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Emma joined the sub-faculty as Professor of Italian and Comparative Studies in 2022. She is Tutorial Fellow of Italian at St Hugh’s College, and Lecturer at New College and Oriel College. She studied at Edinburgh and Oxford and, following postdoctoral positions at Oxford and Warwick, taught at the University of St Andrews between 2013 and 2022.



Emma teaches on all aspects of 20th and 21st century Italian literature and culture for both Prelims and FHS. She is particularly interested in studying Italian cultures from transnational and comparative perspectives, and in interrogating the legacies of empire and colonialism in contemporary literary and visual cultures.


Research interests

Emma has published widely on border and migration literatures and transnational studies. Her first monograph, Disrupted Narratives: Illness, Silence and Identity in Svevo, Morandini and Pressburger (2012) used psychoanalytic literary models to examine the unique narrative function of illness in Triestine literature. Her second monograph, Writing Migration through the Body (2018), brought together body studies, mobility studies, memory studies and critical theories of migration and diaspora to shed new theoretical light on corpus of recent migration stories in Italian. Emma has also published five co-edited volumes on Freud and Italian culture (2009), cultural connections between Italy and Albania (2013), representations of migration in contemporary Italian media and narrative (2015), the Sicilian author Goliarda Sapienza (2016) and legacies of empire and slavery in Scottish museums (2022). Her third monograph, Curating Worlds: Museum Practices in Contemporary Literature is under contract with Northwestern University Press and will be published in Autumn 2024. 


Emma’s research has been supported by funding from the British Academy, the Leverhulme Trust, the Carnegie Trust and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. She has enjoyed fellowships at the British School at Rome, the School of Advanced Study (University of London), the Bogliasco Foundation, and the Wolfsonian FIU. In 2019 she was awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize in Languages and Literatures. Emma co-edits the ‘Transnational Italian Cultures’ book series for Liverpool University Press, and edits the Comparative Literature section of the open access digital journal Modern Languages Open. She holds the Research Portfolio for the Society for Italian Studies (2019-2025).


Emma welcomes enquiries from prospective graduate students interested in modern and contemporary Italian literature and culture. 


Selected Publications