Sara Dallavalle

Assistant Instructional Professor in Italian
Gates-Blake 233
Office Hours: T 11:00-1:00 via Zoom
Academic Profile:
Ph.D., Indiana University-Bloomington, 2020
Teaching at UChicago since 2020

Sara Dallavalle earned her B.A. in Modern Languages and Cultures from the University of Pavia (2011) and her M.A. in Specialized Translation in English and Spanish from IULM University in Milan (2013). In 2013 she moved to the US to pursue her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Italian Studies and graduated from Indiana University-Bloomington with a dissertation on Italian comics magazines of the 1960s-1980s (2020). Sara specializes in comics studies and her research integrates elements from periodical studies, media industry studies, publishing studies, fan studies, and digital humanities.  

Sara is dedicated to teaching Italian language and culture promoting an immersive experience and motivating students to engage with the language as a living, dynamic process. Before joining the University of Chicago in 2020, she taught for seven years at Indiana University, where she also contributed to the creation and implementation of a new Intermediate Italian manual and online course, and designed an advanced course in Italian which pairs the history of Italian comics and the most important historical and cultural events of 20th-century Italy. At the University of Chicago, Sara teaches a variety of language courses, runs the Program’s Instagram, Facebook and YouTube accounts, co-organizes cultural events, mentors graduate student instructors and, starting in fall 2021, coordinates the first-year courses.

Sara enjoys being an active member of the community, organizing conferences and professionalization workshops, and promoting a tighter relationship between students and faculty through the use of social media.


Paese che vai [co-authored with Lisa Dolasinski, Lucia Gemmani, Isabella Magni, Carlotta Paltrinieri, and Karolina Serafin]. Currently used for fourth-semester Italian language students at Indiana University. Chapter on “congiuntivo imperfetto & trapassato” in the context of Italian comics.

Journal articles

2021     *“Building Student Communities in Spite of the Pandemic” [co-authored with Viola Ardeni and Karolina Serafin].  Journal of Teaching and Learning with Technology, vol. 10, no. 1, 2021.  

2020     *“Alcuni dati sull’andamento dell’editoria fumettistica in Italia tra graphic novel e fumetto seriale.” Simultanea, vol. 1, no. 2, Fall 2020. 

2019     “Popular format and auteur format in Italian comics. The case of Magnus.” International Journal of Comic Art, vol. 21, no. 1, Spring/Summer 2019, pp. 300-328.

Invited talks

2021     “Comics literacy in Italian language courses: combining textual and visual elements to enhance students’ analytical skills.” The Center for The Study of Languages and Cultures Ed Talk. The University of Notre Dame – virtual (19 March).

2021     “Building Student Communities in Spite of the Pandemic.” Reimagining Engagement in Teaching and Learning Faculty Academy on Excellence in Teaching event. Indiana University – virtual (26 February). Co-speaker.           

2020     “Luigi Bernardi: L’Isola Trovata e Orient Express.Luigi Bernardi e l’immaginario pop roundtable. University of Bologna – Bologna (17 January).           

Panels organized and chaired

2021     “Social media: how to increase visibility and interaction for Italian Language Programs (Roundtable).” American Association for Italian Studies Conference virtual (28 May-6 June).

2021     “Teaching Popular Culture in Intermediate Language Courses (Roundtable).” Northeast Modern Language Association Annual Conference virtual (11-14 March).

2019     “Authors, readers and genres: production dynamics in Italian comics.” Northeast Modern Language Association Annual Conference Washington, DC (21-24 March).

2018     “Il fumetto italiano e la modernità: modalità narrative, sperimentazioni stilistiche e standardizzazioni culturali.” American Association for Italian Studies Conference – Sorrento, Italy (14-17 June).

Recent courses in RLL

  • ITAL 10100 Beginning Elementary Italian I (Autumn 2020, Autumn 2021)
  • ITAL 10200 Beginning Elementary Italian II (Winter 2021, Winter 2022))
  • ITAL 10300 Beginning Elementary Italian III (Spring 2021)
  • ITAL 20200 Language, History, and Culture II (Winter 2022)
  • ITAL 20300 Language, History, and Culture III (Spring 2021)
  • ITAL 20400 Corso di perfezionamento (Autumn 2020, Autumn 2021)
Subject Area: Italian Studies