Allston Burr Assistant Dean of Harvard College, Adams House
I grew up not too far from Boston in Middletown, RI (right next to Newport). In 2012, I completed my PhD here at Harvard in Italian Studies with a secondary field in Critical Media Practice. In addition to my Adams House duties, I also work as a Lecturer in the Italian Section of the Romance Languages and Literatures Department. My biggest area of interest is Italian cinema, and I wrote my dissertation on representations of refuse (yes, garbage) in Italian film from Neorealism to the present.
As I studied cinema, I slowly came to realize that I was also strongly drawn to image-making. I began studying filmmaking in our very own VES department. My first major project was a lyrical non-fiction short about an elderly Sicilian woman suffering from Alzheimer’s (viewable here). I am currently finishing up a documentary about waste (yup, garbage again), consumption and mortality in Venice, Italy and am beginning to plan my next film projects.
In addition to language, travel, film and filmmaking, my interests include snorkeling and SCUBA diving (my wife, Celeste, and I went to Belize for our honeymoon and go to Puerto Rico every chance we get), indoor rock climbing, squash (I was on the team at Vassar, my alma mater) and singing (I was in an a cappella group for awhile). I have been “learning” to play the guitar for about 15 years, but I’m still not very good at it. My favorite TV show of all time is Breaking Bad, and I was bowled over by Season 6 of Game of Thrones (can they really make us wait another year for Season 7?). I speak Italian and Spanish fluently, but my Japanese (I spent a year teaching English in Japan) is pretty rusty.
My wife, Celeste, is from a small village near Toledo, Spain. She completed her PhD in Cognitive Linguistics at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid, Spain and is currently working as a Spanish Preceptor in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. Celeste and I met seven years ago when we were both teaching in RLL for the first time, she in Spanish and I in Italian.
Celeste and I live in Randolph Hall with our son, Luca, who was born December 31st, 2014. At the beginning of this school year, Luca will be one year, eight months old. His favorite movie is Zootopia and his favorite singer is Shakira. He enjoys big, noisy machines, sirens, trucks and motorcycles. He loves interacting with people (in English or Spanish) and making them laugh!