Cristina Della Coletta

Dean, Arts and Humanities

Cristina Della ColettaCristina Della Coletta was appointed dean of the Division of Arts and Humanities at UC San Diego in August 2014. As dean, she holds the Chancellor's Associates Chair in Italian Literature. Prior to her arrival at UC San Diego, Della Coletta served as associate dean for humanities and the arts, in the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, at the University of Virginia, where she was also a professor of Italian in the Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese.

She holds a Laurea in Lingue e letterature straniere from the Università di Venezia, Italy, and a master’s degree in Italian from the University of Virginia. She earned her Ph.D. in Italian from UCLA in 1993.  Her research and teaching interests include historical fiction, Italian cinema and film adaptation, women’s and cultural studies, and the use of technology in the humanities.

She is the author of the books “When Stories Travel: Cross-Cultural Encounters Between Fiction and Film” (Johns Hopkins UP 2012); “World’s Fairs Italian-Style: The Great Expositions in Turin and Their Narratives” (Toronto UP, 2006); and “Plotting the Past: Metamorphoses of Historical Narrative in Modern Italian Fiction” (Purdue UP, 1996).  She is completing a digital project entitled “Turin 1911: The World’s Fair in Italy,” which she began under the aegis of a fellowship at the Institute of Advanced Technology in the Humanities (IATH) at the University of Virginia (2009-2011).  She is also working on a book manuscript tentatively entitled “Fascist Spectacles: The Semiotics of Power and the Languages of Dissent During the Fascist Era in Italy (1922-1943).”

In 2006, she was awarded the Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize in Italian Studies for “World’s Fairs Italian-Style.”  She received numerous teaching and mentoring awards, such as the University of Virginia Faculty Mentoring Award in 2012, the UVA Alumni Association Distinguished Professor Award in 2010, and the Horace W. Goldsmith Distinguished Teaching Award in 2005.  She was a visiting professor at the John Hopkins University (2004) and has lectured extensively in the United States and Europe.  Her articles and reviews have appeared in PMLA, MLN, Italica, Rivista di studi italiani, The Italianist, Annali di’Italianistica and Studi novecenteschi, among other journals. 

In her administrative capacity, Della Coletta was a fellow at the Berkeley Institute on Higher Education (2014); the Harvard Institute for Management and Leadership in Education (2013), and the University of Virginia’s Leadership in Academic Matters Program (2009).  In her former role as associate dean of humanities and the arts at the University of Virginia, she spearheaded the creation of the Institute of World Languages and the College’s Interdisciplinary MA Program in European Studies, and contributed to the launching of the Institute of Humanities and Global Cultures.

Della Coletta's PDF CV

News and Events

Dean Della ColettaThe Division of Arts and Humanities took a leading role to secure a $2.59 million grant award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The award supports a joint program with the San Diego Community College District (SDDCD) that helps humanities transfer students transition to UC San Diego—a top 10 public university. According to Dean Cristina Della Coletta, it is the largest foundation award the division has received in support of the humanities.


Dean Della Coletta said on a press release about IAH, By supporting the division's diverse independent programs, IAH elevates the role of arts and humanities on campus through cross-divisional and cross-campus education programs, through centers dedicated to specific regional or cultural studies, and through agile lab-style research collaborations and initiatives focused on multidisciplinary themes."


Dean Cristina Della Coletta is the featured speaker for UC San Diego's Employer Relations First Friday Luncheon which will be held on May 1, 11:30am-1:00 p.m. at the University Club atop Symphony Towers (downtown San Diego). 


Three DeansDean Cristina Della Coletta served as panelist together with SIO Vice Chancellor, Dean and Director Margaret Leinen and Social Sciences Dean Carol Padden for the Social Sciences Supper Club on April 29, 5:00-6:30 p.m. at the Faculty Club.  They talked about  women's leadership in higher education. Highlights in thisweek@ucsandiego.


The Division of Arts and Humanities Public Lecture Series "Cultures, Disparities, Societies: Degrees of Freedom" which began with six of UC San Diego’s finest teachers and scholars is now available on UCTV.


The UCSD Alumni and Cecil Green Faculty Club present Literary Banquets, "Wine and Dine on Flavors of Italy with Dean Cristina Della Coletta" on Feb. 27, 6:00-9:00 p.m. at the Faculty Club.


Cristina Della ColettaMoving from STEM to STEAM by strengthening the role of the arts is the new buzz in education. Cristina Della Coletta hopes to contribute to the “renaissance” of STEAM learning as the new Dean of Arts & Humanities at UCSD in La Jolla Light.


Dean of Arts and Humanities Cristina Della Coletta was a featured speaker during the Alumni Winter Leadership Weekend Board Luncheon at the Faculty Club on February 13 where she presented her thoughts and vision as she begins her tenure at UC San Diego.


The Chancellor's Associates Fellow's Circle Dinner featured Dean of Arts and Humanities Cristina Della Coletta on February 11 at the Ida and Cecil Green Faculty Club (Atkinson Pavilion) where she discussed "Digital Innovation and the Printed Book: The World's Fair Project."


Cristina Della Colettathisweek@ucsandiegofeatures new Dean of Arts and Humanities Cristina Della Coletta.  Learn about her views and perspectives and see an excerpt of her interview.


During its launch on Feb. 6, Arts and Humanities Dean Cristina Della Coletta emphasized on the importance of The Basement. The UCSD Alumni and Community Engagement enterprise has designed the new resource center to inform and educate undergraduate students about the process of starting or joining startup businesses through its three programs: Seekers, Incubator and Accelerator.


Hellenic SocietyThe academic Center for Hellenic Studies was launched to deepen understanding and advance scholarship on Greek history, literature, archaeology and culture. The Hellenic Cultural Society and its members have contributed to the center, including $25,000 from the organization and a $1 million gift from an anonymous donor to encourage and inspire additional support.


Dean Della Coletta's office hours


To schedule an appointment, please call the main line at 858-534-6270 or email dean-ah@ucsd.edu.