Fulbright Scholar Pamela Pietrucci awarded Research Fellowship

L'Aquila, Italy

L’Aquila, Italy. Photos provided by Pamela Pietrucci.

Pamela PietrucciPamela Pietrucci joined the UW Department of Communication in 2008 as a Fulbright Scholar from Italy, after experiencing other international exchange programs in Spain and Miami. She was recently awarded the Simpson Center’s Digital Humanities Commons Research Fellowship, which sponsors a wide range of cross-departmental research and scholarly conferences for UW faculty and doctoral students.

Pietrucci is researching digital and embodied grassroots activism in post-earthquake L’Aquila, Italy – her hometown.

“The Simpson Center Digital Humanities Research Fellowship, specifically, allows me to develop a web space to collect my dissertation fieldwork, and to publish my scholarly contributions side by side to its related multimedia materials, including video accounts, pictures, and other digital resources,” Pietrucci said. “The project is organized as an online, ‘topographic’ public archive of the oral histories, interviews, memories of the Aquiliani that I have gathered in the last two years of research in post-earthquake L’Aquila.”

The 6.3 magnitude earthquake took place in 2009 when Pietrucci was already in Seattle. It caused massive destruction, claimed 309 people’s lives, and 70,000 residents lost their homes, including Pietrucci’s family.

“Thus, my dissertation and the related digital humanities project aim at exploring how L’Aquila activists and citizens engaged in the processes of re-appropriation of their civic voice, their communal spaces, and the right to participate in making decisions concerning the reconstruction of their own town,” Pietrucci said. “My study, in fact, illustrates how the dramatic changes generated by the earthquake shaped the public modes of protest that activists employed within their material reality of destruction.”

Pietrucci will be defending her dissertation this summer and hopes to start working as a post-doc or Assistant Professor either in the U.S. or in Europe. But she will always remember her time in Seattle.

“I love Seattle, and I really enjoyed my experience at the UW,” she said. “I feel very blessed for the time spent here in the Department of Communication, and for everything I’ve learned from my mentors and my colleagues throughout my grad student years.”