Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Dr Stefano Bellin

Stefano Bellin

Leverhulme Early Career Fellow

English and Comparative Literary StudiesLink opens in a new window


Website: opens in a new window

Faculty of Arts Building, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL


I am a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies. Prior to joining the University of Warwick, I worked in the Department of Classics at King’s College London and I was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) at University College London (UCL). My research focuses on how contemporary literature addresses questions of racial and social justice, transcultural memory studies, theories of collective responsibility, and the environmental humanities.

I am currently completing a book that stems from my PhD thesis, The Shame of Being Human: A Philosophical Reading of Primo Levi. The monograph reads the works of the Holocaust survivor, writer, and chemist Primo Levi through the question of the ‘shame of being human’. In so doing, it presents the first book-length investigation of the meaning and ethico-political value of the shame of being human and it challenges the standard humanistic reading of Levi’s work. Arguing that Levi’s works conceive the human as a claim and a commitment, rather than as an epistemically determined reality, I propose a philosophical reading of Levi that simultaneously complicates the image of the Italian writer and connects his works to contemporary debates on posthumanism, power and evil, subject formation, and the political role of emotions.

My Leverhulme project is entitled Global Responsibility: Implicated Subjects and the Shame of the World and it explores how contemporary literature can help us to develop a theoretical framework that enhances our understanding of global responsibility. ‘Global’ stands here both for worldwide and comprehensive: it draws attention to our global relations of interdependency and to the complex networks of actions and inactions that create the conditions of possibility for large-scale violence and discrimination. Focusing on literary case studies that illuminate three of the most consequential forms of global injustice (colonialism, border violence, and ecological disaster), I investigate how literature might motivate us to recognise our implicated position in systemic forms of oppression.

Research interests

Comparative Literature, Contemporary World Literature (with a particular focus on issues of social justice, war, memory, and migration), Theories of Collective Responsibility, Critical Race Theory, The Black Mediterranean, Environmental Humanities, Shame, Primo Levi

Selected publications


The Shame of Being Human: A Philosophical Reading of Primo Levi (Peter Lang - Italian Modernities Series; forthcoming)

Edited Books

Levi Beyond Levi: Postcritical Engagements with Primo Levi's Work (ed. by Stefano Bellin and Simone Ghelli), Liverpool University Press, forthcoming)

Special Journal Issues

Italy’s Multidimensional Forgetting: Narratives, Contested Memories, and Solidarity, (co-edited with Guido Bartolini), Italian Culture, 42:2 (Fall 2024).

Feeling Implicated: Affect, Responsibility, Solidarity (double special issue co-edited by Stefano Bellin, Jennifer Noji, Michael Rothberg, and Arielle Stambler), Parallax, forthcoming (December 2023 and March 2024)

Literature and Global Responsibility: Narratives, Questions, and Challenges, Literature Compass (December 2023)

Rethinking the Human-Animal Relation: New Perspectives in Literature and Theory (co-edited by Stefano Bellin, Kevin Inston, and Florian Mussgnug), Paragraph, Edinburgh University Press, vol. 42, no.1 (2019).

Book chapters
  • 'Israele', in Primo Levi, ed. by Alberto Cavaglion (Rome: Carocci, 2023).
  • 'Il potere della verità: esame interiore e parrêsia ne I sommersi e i salvati', in Letteratura e potere. Atti del XXIV Congresso Nazionale dell'Associazione degli Italianisti (Rome: ADI editore, 2023).
  • ‘«Es suficiente no mirar, no escuchar, no hacer nada»: Primo Levi, la práctica de lo humano y la
    vergüenza de ser un hombre’, in Primo Levi (1919-2019): Memoria y Escritura, ed. by Elisa Martínez
    Garrido (Madrid: Escolar y Mayo, 2021).
  • ‘«Meglio non essere nati»: la corrente tragica nell’opera di Primo Levi’, in «Scolpitele nel vostro cuore».
    Primo Levi a cento anni dalla sua nascita’, ed. by Maria Antonietta Garullo, Paolo Rigo, and Laura
    Toppan (Rome: Ensemble, 2020), pp. 155-176.
  • ‘Primo Levi e Franz Kafka’, in Innesti: Primo Levi e i libri altrui, ed. by Gianluca Cinelli and Robert S.
    C. Gordon (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2020), pp. 287-303.
Journal articles
  • 'Born Implicated: The Black Mediterranean, Affects, and Political Responsibility', Parallax, 30:1 (accepted, out in March 2024)
  • 'Literature and Global Responsibility: Narratives, Questions, and Challenges', Literature Compass (2023).
  • 'Disorienting Empathy: Reimagining the Global Border Regime through Mohsin Hamid's Exit West', Literature Compass (2022)
  • ‘The Crux of Violence: Unheimlich Encounters and PTSD in Santiago Roncagliolo’s Red April’,
    Close Encounters in War Journal, vol. 3 (2020), pp. 45-69.
  • ‘Embracing Uncertainty: Primo Levi’s Politics of the Human’, Paragraph, vol. 42, no.1 (2019), pp.
  • ‘Primo Levi and Franz Kafka: An Unheimlich Encounter’, Ticontre. Teoria, testo, traduzione, vol. 6
    (2016), pp. 139-159.
  • ‘The Wound and the Hope: Primo Levi’s Troubled Relationship with Israel’, NeMLA Italian Studies,
    vol. 37 (2015), pp. 71-96.
  • Implication (2021). Featuring: Michael Rothberg, Brian Klaas, Jennifer Ferng, Maya Goodfellow, and Alexis Shotwell. Hosts: Nicolla Miller and Stefano Bellin. Music by Fuubutsishi and Fingerspit.


  • PhD, University College London (UCL), Comparative Literature
  • MA, Goldsmiths, University of London, Contemporary Art Theory
  • MA, Università degli Studi di Padova, Philosophy
  • BA, Università degli Studi di Padova, Philosophy