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Durham University

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Ms Martina Pala, BA (L'Aquila), MA (Siena)

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I completed my BA in Modern Literature cum laude at the University of L'Aquila with a thesis on the female characters in Carlo Cassola's novels. I then obtained a Distiction in my Master's Degree in Philology and Literary Criticism at the University of Siena with a thesis on the influence of Goffredo Parise's narrative on his journalism. During my MA I spent a year at King's College London as part of the Erasmus+ programme. I am currently pursuing a PhD in Italian Studies at the School of Modern Languages and Cultures funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council's Northern Bridge scholarship.

Research Project

My research project analyses the conceptualisation of gender in Elsa Morante, Anna Banti and Natalia Ginzburg’s novels, with the aim of shedding light on the contradiction between their declared rejection of feminism and their engagement with women in their narratives. The project will conduct a comparative analysis that draws both on post-structuralist gender theory and the study of narrative techniques. It will offer a unique approach to the analysis of the conceptualisation of gender by these authors and its findings will serve to investigate the feminist underpinnings in the works of post-war, Italian women writers. 

Research Interests

  • 20th century Italian literature
  • Gender Studies
  • Italian Neorealism
  • Italian women writers
  • Resistance in Italian literature

Is supervised by

Selected Grants

  • 2018: AHRC Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership Scholarship covering tuition fees and full maintenance for three years
  • 2017: Full Erasmus+ Research and Study Grant
  • 2016: University of L'Aquila Merit Study Grant covering tuition fees