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
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,
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.
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.
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.