Dr. Antonella Cassia was born in New York City and raised in Rome, Italy. Her dissertation "Saudi Arabia in the German Imagination: Identity, Space and Representation" explored representations of Saudi Arabia in travel literature, pilgrimage accounts of German converts to Islam and the blogs of German expatriate. She is also the founder of Ultimate Language Services, a company providing language instruction, translation and global leadership training. Before coming to the University of Arizona she graduated summa cum laude from the University of Roma Tre (Italy) with a MA in Foreign languages and literature (major in German studies and minor in Scandinavian studies and History of the Mediterranean region). She has also studied at the universities of Osnabrück (Germany), Wien (Austria), TUM, München (Germany), Jordan (Amman), Saint Joseph, Beirut (Lebanon) and Leipzig (Germany) within the joint Arizona-Leipzig Ph.D. program in Transcultural German Studies.
In addition to German and Italian, Antonella Cassia is also fluent in Arabic, French, Swedish, Spanish, and Turkish. She worked in Germany and Austria as Italian language assistant, language instructor, interpreter, translator, and marketing manager, and she was employed in Italy as fundraising manager (Institute for International Relations with the Countries of Africa, Latin America, Middle and Far East), researcher and coordinator of the Euro-Arab press review The Kiosk. An overview on Euro-Arab Press (Mediterranean Universities Union). Before coming to the University of Arizona in 2007, she taught Italian at the University of Minnesota and the Italian Cultural Center, as well as German at the Germanic-American Institute (Twin Cities).
Besides the Graduate Teaching Assistantship and the Professional Development Funds granted by the Department of German Studies (UA), Antonella Cassia received several scholarships, fellowships, and grants: Erasmus, Robert Bosch, STIBET (Stipendien- und Betreuungsprogramm), FLAS (Foreign Language and Area Studies), Max Kade, SWEA (Swedish Women’s Educational Association International), and DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst).
Antonella Cassia has presented at more than fifteen national and international conferences in the US and overseas. Her academic interests cross the fields of cultural, literary and media studies and include: cultural relations between Germany and the Middle East, representation of the Middle East in the German speaking literature and media, travel literature, popular culture in the German speaking world, German-Turkish transnational cinema, minority discourse, postcolonial studies, gender studies, Islam in the European media, cyber-Islamic environments and Muslim public sphere, use of the blogosphere, personal pages, and social network sites among Muslim immigrants living in Germany, migration and diaspora studies, Interreligious Dialogue, and German converts to Islam.