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MA & Ph.D. applications open!

We are now accepting applications for Fall 2024 admission to our MA and Ph.D. programs in Hispanic Linguistics and Hispanic Literary and Cultural Studies.
Photo of Fabbian, Chiara

Chiara Fabbian, PhD

Clinical Professor, Director of the Italian Program, & Director of Undergraduate Studies (Italian)

Hispanic and Italian Studies

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers


Office Phone:

(312) 355-8485

CV Download:


Drop-In Hours - Spring 2022
Friday 11:00am – 12:50pm


CHIARA FABBIAN is a Clinical Professor and Director of the Italian Language Program in the Department of Hispanic and Italian Studies. Her research interests include women's writing, literature and social sensibilities, as well as language pedagogy and curriculum development. Her first book (Naso d’autore. L’odorato nella letteratura e cultura italiana. Ravenna: Longo editore, 2012) examines the interaction between the political, anthropological and cultural codes of the olfactory and literature’s own system of signs and meanings in Italian literature and culture. She has also written on the development of literacy, global communication, and critical thinking skills in a contextualized perspective and through a social justice approach to foreign language teaching and learning. Her work has appeared on the journal Italica and other venues. She served as President of the Women Studies Caucus (American Association for Italian Studies), Secretary of Italidea-Midwest (a not for profit organization that promotes Italian language and culture), Midwest Representative for the AATI (American Association Teachers of Italian, two terms), and is currently a member of the Osservatorio della lingua italiana a Chicago and Italian Section Convener for the American Association of University Supervisors, Coordinators, and Directors of Language Programs. She received numerous Fellowships and Awards for her teaching, service to the profession, and research, including the 2018 Dante Alighieri Award from the Illinois chapter of the AATI, Teaching Recognition Awards from the UIC Council for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (2016, 2012), UIC Inspire Award (2011), and Mellon Foundation Dissertation Fellowship (2005-06).

Selected Publications


Chapters in Books

  • “What’s in a Book? Foreign Language Textual Contents (and Discontents)”. AAUSC 2019 volume, Pathways to Paradigm Change: Critical Examinations of Prevailing Discourses and Ideologies in Second Language Education, chapter 1, pp. 1-27. Co-authored with E. Zanotti Carney and A. Valfredini.
  • “Heavenly Aromas and Tough Stomachs in Benvenuto Flori’s L’evangelica parabola delle vergini prudenti e delle stolte” Scenes from Italian Convent Life. An Anthology of Convent Theatrical Texts and Contexts. Ed. Elissa Weaver. Ravenna: Longo editore, 2009. 53-90.


  • Fabbian, Maria; Carney, Emanuela Zanotti (2021): FL Teaching and Learning as a Gateway for Democracy in the 21st Century. University of Illinois at Chicago. Journal contribution.
  • “Lettura, scrittura, educazione femminile. Ho una casa mia! di Tommasina Guidi.” In Il Lettore di Provincia, December 2019, pp. 43-62. Co-authored with E. Zanotti Carney.
  • “Critical Pedagogy, Social Justice, and Pro-social Identities in the Italian Classroom. Part I.” Co-authored with E. Zanotti Carney. Italica 95.3 (2018) 419-433.
  • “Critical Pedagogy, Social Justice, and Pro-social Identities in the Italian Classroom. Part II.” Co-authored with E. Zanotti Carney. Italica 95.2 (2018) 241-271.
  • “Lessons Learned: Design and Implementation of Italian Blended Language
    Courses.” Co-authored with E. Zanotti Carney and Maja Grgurovic.
    Italica 94.2 (2017) 314-353.
  • “Instructional Planning for the Italian Writing Curriculum. The University
    of Illinois at Chicago’s Experience.” Co-authored with E. Zanotti Carney.
    Italica 93.3 (2016) 581-615.
  • “Embracing the Body: A Woman’s Journey in Il paese del vento by Grazia Deledda.” Lingua Romana. Vol 11, issue 2, Fall 2013. Editors: J. Haraguchi and I. Klein. Special issue: Women and Territories in Italian Literature and Culture.
  •  “A ciascuno il suo. L’abito, il corpo e il profumo in Rubè di Giuseppe Antonio Borgese.” Italica 80.1 (2003) 21-39.
  • “Poesia in cucina: Lina e il mondo femminile nella rappresentazione di Umberto Saba.” MLN 117.1 (2002) 174-193.
  • “Gozzano, la signorina Felicita e la perplessità crepuscolare.” Canadian-American Journal of Italian Studies, September 2000, 75-90.
  • Paolo Cherchi. Ministorie di Microgeneri. A cura di Chiara Fabbian, Alessandro Rebonato, Emanuela Zanotti Carney. Ravenna: Longo, 2003

Book Reviews 

  • Carravetta, Peter. After Identity. Migration, Critique, Italian American Culture. New York: Bordighera Press, 2017. Pp. 294. ISBN 978-1-59954-072-6. Published on Italian Americana, April 2018.
  • Melissa Coburn. Race and Narrative in Italian Women’s Writing Since Unification. Madison: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2013. Pp. 127. Papers on Language and Literature. No. 3, 2016.
  • Italian Women Writers, 1800-2000. Boundaries, Borders, and Transgression. Edited by Patrizia Sambuco. Madison: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2015. Pp. 197. Journal of Modern Italian Studies Volume 21, Issue 2, Cover month March 2016.
  • “Non sto quindi a Napoli sicura di casa”. Identità, spazio e testualità in Fabrizia Ramondino. A cura di Adalgisa Giorgio. Perugia: Morlacchi editore, 2013. Pp. 395. Italian Culture. Forthcoming.
  • Women and Gender in Post-Unification Italy. Between Private and Public Spheres. Edited by Katharine Mitchell and Helena Sanson. Bern: Peter Lang, 2013. Pp. 276. Annali d’italianistica, Vol 32, 2014.
  • Stato e Chiesa nel Mezzogiorno napoleonico. Atti del quinto seminario di studi “Decennio francese (1806-1815).” Napoli, 29-30 maggio 2008. A cura di Costanza D’Elia. Napoli: Giannini, 2011. JMIS Vol. 18, no. 4, 2013.
  • A. Maggi, Uttering the Word.The Mystical Performances of Maria Maddalena de’ Pazzi, a Renaissance Visionary. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1998, in Forum Italicum, Fall 1998.
  • Stephen Sartarelli, trans. Umberto Saba. Songbook, Selected Poems. Riverdale-on-Hudson: Sheep Meadow Press,1998, in Forum Italicum, Fall 1999.
  • L. Parisi. Borgese.Torino, Tirrenia, 2000, in Annali D’Italianistica 20 (2002) 534-537.

Professional Leadership

Elected Italian Section Convener, 2020-2022, American Association of University Supervisors, Coordinators, and Directors of Language Programs

task force member, Osservatorio della Lingua italiana a Chicago

Notable Honors

2020-2021, Contribution ($25,300) to support the teaching of Italian language and culture at UIC., Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

2019-2020, Contribution ($23,000) to support the teaching of Italian language and culture at UIC., Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

2018-2019, Contribution (15,000 euros) to support the teaching of Italian language and culture at UIC, Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs


Professor Fabbian earned her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, an MA from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and a Laurea in Lettere Classiche from the University of Padova, Italy.