About the Author

John Champagne (1960) was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After attending three different undergraduate schools, he finally finished his degree and is now a proud graduate of the Thomas Hunter Honors Program, where he studied with Louise DeSalvo and Audre Lorde and completed his first novel The Blue Lady's Hands , 1988. He subsequently received an MA in Film Studies from New York University and a PhD in Critical and Cultural Studies from the University of Pittsburgh.

Champagne’s work traverses a variety of genres, including Italian studies, fiction, literary nonfiction, cultural criticism, and poetry. Dividing his time between Erie, where he is a professor of English at Penn State, and Perugia, he is married to Richard Krone.

Queer Ventennio

Publisher: Peter Lang
Paperback – October 15, 2019

Examining the life and work of three Italian artists of the fascist years – writer Giovanni Comisso; poet and painter Filippo de Pisis; painter Corrado Cagli – Queer Ventennio explores the competing ways in which male homoeroticism was understood in Italy in the years between the world wars. Seeking to interrupt the narrative that understands “our” modern sexuality as a historical shift from a concern with acts to identities, it examines the ways in which these artists turned to myth and the classical past to understand their erotic attachments to other men. The fact that fascism also turned to the past for inspiration complicates attempts to identify an Italian fascist aesthetic and reminds us that modernism itself was haunted by a variety of investments in the so-called primitive.

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Published Works

In addition to two novels and four scholarly monographs, Champagne has published academic essays, personal narrative, and poems in both anthologies and literary and scholarly journals.

Reviews & Citations

Champagne’s work has been reviewed in such venues as TLS, Modernism/modernity, and gender/sexuality/Italy. For a list of Champagne’s citations, see the complete Google Scholar page.

Books and Novels

Queer Ventennio


Italian Masculinity as Queer Meolodrama


Aesthetic Modernism and Masculinity in Fascist Italy


The Ethics of Marginality


When the Parrot Boy Sings


The Blue Ladys Hands