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Durham University

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Miss Claudia Dellacasa

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PhD candidate in Italian Studies and AHRC Northern Bridge Doctoral Studentship holder, I am currently working on the intersections between Japanese culture and Italian literature in the second half of the Twentieth century. Focusing on comparative and transnational approaches, my doctoral project aims to analyse these fruitful and largely unexplored intercultural crossovers and to identify their literary influences in the production of authors such as Italo Calvino, Dacia Maraini, Antonio Tabucchi and Goffredo Parise. In November 2017 I had the opportunity to discuss my research at the Society for Italian Studies Postgraduate Conference Cross-Cultural Encounters (University of Bristol). 

The project takes root in my invaluable experience of cataloguing the books stored in Italo Calvino’s personal library in Rome. The unveiling of several books about Japanese literature and religions led me to investigate the presence of Japanese aesthetics in Calvino’s mature production, and then in the production of other Italian authors that visited Japan and wrote about it – as Calvino himself did – exploring its culture and elaborating its literature. 

The cataloguing experience was linked to my MA thesis about the linguistic structure of Calvino’s novel Il barone rampante, in which context I was seeking to identify XVIII century texts that may have influenced the author’s prose. In June 2017, I was invited to give a paper based on this linguistic work at the international conference commemorating the 60th anniversary of the novel’s release, organised by Geneva’s Faculté des Lettres, Unité d’Italien. The paper is going to be published in the forthcoming conference proceedings. 

My previous BA thesis was a linguistic work as well, which tried to approach Calvino’s Le città invisibili with the tools of a lexical, syntactical and structural comment. During both my MA (in Modern Philology) and BA (in Modern Literature) I was based at La Sapienza University of Rome, where I am still part of the working group on Italo Calvino coordinated by Professor Laura Di Nicola. 

I have also written an article on religion in the Italian late modernist writer Carlo Emilio Gadda, which is currently under consideration with the peer-reviewed ‘Edinburgh Journal of Gadda Studies’. I am also very interested in Italian subversive author Luciano Bianciardi, whose work I am going to analyse during the next Society for Italian Studies Themed Conference Resistance in Italian Culture: Literature, Film and Politics (University of Sussex, 05-05/04/2018), investigating the conflicting relationship between this writer and the Italian publishing industries. 

In parallel with my research interests, I am currently a member of the School of Modern Languages and Culture’s Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team and Postgraduate representative of the School’s Staff-Student Consultative Committee.

CV (updated November 2017)

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