Alessia Palanti was born and raised in Florence, Italy. She is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Italian, and Comparative Literature and Cinema. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Beloit College in 2007 focusing on Buddhist Studies and Modern Dance Choreography. Immediately after college, she worked with the Chicago Dancing Company, and later worked as a free lance journalist. She received her MA in one year at NYU in Florence in 2011, with a thesis on Pirandello. Consequently, she worked for the an international university in Florence (The International Studies Institute in Florence). She came to Columbia University in 2012. Her interests are primarily in 20th and 21st century literature and poetry (but also shares a fascination with medieval literature) and cinema. She has presented a paper on the Taviani's film Cesare deve morire (2012) at Yale University in 2013, and two papers on the MLA conference in January 2014 focusing on Pirandello and cinema, and Pirandellian influences on cinema. In addition to Italian cinema, she interested in transnational and international cinemas and exploring connections between aesthetic and philosophical representations. She is also interested in the graphic novel, and in women's and gender studies. Alessia has also been working for the Modern Italian Studies Seminars at the Columbia Italian Academy since January 2013.