2015), a Vanity Fair “Must-Read” selection that has been translated into Italian, German, and Korean. His writings on FILM include the books A Cinema of Poetry: Aesthetics of the Italian Art Film (Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 2014), a finalist for The Bridge Book Award; and his edited anthology Italian Cinema: From the Silent Screen to the Digital Image (Bloomsbury, 2019). An active critic, his work has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, Chronicle of Higher Education, Times Literary Supplement, many others. His media appearances include a profile in London’s Guardian and interview on National Public Radio. He received the Scaglione Prize for Italian Studies from the Modern Language Association for the book Romantic Europe and the Ghost of Italy (Yale Univ. Press, 2008).