Salvatore TaibiSalvatore Taibi (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) is a PhD candidate in the Italian Department. He received a B.A. in Italian (summa cum laude) from Columbia University and a B.A. in English (double-major: Administration of Justice) from Rutgers University. He is a native of New Jersey, but has had the opportunity to travel extensively and live across the globe, initially venturing out as a result of his service in the United States Marine Corps. His current research focuses on modern Italian literature and cinema, although his academic roots lie in the world of Medieval and Renaissance studies. His seeks to bridge the gap between the two realms and highlight the connections and continuities that exist. At Columbia, his senior honors thesis—“America Was Like a Religion”—focused on Sergio Leone’s ‘Dollars trilogy’ and explored the way Leone introduces and maintains an underlying current of Christian spirituality throughout each of the films, yet at the same time creates a distance between the on-screen narratological world he portrays and organized theology. He was awarded the Medaglia D’oro prize from Columbia University for excellence in Italian Studies and was elected as a member of Phi Beta Kappa.