• 2002: PhD in “Le forme del narrare: testi, critica, teoria e generi a confronto”, Faculty of Humanities, UniTN
  • 1998: Degree in English language and literature, University of Bologna.
  • 1997: Master of Arts in Women and Literature, University of Hull (UK)
Academic career and teaching activities



  • 2002: PhD in “Le forme del narrare: testi, critica, teoria e generi a confronto”, Faculty of Humanities, UniTN
  • 1998: Degree in English language and literature, University of Bologna.
  • 1997: Master of Arts in Women and Literature, University of Hull (UK)
Research interests


  • Fictional psychiatric pathography and representations of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in literature and cinema
  • Narrative empathy; narrative medicine
  • Culture and illness; culture and care
  • Music and literature; intermediality in literature
  • Cultural periodicals; women’s/feminist magazines
  • Feminist theories/literature and women’s/lesbian literature; contemporary literature in English
Research work

Trauma – Ilness – Emotions & Narration


Literary texts and narration can be considered as hermeneutical and methodological instruments, which can help us comprehend and manage individual and social traumas and conflicts, and can foster inclusion and respect of differences.

Focusing on literary and cultural representations of traumatic events or experiences (such as illness, violence against women, culture clash, marginalisation, or prejudice), this area of research includes the analysis of i. emotions associated with trauma and conflict (fear, anger, pain, shame, helplessness, but also hope, trust, empathy, self-power, and resilience); ii. the strategies for employing literary texts and narrations, in order to promote inclusiveness and respect of differences, build empathy, and enhance narrative and transversal competences; and iii. the professional and educational contexts (healthcare system, university, school, social work, etc.) in which literature can be used for creating inclusive environments, for gaining insight into emotions and stories of trauma and illness, and for developing narrative and transversal competences.


Research directions

- Dementia in English Literatures and Cultures: This research line aims at i. analysing the strategies through which fiction (novels, short stories, poems, plays, films, graphic novels, etc.) portray the neurological disorders, memory loss, or cognitive deficits commonly associated with Alzheimer’s disease; and ii. exploring if and how narratives can be employed for enhancing empathy, gaining insight, and improving wellbeing in dementia caregiving, healthcare and research contexts.

- Stories of Mental Illness: An Interdisciplinary Perspective: For centuries the art of telling stories has been used for representing the complexity of the human mind and identity, and for making sense of the inner chaos and psycho-physical disruption caused (in patients and caregivers) by illness. From this point of view, the literary-cultural discourse and the medical-scientific one are complementary: they attempt to bring order, continuity, and insight.

This line of research is aimed at i. exploring the potentialities of this complementarity between literary and medical-scientific narration; and ii. employing narratives for fostering communication skills and transversal competences in professional, scientific research and caregiving contexts.

- Gender & Cultural and Literary Representations in English: Woman and lesbian writers in English from the nineteenth century to today, woman and lesbian culture and literature, and cultural representations of gender and of sexual orientation are explored within the feminist and queer theoretical frameworks.

This research line is twofold: i. it aims at re-reading and deconstructing the mainstream literary canon and cultural representations, by throwing light on the gaps and silences of the (patriarchal and heterosexist) mainstream culture; ii. its purpose is to re-write alternative canons by giving voice and visibility to the work of ‘marginal’ writers or artists.

- Didactics of Literature & Inclusive Didactics: Within the theoretical framework of inclusive didactics and respect of differences (as far as gender, sexual orientation, culture, or language are concerned), this research line follows two tracks. On the one hand, it focuses on the role of literature in producing, transmitting and consolidating gender stereotypes, by illuminating the blind spots and anachronisms in textbooks, anthologies, and literature for children and young learners. On the other, its objective is to analyse and design teaching strategies for re-writing school and academic textbooks, and for involving students, through literature, in a critical reflection on mainstream models of masculinity and femininity.

