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Sherry Fisher
Office of the Vice President for Research

Last modified: Monday, March 20, 2006

Peter Bondanella to present 2006 Distinguished Faculty Research Lecture

March 20, 2006

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Peter Bondanella, Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature and Italian in the Indiana University College of Arts and Sciences, will deliver the IU Bloomington 2006 Distinguished Faculty Research Lecture, "Fellini and Fantasy," on Wednesday (March 22) at 3 p.m. in Whittenberger Auditorium in the Indiana Memorial Union on the Bloomington campus. Bondanella also will provide a survey of the often surprising influences upon Fellini's works.

Federico Fellini (1920-93) is widely regarded as Italy's greatest film director and as one of the most famous filmmakers in the world. His films are so well known that they have inspired new words and phrases in the English language, such as "paparazzi," a term referring to aggressively annoying celebrity photographers. The term derives from the name of such a photographer in Fellini's film La Dolce Vita (1959). The title of that blockbuster film also became a popular English expression referring to the sweetness of life.

Bondanella became interested in Italian cinema in the early 1970s when scholarship on Italian cinema was practically nonexistent in the United States and Europe -- with the exception of France and Italy. More than any other American scholar, Bondanella has transformed scholarship on Italian cinema. His publications on Fellini alone represent a most important body of criticism dedicated to this pivotal figure. He also devoted almost a decade to the production of Italian Cinema: From Neorealism to the Present, a work now in its third edition and universally recognized as the standard text and reference in the field. It won the President's Award of the American Association for Italian Studies, a national organization that also elected Bondanella as its president.

As Professor Gian Piero Brunetta of the University of Padua -- Italy's foremost historian of the Italian cinema -- said in 2004, "Peter Bondanella's pioneering and seminal Italian Cinema: From Neorealism to the Present ... opened up a panoramic view of Italian national cinema to Anglo-American film scholars who in general were mostly familiar with only a few masterpieces. Over the years, Bondanella's systematic approach has enabled and inspired countless studies."

The IU Distinguished Faculty Research Lecture provides an opportunity for research scholars to share their work with the university community and provides the university with an occasion to pay tribute to its most distinguished researchers.

The 2006 lecture is co-sponsored by the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Office of the Vice President for Research. Inaugurated in 1980, the lecture series honors the achievements of IUB faculty. Past distinguished lecturers include Ciprian Foias, Richard Shiffrin, Elinor Ostrom, Fedwa Malti-Douglas and Gary Hieftje.

Bondanella's lecture will be available in a live video stream at

An archive copy will be available at

For more on research at Indiana University, go to