Global Humanities Junior Fellow at Freie Universitaet Berlin
March - September 2016
Bodies of glass. A cultural history of transparent humans
Elena Fabietti’s research presents a cultural historical analysis of the transparent human as a figure in literature and culture from Early Modernity to the Twentieth Century. Exploring the ways in which transparent humans are represented throughout European cultural history, she investigates the specific conceptions of the human and its boundaries entailed in its diverse historical inscriptions. Spanning literary, medical, visual, and political sources, her research assembles the composite cultural plot that yields such phenomena as the melancholic glass human in medical and literary Early Modernity, the revival of the myth of Momus in Enlightenment literature, and the visual rhetoric of anatomic models of the glass human as displayed in German Hygiene exhibitions during the 1930s.
Elena Fabietti is currently a PhD candidate at the Humanities Center of Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. After receiving her MA in Italian Literature at the University of Milan, she received a doctoral degree in Comparative Literature and Translation Studies from the University of Siena. Her past research has focused on Erich Auerbach’s critical work and on theories of the poetic image, and she has published several articles in journals and edited volumes on these topics. In 2015 she published a monograph entitled “Immagini figurali. Uno studio sulla poesia di Baudelaire e Rilke.” Her current research foucuses on the cultural history of transparent humans and questions of representation of the body, notions of the human, introspection, and transparency.