Author Archives: elisa

Ecocriticism – Nature Calling

Ecocriticism joined our Seminar last fall thanks to Doctor Adrian Rainbow’s engaging class “Ecocriticism and Contemporary Literature”, and although the class is over, the effect of its ecocritical debate continues.

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If you are a citizen of planet earth, a hopeless romantic, a devoted astronomer, or all the above, tonight is your night. On werewolf nights like this, people around the world gather to watch the so-called supermoon, the brightest, biggest full moon of the year, appearing as close to the earth as 221,457 miles.

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Text Messaging in the Renaissance

The last thing I expected to see at the Renaissance exhibition of the Brera Gallery in Milan was modern technology in a 19th-century painting. I was immersed in a past era when, on a small canvas by Milanese painter Girolamo Induno, I saw a girl in a white nightgown, and I could have sworn she was texting me.

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A Jewel in Romanticism: Hayez’s “The Kiss”

The kiss. A magical word used to name many works of art, the most renowned probably being Klimt’s golden embrace. Of equal splendor is Il Bacio (Italian for The Kiss), a Romantic painting by Milanese artist Francesco Hayez. However, Il Bacio doesn’t show just a kiss. Il Bacio is the iconic kiss that represents the birth of Italy.

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As the Romans Do – How is That Again?

Whether you wish to know all about Rome and its people or you already know it, As the Romans Do, An American Family’s Italian Odyssey by Alan Epstein is the book for you. Titled after a popular saying, or rather, a lifestyle, Epstein’s book is a boisterously funny autobiographical account of what exactly it means to do as the Romans do.

As the Romans Do first struck me with its bright orange cover showing drawings of Rigatoni pasta, coffee cups, and Vespas. I was browsing the non-fiction section of the Anglo American Bookshop in Via della Vite in the very heart of Rome. It was 2pm, I hadn’t had lunch, and I was on foot, so, yes, I was craving all the things on that juicy cover, which is why I might have approached the book hoping they would materialize. But it wasn’t until I discovered the genuineness inside that I knew it was going to be my favorite summer read.

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University Libraries — When the Students Are Away the Library Mice Will Play

A library is a safe haven for students to research and compose. It is a concentration-inducing zone that gives us access to the world’s knowledge. Not to mention that group psychology is a total perk. Seeing a med student sweat through a 900-page volume makes us reconsider the “tragedy” of writing a 5000-word linguistic paper on second language acquisition. There is only one dreaded moment, one obstacle that keeps students from socializing with library mice as much as they would like: closing hours.

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The Luxury Version of a Popular Treat: Ladurée Macarons


Sweets. They can make us crave them one day and hate them the next. But there is one treat to which no one will regret surrendering: the lavish Ladurée macaron. This delicious dessert has long enticed us from behind the glass counters of Ladurée tearooms worldwide. And ever since Gossip Girl’s Blair Waldorf became addicted to the macarons’ delicate pistachio filling and Marie Antoinette (aka Kirsten Dunst) indulged in these colorful pastries on her 18th-century set, Ladurée macarons have acquired an even more extravagant taste.

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