Memberships in societies and scientific committees
  • ·Director of the Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Innovation and Quality of Didactics (LIQuID), UniTN (director)
  • Master (first level) in “Diversity Management: Inclusion and Equity”, UniTN
  • Centre of Interdisciplinary Gender Studies, UniTN (member of the board)
  • Centro Studi Medical Humanities del Dipartimento di Filologia Classica e Italianistica dell’Alma Mater Studiorum, Università di Bologna
  • International Research Group “Escritoras y Escrituras”, directed by prof. Mercedes Arriaga Flórez, University of Seville (Spain)
  • member of the scientific committee of the journal RAUDEM. Revista de Estudios de las Mujeres.
  • member of the scientific committee of Revista Internacional de Culturas y Literaturas.
  • Associazione Italiana di Anglistica (AIA) e ‘European Association of English Studies’ (ESSE).
  • Associazione Nazionale Docenti di Anglistica (ANDA).
  • Associazione Italiana di Studi sulle Culture e Letterature di Lingua Inglese (AISCLI).
  • Integrating Content and Language in Higher Education (ICLHE)
Awards and honours
  • 2017–present: P.I. of the LIQuID project (Laboratorio Interdisciplinare per la Qualità e l’Innovazione Didattica), ffunded by the UniTN 2017-21 Strategic Plan.
  • 2019: Winner of the call for projects of Short Term Programs for International Students, UniTN 2017-21 Strategic Plan, with the project “International Summer School in Psychological Humanities and Cognitive Science”.
  • PRIN 2017: “Constructions of Parenting on Insecure Grounds: What Role for Social Work? (CoPInG). ERC subject: SH - Social Sciences and Humanities. P.I.: Silvia Nicoletta Fargion. Role: member of the UniTN Research Unit.
  • 2017: Coordinator (with Alessia Donà and Barbara Poggio, Centre of Interdisciplinary Gender Studies, UniTN) of “Indovina chi c’è in famiglia? Ciclo di seminari su stereotipi di genere e famiglie oggi”, which was indicated in the ANVUR-VQR 2011-2014 Report as one of the three public-engagement good practices of Italian universities (Rome, 21 February 2017:, min. 2:05:00).
  • 2014: AIA BOOK PRIZE FOR ENGLISH STUDIES 2014 (English Culture – senior category) to “‘The im/possible burden of sisterhood’. Donne, femminilità e femminismi in ‘Spare Rib. A Women’s Liberation Magazine’”, Editrice Università degli Studi di Trento, 2012
  • PRIN 2007: "Riscritture novecentesche tra traduzioni e ricezione delle letterature europee e classiche nei periodici letterari italiani: banca dati e studi”. P.I.: Giuseppe Savoca. Role: member of the UniTN Research Unit
  • PRIN 2005: “La funzione antologica delle riviste nella poesia del Novecento: indici informatici, Data Base, bibliografia, studi”. P.I.: Giuseppe Savoca. Role: member of the UniTN Research Unit
  • 2001-2002: Research grant “Progetto Giovani Ricercatori”. Title of the research project: Ri-letture e ri-scritture di fiabe: tradizione e innovazione nelle opere di scrittrici contemporanee di lingua inglese
  • 1993-1994: 12-month Erasmus grant, University of Hull, UK
Conferences and lectures
  • September 22-24, 2020: “Nella tana del coniglio: la persistenza dell’Io nelle narrazioni fittizie dell’Alzheimer”, International Conference ‘1920-2020: un secolo di parole e immagini per raccontare l'amnesia’, The Carlo Bo University of Urbino (postponed to 2021 due to the outbreak of the Covid-19)
  • June 9-12, 2020: “Whose Memories? Whose Life? Whose Healing? Telling and Reading Relational Life Stories of Dementia”, XII IABA TURKU 2020 Conference in Turku, Finland (postponed to 2022 due to the outbreak of the Covid-19)
  • November 10-12, 2020: seminar (invited) “Insegnare l’immobile attesa: il ruolo della humanities e delle arti nella gestione del trauma”, Civitas Educationis. Visioni, Sensi, Orizzonti. Festival of the Faculty of Classical, Linguistic and Education Studies, The Kore University of Enna
  • February 27-29, 2020: “Teaching through English as L2 at the University of Trento” (with Chiara Polli), International Conference ‘Translation, Inclusivity, and Educational Settings’, University of Naples “L’Orientale” (talk cancelled due to the outbreak of the Covid-19)
  • January 16, 2020: “Didattica in inglese all’Università di Trento” (with Chiara Polli), Seminar ‘Internazionalizzazione e didattica in inglese: quali obiettivi, strumenti e prospettive per l’università?’, UniTN.
  • February 7–9, 2020: “Down the Rabbit Hole: Tales of Nonsense and Wonder from the Land of Dementia”, British Society of Aesthetics Conference: Art, Aesthetics and the Medical/Health Humanities, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK
  • October 17, 2019: roundtable talk (invited) “La voce nel dialogo interculturale”, University of Trento
  • September 6, 2019: “Nothing but a Pack of Neurons? The Fictional Life of Dying Neural Cells in Dementia Stories”, AIA CONFERENCE, Padova
  • November 27-28, 2018: conference talk (invited) “‘The story was the price you paid for the rhythm’: Dancing, Rhythm, and Groove in Zadie Smith’s ‘Swing Time’”, International conference ‘Voice and Silence. The Use of Sound in Contemporary Women’s Writing’, University of Palermo
  • November 12-14, 2018: “‘Enigma. Illusione. Donna?’: il dibattito sulla femminilità in ‘La passione della nuova Eva’ di Angela Carter”, International Conference ‘Voci maschili e femminili tra Italia ed Europa nella Querelle des Femmes’, Universty of Seville, Spain
  • October 3, 2018: roundtable talk (invited) “La natura aborre il vuoto”…e le arti? , conference ‘Chi ha paura del Novecento? Antidoti musicali all’horror vacui’, UniTN
  • April 12-13, 2018: conference talk (invited) “‘A child of the sun’: The Limits of Empathy in Katherine Mansfield’s short fiction”, International Conference ‘The Rewriting of the Literary Canon in English’, University of Salamanca, Spain
  • December 11-13, 2017: “‘M’insegna l’immobile attesa’: Donne fuori dal canone nelle narrazioni dell’Alzheimer”, International Conference ‘Assenze. La ricostruzione del canone letterario in Europa e le scrittrici’, University of Seville, Spain
  • May 29-31, 2017: “‘La poesia non è un lusso’: le poesie di Audre Lorde in Italia e in Spagna”, Interdisciplinary and International Seminar ‘Las Ineditas’, University of Salamanca, Spain
  • December 12-14, 2016: “L’autobiografia ai margini del romanzo – Il romanzo ai margini dell’autobiografia: ‘Non ci sono solo le arance’ e ‘Perché essere felice quando puoi essere normale?’ di Jeanette Winterson”, XIII International Conference of the Research Group Escritoras y Escrituras, University of Seville, Spain
  • November 4-5, 2016: (invited) “Mi chiamano scapestrata! Che possono sapere…”: ritratto in chiaroscuro di Radclyffe Hall, International Conference ‘Una solitudine controversa: rileggere Radclyffe Hall’, University of Bologna, Salaborsa Library of Bologna, International Festival Gender Bender
  • April 18-20, 2016: “Fictional Representations of the Alzheimer’s Brain: Lisa Genova’s ‘Still Alice’ and Samantha Harvey’s ‘The Wilderness’”, International conference ‘Broken Narratives and the Lived Body’, Monash University, Prato Centre