Rachele Dini

Literary and Cultural Studies Scholar

 

About

I am a twentieth-century and contemporary literary and cultural studies scholar based in London (UK). My areas of expertise include waste studies, the politics and representation of housework, post-1945 US literature, mid-century US culture, and the history of advertising. I also write about the politics of nostalgia.

Having been raised between the US and Italy, and having now lived in the UK for twenty years, I am especially interested in the social construction of national identity. 

 

Projects

Cleaning in Crisis

(In progress)

This project examines the influence of moments of socio-political unrest (including but not limited to the environmental movement of the 1960s, Second-Wave feminism, the economic crises of the 1970s, the 1980s AIDS crisis, and the 2007-2009 global financial crisis) on the depiction of domestic cleaning in British and American popular culture. I am analysing hundreds if not thousands of cleaning product ads, appliance ads, and television sitcoms and soap operas produced in this period, to understand how the notion of the "clean home" changed in response to specific anxieties and fears.

Postmillennial Nostalgia

(In progress)

This project examines the rise of the mid-century period television drama and the renewed popularity, since the early 2000s, of materials, colours, and styles associated with mid-century fashion and interior design. Why have mid-century vintage ads and consumer goods become so popular? What does their popularity say about our own time? And what are the dangers of assuming the recent past was a halcyon place?

"All-Electric" Narratives: Time-Saving Appliances in American Literature, 1945-2020

(Bloomsbury, 2021)

This book examines how US writers since the Second World War have engaged with the shifting gendered, racial, and class connotations of domestic appliances. In it, I demonstrate how writers engaged with the meanings of domestic electrification and the idea of "time saving" to either challenge or uphold particular ideas about home, family, and nation--and that literary appliances ended up changing the literary spaces as much as their real-life counterparts changed the domestic space.

Consumerism, Waste, and Re-use in Twentieth-century Fiction: Legacies of the Avant-Garde

(Palgrave Macmillan, 2016)

My first book examined the depiction of waste and human beings deemed worthless in the work of Anglo-American and European novelists influenced by Surrealism including André Breton, Mina Loy, Giorgio de Chirico, Samuel Beckett, Donald Barthelme, J.G. Ballard, and Don DeLillo. The book argues that recuperating waste is the preeminent means by which twentieth-century writers challenged capitalism consumerism.

Cleaning in Crisis

(In progress)

This project examines the influence of moments of socio-political unrest (including but not limited to the environmental movement of the 1960s, Second-Wave feminism, the economic crises of the 1970s, the 1980s AIDS crisis, and the 2007-2009 global financial crisis) on the depiction of domestic cleaning in British and American popular culture. I am analysing hundreds if not thousands of cleaning product ads, appliance ads, and television sitcoms and soap operas produced in this period, to understand how the notion of the "clean home" changed in response to specific anxieties and fears.

 

Education

September 2011 - September 2015

PhD UCL

September 2009 - September 2011

MA King's College London

September 2000 - July 2005

BA (Hons) New Hall College, University of Cambridge

 

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