I teach a variety of authors and topics in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Italian literary cultur. These include Contemporary Italian Literature, Nineteenth-century Italian Literature, Twentieth-century Italian Poetry, Core Issues in the Comparative Study of European Literature, The Literature of the Fantastic.
I have supervised MA and PhD theses on the following topics:
(A) Modern Italian poetry, especially theses focussing on issues of form, language, and style.
(B) Nineteenth- and twentieth-century fiction (in particular, the fantastic mode or genre and historical fictional narratives), especially theses focussing on issues of gender and/or forms of linguistic experimentalism.
(C) The operators and cultural institutions that control the dissemination of foreign culture in translation and the processes of canon-formation, especially theses focussing on the role played by translation in the modernization of Italian literary forms.
My main research interest is modern Italian poetry, especially the interplay between tradition and experimentalism with form and language(s). My interests also include the reception of Guido Cavalcanti's work in 19th-c. European poetry, poetic translation in contemporary Italy, the literature of the fantastic, and the theory of comparative literature and of plurilingualism. I have completed a monograph on the Italian trilingual poet Amelia Rosselli, which investigates her use of European sources in her trilingual oeuvre, and I am currently engaged in two research projects:
(A)A Stylistic Study of Anna Maria Ortese's Non-Realist Fiction
(B)The Modernist Canon in Translation and the Italian Publishing Industry: Einaudi, Feltrinellu, Guanda and Scheiwiller 1940s-1970s
I have co-organized the following international conferences:
with Dr Daniela Caselli (University of Manchester):
Value and Visibility: Twentieth-Century Poetic Translations in English and Italian Cultures (IGRS, School of Advanced Studies, London, 10 and 11 September 2004)
Meneghello: Fiction, Scholarship, Passione civile (MERL Reading, and Italian Culture Institute London, 13 and 14 June 2008).
La dinamica delle fonti nella poesia trilingue di Amelia Rosselli (Rome: Carocci, 2009)
Daniela Caselli and Daniela La Penna (eds), Twentieth-Century Poetic Translation: Literary Cultures in Italian and English. London and New York: Continuum, 2008. ISBN 184706003X
Journal Articles and Chapters in Books
'Historicizing Value, Negotiating Visibility: English and Italian Poetic Canons in Translation'. In D. Caselli, D. La Penna (eds), Twentieth-Century Poetic Translation: Literary Cultures in Italian and English. London and New York: Continuum, 2008, 1-22. ISBN 184706003X
'An Inquiry into Modality and Genre: Re-Considering L'Iguana by Anna Maria Ortese' in F. Billiani and G. Sulis (eds), The Italian Gothic and Fantastic: Encounters and Rewritings of Narrative Traditions. Madison: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2007, 160-187. ISBN: 9780838641262
'Enunciazione, simulazione di parlato e norma scritta. Ricognizioni tematiche e stilistico-linguistiche su La ferita dell'aprile di Vincenzo Consolo'', in G. Adamo (ed.), La parola scritta e pronunciata. Nuovi saggi sulla narrativa di Vincenzo Consolo, Lecce: Manni, 2006, 13-49. ISBN: 8881768615
'Between Tradition and Experiment: the Cinema of Giuseppe M. Gaudino and Edoardo Winspeare'. In: Hope, W. (ed.), Italian Cinema: New Directions, Berne: Peter Lang, 2004, 175-197. ISBN 3-03910-282-6
'La metafora ventosa nella poesia di Amelia Rosselli' in E. Tandello (ed.), Amelia Rosselli: Una delle voci piu' significative del '900. Special Issue of Trasparenze (vols. 17-19). Genoa: San Marco dei Giustiniani, 2003, 309-322. ISBN 8874940203