Lecturer IV of Italian, Coordinator for Italian 231 & 232
She, Her, Hers
Janaya Lasker-Ferretti is the coordinator of Italian 231 and 232, and Italian internships. She has taught in RLL for over five years and has been teaching Italian and humanities courses for over fifteen years. Janaya completed her Ph.D. in Italian Studies at the University of California at Berkeley where she focused on modern Italian Literature and Art history. At Berkeley, she wrote a dissertation on women
futurists and published on Benedetta Cappa Marinetti.
Janaya’s current project deals with incorporating oral history interviews into the language classroom. She has collaborated with the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies at Yale and has had her students transcribe, translate, and annotate one of the testimonies in the archive. She strongly believes in the power of a story and that through the singular story of one person, we can more easily open ourselves up to the worlds unknown to us. She is currently using oral history interviews that are part of the Global Feminisms project at the University of Michigan to teach her students more about feminist and LGBTQ activism in Italy. She has also taught courses on comics and the work of Elena Ferrante.
She is passionate about language teaching and its place in higher education and beyond. She has experience studying, living, and teaching in Italy and believes everyone should spend time abroad if they can.
She, along with a handful of other language instructors at the University of Michigan, is one of the first people in the nation to use GradeCraft (a learning management system based on gameful pedagogy created at University of Michigan) in language learning and teaching. To support her endeavors in
GradeCraft, she has received the Nini and Whittaker grants. Janaya is always interested in innovating the way Italian is taught and bettering the way students learn and become proficient in it. She has also been the recipient of the CRLT Lecturers’ Professional Development grant and a finalist for the Provost’s Teaching Innovation Prize.
Janaya has an espresso machine in her office and is always happy to share an espresso with students,
colleagues, and friends.