Alessia Palanti is a PhD candidate in the Department of Italian and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, and was Graduate Fellow at the Institute for Research on Women’s Gender and Sexuality this past academic year, responsible for programming events and activist initiatives at Columbia related to gender and sexuality. Her dissertation explores female queer discourse in contemporary Italy through the deployment of space(s) in 21st century female directed films. After teaching Italian language for two years, she taught Intro to Women’s and Gender Studies to Columbia and Barnard students; she co-taught Columbia’s Literature and Humanities Core Curriculum at Taconic Correctional Facility for women in Bedford Hills, NY; and in the fall she will be teaching a gender and sexuality themed writing course at Columbia University. Outside Columbia she’s been a consultant for the United Nation Women’s HeForShe Initiative, for a project that investigates gender bias in cinema. She co-curated an American independent film showcase, “American Fringe,” for Paris’s 2016 Festival D’Automne; and she was one of five selection committee members, co-programmer, and co-curator of the Rome Film Festival in 2015. Alessia is also a contemporary dancer/choreographer in New York City committed to moving and creating in spaces with feminist and queer political agendas.