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Professor Fabio A. Camilletti



Tel: +44 (0)24 761 51427

Fourth Floor, Faculty of Arts Building
Email: F dot Camilletti at warwick dot ac dot uk

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Professor Camilletti joined Warwick in 2010. He studied in Pisa (University of Pisa, BA, MA in Modern Literary Studies, 1998-2002; Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, diploma in Philology and Modern Literary Studies, 1998-2003), Oxford (visiting student, 2001-2002), and Paris (Paris Sorbonne, DEA in French and Comparative Literature; École Normale Supérieure, visiting student 2002-2003). He holds a PhD in Philology and Modern Literary Studies from the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa and the university of Paris Sorbonne (2003-2006) and a second PhD in Italian Studies from the University of Birmingham (2007-2011); in 2008-2010 he was Postdoctoral Fellow in Literature, Art History and Psychoanalysis at the Berlin Institute for Cultural InquiryLink opens in a new window. He held visiting positions at the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa (visiting scholar, Fall term 2012-13), IULM Milan (Visiting Professor, first semester 2021-22), and the Università del Piemonte Orientale (Visiting Professor, second semester 2021-22). In 2024-25, he will be holding a Visiting Fellowship at the Institute of Languages, Cultures, and Societies, School of Advanced Studies, University of London, working on project Dante and Ouija Board.

Research interests

Professor Camilletti's specialism is late-modern and contemporary Italian literature and culture (18th-21st centuries). His research is characterized by a strongly comparative outlook and a distinct interest in theory (intertextuaity, theories of 'Spectrality'). He is also a professional translator from the English and French.

His research is articulated around three main research clusters:

Italian and Comparative Romanticism(s)

Professor Camilletti extensively published on Leopardi, Manzoni, and the Classicist/Romantic quarrel of 1816-27. His second book, Classicism and Romanticism in Italian Literature: Leopardi's Discourse on Romantic PoetryLink opens in a new window (London: Pickering & Chatto, 2013) was the principal output of the BA-funded project The Classicist/Romantic Quarrel in Bourbon Restoration Italy, 1816-1827 (2011-14) and included the first complete English translation of Leopardi’s Discorso di un italiano intorno alla poesia romantica. In December 2013 he published his third monograph, Leopardi's Nymphs: Grace, Melancholy, and the UncannyLink opens in a new window (Oxford: Legenda), analyzing Leopardi’s cantos of 1828-29 as the outcome of Leopardi’s ongoing reflection on memory and the haunting survival of antiquity. Alongside the already mentioned BA grant, professor Camilletti also led three Warwick internally funded projects in this area: the Nineteenth-century Research Seminar Series (2011-12), the research network 1816: Trans-cultural Crossings in Post-Revolutionary Europe (2014-15), and the event series Mesmerized!(2017). He has an ongoing history of collaboration with the Laboratorio Leopardi in Rome, the Leopardi at Oxford network, and the Leopardi Centre in Birmingham, where he co-organizes yearly study days. He is part of the Scientific Committee of journal Leopardiana and of the editorial committee of journal Appunti leopardiani.

His most recent publication is the monograph Manzoni gotico. Tre itinerari illegali ne 'I promessi sposi' He has also completed a project the semantics of fear in Leopardi’s oeuvre, forming the backbone of a forthcoming volume of the open access Lessico leopardiano series (Sapienza Università Editrice, Rome).

Dante’s literary afterlife

Since the early 2000s, professor Camilletti widely investigated the translations and rewritings of Dante's Vita Nova in European literatures from the 1840s to WWI. He later had the opportunity to work on Dante’s twentieth-century metamorphoses during his postdoctoral fellowship in Berlin, in the framework of which he co-organized the international conference Metamorphosing Dante (2009) and co-edited the proceedings (Metamorphosing Dante. Appropriations, Manipulations, and Rewritings in the Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries, ed. by Manuele Gragnolati, Fabio Camilletti, and Fabian Lampart (Vienna-Berlin: Turia + Kant, 2010)). Throughout the years, he explored Dante’s presence in authors, thinkers, and artists such as Leopardi, Charles Baudelaire, Henry Holiday, André Gide, Jacques Lacan, and Gianni Celati, and most notably in the poetic and pictorial oeuvre of Dante Gabriel Rossetti. His work on this subject generated several essays and two monographs, Beatrice nell’inferno di Londra (Lavis (TN): La Finestra, 2005) and the most recent Portrait of Beatrice: Dante, D.G. Rossetti, and the Imaginary Lady (Notre Dame: Notre Dame University Press, 2019). His interest in the Rossetti family also led him to study the work of Rossetti’s maternal uncle, John Polidori, so far mainly known for his connection with Byron. Between 2019 and 2020, he translated Polidori’s principal writings (Vampiri e altri parassiti (Rome: Nova Delphi, 2019), innovatively reading them as a case study in transnational Italian literature, and proposed a new dating for the composition of the tale ‘The Vampyre’, based on textual evidence (A Note on the Publication History of John Polidori's 'The Vampyre'). He also had the opportunity to summarize his research on Dante’s afterlife in the modern and contemporary world in the chapter on Dante’s ‘Later Reception from 1481 to the Present’, included in The Cambridge Companion to Dante’s Commedia, edited by Zygmunt G. Baránski and Simon Gilson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019), pp. 259-70. More recently, he edited a special journal issue on 'Purgatories' in Italian literature (Quaderni d’Italianistica, 41: 2 (2020)) and wrote the introduction for a new edition of Dante’s Purgatorio (Milan: Mondadori, 2021).

