• Visiting Professor, OHMA - The Dialogical Experience of Oral History (2015)




Alessandro Portelli has taught American Literature at the Universities of Siena and Rome from 1974 to 2012. From 2004 to 2008 he served as Rome’s Mayor’s advisor on historical memory; in 2005-6 he was a member of Rome’s city council. He is the founder and chairman of the Circolo Gianni Bosio, an independent organization for the study and promotion of people’s cultures, folk music and oral history. He has served as visiting professor, research fellow and in other capacities at several universities worldwide, including Manchester, Aberdeen, Columbia, University of Kentucky, Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro. In 2013, we was awarded an honorary degree from the University of La Plata.

His work published in English includes The Death of Luigi Trastulli and other Stories. Form and Meaning in Oral History (Suny Press, 1991), The Text and the Voice. Writing, Speaking and Democracy in American Literature (Colunbia University Press, 1994), The Battle of Valle Giulia. Oral History and the Art of Dialogue (Winsconsin University press, 1997), The Order has Been Carried Out. History, Memory and Meaning of a Nazi Massacre in Rome (Palgrave, 2003, Oral History Association best book award; originally published as L’ordine è già stato eseguito. Roma, le Fosse Ardeatine, la memoria, 1999, Viareggio Book Prize), I Can Almost See the Lights of Home (Journal of MultiMedia History, Oral History Association award for best non-print work in oral history), They Say in Harlan County: an Oral History (Oxford University Press, 2011; Weatherford Appalachian Book prize; It. translation, America profonda, 2012, Onofri Book Prize).

His work has been translated in several languages, including Spanish, Catalan, Finnish, Portuguese (two collections of his essays have appeared in Brazil and in Portugal).  He has published in many academic journals intellectually and writes regularly for il manifesto daily in Rome, produces radio programs and has edited a number of records based on his field recordings of Italian folk music. His current project is a collection of music and life stories from immigrants to Italy from different parts of the world (We Are Not Gping Back. Migrant Music of Resistance, Memory and Pride, 2016).