Research Expertise and Interest
Italian literature, film and media, Italian colonialism, critical theories of race and racialization, borders and mobilities, biopolitics, postcolonial and decolonial theory.
Rhiannon Noel Welch works on 19th-21st c. Italian literature, film, and critical theory, with an emphasis on race and coloniality. Her first book, Vital Subjects: Race and Biopolitics in Italy (Liverpool UP, 2016) reads a range of canonical and lesser-known texts through the lens of biopolitics in order to demonstrate how race and colonialism have long been central to Italian modernity and national culture, rather than a fascist aberration or a contemporary phenomenon resulting from immigration.
Her current book project, Crisis and the Aesthetics of Deceleration, examines recurring figures of deceleration, dilation, and/or slowness, in Italian literature and film in light of the numerous biopolitical crises plaguing Italy and the world today (the coronavirus pandemic, climate change, mass migration, the failures of late capitalism, etc.).