Luca Cottini, Ph.D.

I am associate professor of Italian Studies at Villanova University. I am a literary scholar and a cultural historian. I was born and raised in Varese, Italy and I completed my undergraduate degree in Classics at the University of Milan. After moving to the United States, I specialized at Notre Dame and Harvard on Italian modernist literature, and in the early industrial culture, focusing my research on the 19th and 20th centuries.


In my book, The Art of Objects: The Birth of Italian Industrial Culture, 1878-1928 (University of Toronto Press, 2018), I deal with the emergence of industrial modernity in Italy at the turn of the 20th century from the dual perspective of literature and industry. As I point out in this interview, my method consists in observing this culture starting from its iconic objects, as they create new social practices, and as they shape, in ads and in the arts, a new imagery of the modern.

Luca Cottini 2015.jpg

If you want to know more on The Art of Objects. The Birth of Italian Industrial Culture, 1878-1928, here is a recent interview at Harvard for La voce di New York.

If you want to know more about my scholarship, my courses at Villanova, and my current academic research, please visit my personal webpage at

If you want to contact me you can email me at To receive notifications of new episodes, you can subscribe to the mailing list on the home page.