My name is Giulia Evolvi and I am a scholar in religion and media. Here below something about me. And here’s my CV:
My passions are traveling, living in various places, and learning new languages. I am a Lecturer in media&communication in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, at Erasmus University (yes, it’s exactly the same guy who gave the name to the exchange program you did when you were 21 and you barely remember, but was wonderful). I used to be a Research Associate at the Centrum für Religionswissenshaftliche Studien (CERES) and I managed the Religion and Materiality Focus Group for the Käte Hamburger Kolleg project at Ruhr University, in Bochum, Germany. Saying goodbye to Bochum has been made somewhat easier by its brutalist grey beauty and its striking resemblance to Mordor (a term more and more people are actually using to describe the city thank to me, and this makes me feel very proud).
Before the Netherlands/ Germany, I lived all my life in very beautiful places. I was born in Como, in northern Italy, famous among Americans for the vacation home of George Clooney. I moved from the charming lake on the Alps to Venice for my BA in Asian Language and Culture. Being a student in Venice is a unique experience and the city got a special place in my heart for its canals, its antique beauty, and the history you can breathe in every calle (a little less for its frequent and unpredictable flooding). I lived there for five years, doing also an MA in Religious Studies at the University of Padua, which is one of the oldest universities in the world. It is in Padua that I started developing my interest for religion and media, writing a dissertation on the marketing of religion.
During my BA and MA, I also had the opportunity to live abroad in beautiful places. I spent some months in Tokyo studying Japanese and working for the Italian Embassy, which is an ancient building near the famous Tokyo Tower. I worked as an intern for the Press Office and for a brief moment I wanted to become a diplomate, before discovering that I was more interested in communication (and, marginally, karaoke). I also lived in Paris for my Erasmus exchange project, in a very little and very charming apartment near Place de la République. I studied French and attended classes at the Paris Diderot University, and every Friday night I would visit the Louvre until I (almost) saw everything.
After my MA, I took a couple of years to work in the “real world” (and ended being really convinced to go back to academia). I worked in Brussels, Belgium, which is the beating hearth of the European Union. Brussels is a vibrant and diverse city obsessed with French fries and pissing little boys. I complained about the greyness of the weather, but I liked living in my charming mansard near Molenbeek, a part of the city which become sadly known few years later. I worked as Project Officer for two NGOs that advocated for public health, the European Society for Intensive Care Medicine and the European Patients’ Forum. Even if, being hypochondriac, working in the area of public health was sometimes challenging, it was a very valuable experience: I learned a lot about communication and advocacy, and also how to write grants for European Projects.
When I had enough of Belgian beer, I decided to move to beautiful Boulder in Colorado, U.S., a place that, with its 300 days of sun a year, equipped me of all the Vitamin D I lacked from Brussels. Boulder is a European-looking city in the Rocky Mountains where everybody is really friendly, blond, and active. I did a Ph.D. in Media Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder, where I was affiliated with the Center for Media, Religion and Culture, a place where some of the smartest experts in media and religion gather once a week. I wrote a dissertation about how religious blogs in Italy help create discourses about atheism, Islam, and Catholicism that go against what is perceived to be as mainstream culture. While I was writing my dissertation Trump was running for President, and I started joking that I needed to leave the U.S. before he was elected. I got my current job in Bochum, moved to Germany, and saw my jokes about Trump becoming reality (feeling kind of guilty for a while).
Aside from living in beautiful places and meeting interesting people, I love cooking. I am still not convinced if my dissertation defense went very well because of my sound research, or because I smuggled Parmesan cheese from Italy and prepared an Italian lunch for my committee, getting many praises for my famous tiramisu. I am also passionate about dancing, which I have been practicing big part of my life. Now I am focusing on ballet, but in the past I used to dance salsa, bachata, lindy hop, and charleston. Dancing relaxes me and helps me to think about my work, and I also have a half-serious plan about getting into the “Dance Your Ph.D.” competition, for which I already started recording some videos. When I’m not eating or dancing, I love reading novels and writing. If you meet me at talks and conferences, I’m usually the one wearing purple.