Natasha V. Chang

Commons Dean - Brainerd

Asst. Professor of Italian

 By appointment. Please contact Diane Burnham, the Brainerd Commons Coordinator, at 443-3320 for availability.
 Stewart Hall 216

Natasha came to Middlebury in 2000 and was a member of the faculty until she became dean of Brainerd Commons in 2010. She teaches courses primarily in Italian language, literature, culture, and history. She completed her undergraduate work at Wellesley College, her Master’s degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her doctoral work at Cornell University. As an educator and dean she is committed to the core values of a liberal arts education, and encourages students to think actively and to reflect thoughtfully not only in the academic sphere but also with regard to the personal, social, environmental, and cultural matters that enter their daily lives.

She lives in Addison Vermont with her husband, Timothy Billings, who is a professor at Middlebury in the Department of English and American Literature. Click here to find out more about her personal interests and academic accomplishments:



Course List: 

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

CMLT0301 / GSFS0301 - Cultural History of the Body      

From Deviance to Discipline: A Cultural History of the Body in Late 19th and Early 20th Century Western Europe
In this course students will explore varying modes of constructing the body—the diseased body, the criminal body, the racialized body, the machine body, and more—in late 19th and early 20th century Western Europe. Readings will be framed against the tumultuous historical backdrop of this period, characterized by technological and scientific innovation, the explosive rise of consumer culture, the so-called “scramble for Africa,” and two ravaging world wars. In order to understand the body as a cultural artifact students will closely examine literary, medical, political, and visual primary texts and will draw on secondary materials from such diverse fields as literary criticism, social history, cultural anthropology, and cultural theory. 3 hrs. sem. EUR HIS LIT

Fall 2015

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CMLT0320 / ITAL0320 - Narratives Fascist Past      

Narratives of the Fascist Past: Memory, Forgetting, and the Myth of the Good Italian (In English)
In this course we will examine a troublingly persistent trope in post-fascist Italian culture: the myth of the “Good Italian” or the belief that Italians, benevolent by nature, overwhelmingly opposed the ideals of the fascist regime, protected Jews from deportation, and regularly subverted fascist law. Students will read several key literary texts—Gadda’s That Awful Mess on the Via Merulana, Loy’s First Words, Eco’s The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana, and Lucarelli’s Carte Blanche—alongside academic historiography, popular histories, journalism, and testimonies in order to fully grasp what is at stake in the heated public and scholarly debate over the “Good Italian”. We will consider issues such as the possibility of knowing history through literature, the ethical implications that arise from that possibility, and the narrative mechanisms through which the literary text engages or fails to engage questions of individual and collective accountability. (ENAM 0103 or CMLT 0101 or permission of the instructor) 3 hrs. sem. EUR HIS LIT

Fall 2014

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CMLT0500 - Independent Study      

Independent Study
Approval Required

Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015

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ITAL0352 - Cinema e Letteratura del 900      

Cinema e Letteratura del Novecento: Rappresentazioni dell'Olocausto
In this course we will examine the cinematic and literary representation of the Holocaust in Italian culture. Students will engage in interactive discussions on a variety of literary texts, films, commentaries, testimonies, and theoretical writings. Readings will include works by Giorgio Bassani, Primo Levi, Lorenza Mazzetti, and Liana Millu, and films by such directors as Gillo Pontecorvo, Vittorio De Sica, Francesco Rosi, Roberto Benigni, Andrea & Antonio Frazzi, Ferzan Ozpetek and others. In addition to attending regular class meeting times, students will be expected to attend all film screenings. (ITAL 0252 or waiver) 3 hrs. lect./disc./screens. EUR

Spring 2013

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ITAL0550 - Independent Study      

Independent Study
Italian faculty as a group will consider and approve requests by qualified juniors and seniors to engage in independent work. Students must submit a prospectus that includes a bibliography of no less than five sources. Interested students should contact members of the Italian faculty before the end of the preceding term to discuss their project and to see if they are available to direct the Independent Study. Students must submit a prospectus with the department chair by the end of the first week of classesfor fall and spring term approvals, by the end the last week of fall semesterfor winter term approvals. Prior to submission, sufficient advance consultation with project directors is required.Junior students are strongly encouraged to consider independent study as preparation for senior honors thesis work.

Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Winter 2014, Winter 2015, Winter 2016

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ITAL0755 - Senior Honors      

Students majoring in Italian must complete an independent senior project. Italian faculty as a group will consider and approve the proposals, which should be submitted before the last week of the preceding semester. The senior project will be advised by one member of the Italian department, but will be presented to the whole department. Italian honors will be awarded to eligible students depending on the final grade. (Staff)

Spring 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Winter 2014, Winter 2015, Winter 2016

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