He is currently planning to expand on the work preliminarily undertaken through the Purgatori nella letteratura italiana special issue by designing a long-term research project (3 to 5 years) on the presence of Purgatory in Italian literature from the Middle Ages to the present day. He is also working on an edited volume on Dante and the 'Occult' (with Paolo De Ventura, University of Birmingham), and setting the grounds for an academic network related to Dante's presence in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Spiritualist literature.

The Gothic and 'Occulture'

Professor Camilletti's work on the Gothic follows two parallel pathways. On the one hand, he extensively studied eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Gothic literature from a comparative perspective: in 2018, he published a handbook on the subject (Guida alla letteratura gotica (Bologna, Odoya, 2018)) and between 2015 and 2022 he edited and translated several Gothic texts from the English, French, and German, including the anthology Fantasmagoriana, Mary Shelley’s first draft of Frankenstein, Polidori’s works, and early-nineteenth-century ghost stories. On the other, and particularly in the past ten years, he focused on the connections between Italian literature, media, politics, and the Gothic from the 1960s to the 2000s. The main outcomes of this research cluster were his monograph Italia lunare. Gli anni Sessanta e l'occulto (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2018, 5th place ex aequo Edinburgh Gadda Prize-Crolla Amato Prize) and articles and book chapters on authors such as Danilo Arona, Giorgio Bassani, Dino Buzzati, Gianni Celati, Emilio De Rossignoli, and Mino Milani. His research in this area was facilitated by two prestigious grants he received over the years: an AHRC Networking Grant (Roman Modernities, 2012-15), which enabled him to undertake research on Rome’s urban uncanny, and a BA/Leverhulme grant (Fantasmagoriana and the Others: Transnational Gothic and ‘Occulture’, 2018-20), which helped him to access otherwise unavailable sources in French and British libraries. Over the years, he co-organized several events broadly related to the Gothic, including the international conference Phantasmata (Berlin, 2009) and study days on the occult in Leopardi’s (Birmingham, 2018) and Dante’s works (Warwick-Birmingham, 2021), as well as on Spiritualism in Italian culture (Leuven, 2023).

His eight monograph, Spettri familiari, published in March 2024, focuses on Occulture and spectrality in a selection of authors of the second half of the twentieth century (Pitigrilli, Eduardo De Filippo, Dino Buzzati, Giorgio Vigolo, Mario Soldati, and Giorgio Bassani). His next project will explore the theme of the return of the dead in Italian culture from 1963 through the 2000s, focusing on the theme of the 'vanishing hitchhiker' in the works of Dino Buzzati, Mino Milani, Gianni Celati, and Danilo Arona.

    PhD students supervised

    Gabriele ScalessaLink opens in a new window (with Jennifer Burns), 'Between Medicine and Spiritualism: The Visible and the Invisible in Italian Literature, 1865-1901', 2011-15

    Kate WillmanLink opens in a new window (with Jennifer Burns), 'Unidentified Narrative Objectives: Journalism, History and the Twenty-First-Century "Novel"', 2012-15

    Martina PipernoLink opens in a new window (with David Lines), 'Temporalities and Fracture in Post-Napoleonic Italy: Leopardi's and Vico's Legacies', 2012-15

    Paola RoccellaLink opens in a new window, 'Where the man ends and the animal begins. Zoomorphism and fantastic', 2013-17

    Sara Boezio, 'Italy and the European fin de siècle: Printed media in the 1890s-1900', 2014-2019

    Simona Di Martino, 'The Fashionable Obsession: Literature, Tombs and the Italian Gothic in the Long Nineteenth Century', 2018-22

    Gheorghe Williams (with David Pattie, University of Birmingham), 'The Political Gothic and Twenty-First Century British Theatre', 2019-

    Kerry Gibbons (with Jennifer Burns), 'Anxiety and Existential Crisis in the Italian Fascist-era romanzo coloniale (1918-1948)', 2021-

    Gennaro Ambrosino, 'Intersections between archaeology and the ‘unconscious’ in Italian culture from the late 18C through the mid-19C', 2022-

    Enrica Leydi, 'Giacomo Leopardi and visual culture', 2023-

    Administrative roles

    • Director of Research, Italian Studies (2022-)

    Selected publications

    • Spettri familiari. Letteratura e metapsichica nel secondo novecento italiano (MIlan: Unicopli, 2024)
    • Manzoni gotico. Tre itinerari 'illegali' ne 'I promessi sposi (Pisa: ETS, 2023)
    • The Portrait of Beatrice: Dante, D.G. Rossetti, and the Imaginary Lady (Notre Dame: Notre Dame University Press, 2019)
    • Italia lunare: gli anni Sessanta e l'occulto (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2018)
    • Guida alla letteratura gotica (Bologna: Odoya, 2018)
    • (ed.) J.-B.B. Eyriès et al., Fantasmagoriana (Rome: Nova Delphi, 2015)
    • Classicism and Romanticism in Italian Literature (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2013)
    • Leopardi's Nymphs: Grace, Melanchonly, and the Uncanny (Oxford: Legenda, 2013)

    View more publications

    Professional associations


    • BA, MA (Università di Pisa, English Literature and Modern Literary Studies), 1998-2002
    • Diploma (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, Modern Literary Studies), 1998-2003
    • MSt (Paris 4-Sorbonne, French and Comparative Literature), 2002-2003
    • PhD (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, Modern Literary Studies/Paris 4-Sorbonne, French and Comparative Literature), 2003-2006
    • PhD (University of Birmingham, Italian Studies), 2008-2011