Kara A. Peruccio

Humanities Teaching Fellow
Ph.D., University of Chicago, 2020

Kara Peruccio is a scholar of gender and cultural history in the modern Middle East and Mediterranean.  Her teaching and research interests include Modern Middle Eastern History, the 20th-century Mediterranean, and comparative authoritarianisms. She received her PhD from NELC in August 2020.

Her dissertation “Women on the Verge: Emotions, Authoritarianism and the Novel in Italy and Turkey, 1922-1936” is a comparative history of Fascist Italy and Kemalist Turkey. By analyzing novels by Sibilla Aleramo, Grazia Deledda, Suat Derviş, Halide Edip, Maria Messina, and Nezihe Muhiddin, her dissertation explored the relationship between emotions and gender politics in the interwar Mediterranean.  Kara argued that these women novelists responded to and critiqued authoritarian gender politics when writing the themes of romance and heartbreak, age, and motherhood. Often women’s voices are excluded from the national, institutional political archive, and by incorporating creative cultural sources, historians can reassess the experience and effects of Fascist and Kemalist politics. Her article “Bad Romance: Toxic Masculinity, Love, and Heartbreak in Interwar Italian and Turkish Women’s Novels, 1923-32” is forthcoming in Journal of Women’s History.

Kara Peruccio received an MA in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Chicago Center for Middle Eastern Studies (2014) and a BA with Honors in History from Wake Forest University (2011) where she also minored in Italian and Women’s and Gender Studies. Before graduate school, Kara held a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Uşak, Turkey from 2011-12.

Recent & Regularly Taught Courses

  • NEHC 10101: Intro to the Middle East (Spring 2019) 
  • NEHC 20012: Ancient Empires 2 (Autumn 2020)
  • SOSC 12500: Self, Culture, and Society 2 (Winter 2021)