Mediterranean Studies Research Group
The AU College of Liberal Arts has developed a Mediterranean Studies Research Group which, under the direction of Dr. Giovanna Summerfield, has produced a series of initiatives and symposia. Some of the initiatives are connected with the College’s partners,
University of Catania, Italy which boasts a leading Euro Med Center and La Sapienza, Rome, Italy, and benefit our students’ and faculty’s research.
The MSRG has sponsored two interdisciplinary symposia, one one-day symposium held in Catania, Italy in 2014 and organized by the University of Catania, Auburn University, and University of Paris X, Nanterre, and one in Toulon, France in 2016. Consult this page to find out about upcoming meetings and symposia.
The Mediterranean Studies Research Group is also working on a Mediterranean Studies certificate that will be offered at Auburn University, starting in Fall 2019.
Fulvio Attina', MA, is a Full Professor of International Relations, Jean Monnet Professor of European Union Politics, and Faculty of Political Sciences at the University of Catania in Italy. He has a number of research interests and projects on topics including Italy and multilateral security, regional security partnerships, military alliances and defense pacts, and party group cohesion in the European parliament. He holds an MA in Political Science from the University of Florence.
Emily Burns, PhD, offers courses on nineteenth-century European and American art as well as the surveys of art history at Auburn University. She plans to develop courses in the history of Native American, African American and Asian art as well as eighteenth-century European art. In her research, Dr. Burns considered Franco-American artistic and cultural exchange in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She holds a PhD in Art History and Archaeology from Washington University in St. Louis.
Louis Caranti, PhD, has worked as an Associate Professor of Political Philosophy at the University of Catania in Italy since 2006. His studies mainly concern the philosophy of Kant. Dr. Caranti has provided contributions on the theoretical, practical, aesthetic and political dimensions of Kant's thought. He also has interests in the theory of human rights, political philosophy, democratic peace theory, history of modern and contemporary philosophy, contemporary Italian politics, and the scientific and philosophical debate concerning the causes of world poverty. He received his PhD in Philosophy from Boston University.
Kate Craig, PhD, is a member of the Auburn Department of History and specializes in the history of medieval Europe, while also teaching courses in the World History sequence. Her research interests are in the cultural history of medieval Europe (10th – 12th c.), in particular the cult of relics in France, and travel within the larger medieval world. She received her PhD from the University of California Los Angeles.
Joyce de Vries
Joyce de Vries, PhD, teaches Renaissance and Baroque art history as well as the surveys of art history and a course on gender issues in the visual arts. She is also the Director of the Women's Studies Program at Auburn University and has taught the Introduction to Women's Studies course. Her area of expertise is the visual and material culture of early modern (14-17th century) Italy, and, in particular, material culture in the domestic sphere and the visual construction of gender.
Pinella Di Gregorio
Pinella Di Gregorio, PhD, is Associate Professor of Contemporary History and Global History at the University of Catania. She has a number of research interests on topics including world oil business, electrical and petrochemical industry in Sicily, British Empire, Middle East and Mediterranean region, cultural studies and postcolonial studies. Dr. Di Gregorio received her PhD in History and Civilization at the European University Institute of Fiesole (Firenze). After participating in a national competition in December 2013, she qualified as Full Professor in Contemporary History.
Michael Kozuh, PhD, teaches in the Department of History at Auburn University. He teaches in the Technology and Civilization sequence, as well as teaching undergraduate and graduate classes on topics in ancient and medieval Near Eastern history, ancient Mediterranean history, and historiography. His research interests are on the ancient economy, Babylonian temples (especially their relationship with royal administrations), the empires of the first millennium BC, ancient slavery and semi-freedom, Elam and the Elamites, and intercultural connections in the ancient world. He received his PhD from the University of Chicago.
Zdenko Krtić, MFA, teaches visual studio classes (painting and drawing) and a seminar on issues and criticism in contemporary art in the Department of Art and Art History at Auburn University. In 2009 he was instrumental in establishing the department’s first study abroad program in Rome, Italy (which occurs annually in May/June). He is currently working on establishing a link with the University of Zagreb in Croatia and, in particular, a study abroad program in the Croatian region of Istria. Professor Krtić is a practicing studio artist working in several mediums, principally encaustic painting. His work has been shown nationally and internationally and was twice an editorial feature on CNN. His creative interests are inevitably informed and shaped in part by the turbulent history of the Balkans, where he spent his formative years.
Matt Malczycki, PhD, is the Department of History's Islamic History Specialist at Auburn University. His first major research field is Arabic papyrology, which is the study of the oldest extant Arabic primary source documents. Although he continues to work in papyrology, his current research project is a monograph focused on early Islamic Tunisia (Ifriqiya) from the conquest/opening to the rise of the Aghlabids. Dr. Malczycki usually teaches World History, Survey of Middle East History, and Crusade and Jihad in History, among other courses. He received his PhD in history from the University of Utah.
Rachel Naftel, MA, is an Auburn University graduate student in the Public Administration and Public Policy PhD program. She is the graduate assistant for the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts and Humanities, and teaches a First Year Seminar course for incoming freshmen at Auburn University. In the spring of 2016, she will be teaching a practicum in Liberal Arts focusing on Appalachian studies. She received her Master’s degree from The American Graduate School in Paris in international relations and diplomacy with a concentration in Middle Eastern politics. Her research interests lie in United States foreign policy as well as education for women in North Africa and the Middle East.
Stefania Panebianco, PhD in International Relations, is Associate Professor of Political Science at
the University of Catania, where she teaches Comparative Politics and Mediterranean Politics. Her main research interests include Euro-Mediterranean relations; Mediterranean security; the EU as an international actor; democratization processes in the Mediterranean. She has recently published L'Unione Europea 'potenza divisa' nel Mediterraneo (EGEA, Milano, 2012) and coedited Winds of Democratic Change in the Mediterranean? Actors, Processes and Outcomes with Rosa Rossi (Rubbettino, Soveria-Mannelli, 2012).
Natalia Ruiz-Junco is Assistant Professor of Sociology. Professor Ruiz-Junco, also known as NRJ, received her Master’s and PhD in Sociology from the University of Kentucky. Her research areas are social psychology, social theory and social movements. Her work focuses on the topics of self, identity, emotion and social interaction. She has a long-standing interest in interactionist and interpretive theory and qualitative methods. She has studied social movements in Spain and the United States.
Victoria Skelton is a PhD student in the Department of History at Auburn University, studying the effects of Italian Fascism and World War II on Italian society. More broadly, she has interests in gender relations, women’s history, fascism, and Italian film.
Giovanna Summerfield, PhD, is the Associate Dean for Educational Affairs in the College of Liberal Arts at Auburn University. Her research and teaching interests include the long eighteenth-century (1660-1830) French and Italian literature (emphasis on Sicilian writers), religious and philosophical movements, European and Mediterranean history/civilization, and material culture. Dr. Summerfield is also a published poet and short-story writer. Her favorite theme is Sicily, her motherland. She received her PhD from the University of Florida.
Last Updated: August 28, 2018