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Durham University

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Miss Claudia Dellacasa

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Currently a PhD candidate in Italian Studies and an AHRC Northern Bridge Doctoral Studentship holder, I am working on the intersection between Japanese culture and Italian literature in the second half of the Twentieth century. Main case study of my project is Italo Calvino: this comparative approach aims to shed new light on his mature production, by proposing Calvino's contact with Japan as a fruitful and largely unexplored step in his development of post-Western and post-human coordinates. In the context of my research, in 2019 I was awarded a 3-month AHRC Training Grant to join the activities of the International Research Center for Japanese Studies (Nichibunken) in Kyōto.

My research takes root in my invaluable experience of cataloguing the books stored in Calvino’s personal library in Rome, with the consequent unveiling of several books about Japanese literature and religions. This 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 eighteenth-century texts that may have influenced the author’s prose. 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 part of the newborn Laboratorio Calvino.

I am currently a member of the School of Modern Languages and Culture’s Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team and a postgraduate representative of the School’s Staff-Student Consultative Committee. I also represent postgraduate students in the Modern Humanities Research Association, in which context I am editor of the peer-reviewed journal MHRA Working Papers in the Humanities.

'In 2019 I co-edited a special issue of Bollettino d'Italianistica dedicated to the 60th anniversary of Il barone rampante, to which I contributed with an analysis of Calvino's use of botanical language in that book.

CV (updated May 2019)

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