Email: Cecilia dot Piantanida at warwick dot ac dot uk
Room 4.46 - Faculty of Arts Building
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL
Italian Year Abroad Coordinator; SSLC Convenor for Italian
I joined the Italian section at Warwick in 2021. I previously taught Italian language and literature at Oxford (2014-2017) and Durham University (2017-2021). I hold a doctorate in Medieval and Modern Languages from the University of Oxford (2014) and an MA in Comparative Literature from King's College London (2009). As an undergraduate I studied English and Classics at Durham University (BA 2007).
Research and Teaching Interests
My research studies modern and contemporary Italian literature and culture from comparative and transnational perspectives, in particular:
- narratives of individual and cultural origins from the nineteenth century to the present.
- forms of reception and translation of Greek and Latin classics in Italian poetry, seen in a comparative European and North American perspective.
- migration and transnational identities in contemporary visual culture and literature in Italian.
- metaphor studies.
I am currently developing a research project on narratives of origins in literature in Italian from the 1980s to the present. I study the uses of conceptual metaphors of origins – such as the image of roots as a symbol of temporal beginning and spatial belonging – in works by Italian, transnational and migrant writers. Combining theories on metaphor with a memory studies approach, I identify and analyse competing conceptual models of personal and cultural origins embedded in various types of narratives, and the worldviews such conceptual models carry with them. The analysis aims to shed light on how competing conceptual models of origins interact with narrative forms, structuring representations of time, space, and identity in contemporary writing. Considering Italian culture not only as a key intersecting point of the classical heritage, pre-modern and modern literary formations, but also of postcolonial legacies, complex networks of migration and transnational identities, I address questions of belonging, subjectivity, nationality and race. Authors considered include: Primo Levi, Amelia Rosselli, Fabrizia Ramondino, Wu Ming, Antonella Anedda, Massimo Carlotto, Shirin Ramzanali Fazel, Gabriella Ghermandi, Igiaba Scego, Tahar Lamri.
This project is supported by a longstanding research interest in representations of the past, focusing on classical reception in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Italian culture seen in a comparative European and North American perspective. My first monograph, Sappho and Catullus in Twentieth-Century Italian and North American Poetry (Bloomsbury Academic, 2021)Link opens in a new window, studies the interwoven reception of the archaic Greek poet Sappho and her first Latin translator, Catullus, in literary culture from the 1900s to the present. Through its comparative approach, the book reveals the centrality of the ancient poets in the development of modernist and postmodernist poetics across cultures. It also highlights an enduring transnational discourse which employs classical models to define ideas of origins, gender, sexuality, and national identity. Grounded in textual criticism, the analysis employs theories of translation, reception, gender and sexuality to study a wide range of texts, including several unpublished manuscripts. Key case-studies include G. Pascoli, E. Pound, H.D., S. Quasimodo, R. Lowell, R. Copioli and A. Carson. I also contributed an essay on the European reception of Sappho for The Cambridge Companion to Sappho (CUP, 2021) and with Teresa Franco I coedited a volume of essays on Echoing Voices in Italian Literature: Tradition and Translation in the 20th Century (New Castle: Cambridge Scholars, 2018). At present, I am co-editing a comparative volume entitled Behind the Text, investigating intertextuality as a literary and creative practice across time and cultures.
Following my interest in questions of belonging, recently I have also been exploring the interaction of literature and art with the ethics and politics of representation of forced migration. On this topic, I have published the article 'Defamiliarizing Mediterranean Migration in Contemporary Visual Culture and Literature', Journal of Romance Studies (22.1, 2022)
I am very much invested in pedagogical scholarship and practice related to the teaching and learning of modern languages. My work in this field focuses on transnational and intercultural approaches to teaching Italian language and literature. I am particularly interested in the uses of literature and creativity in the language class, intercultural empathy, and issues of diversity and inclusion in higher education, including decolonising approaches to teaching and learning modern languages. In 2020 I published a practice-based article on 'Transnational Perspectives in the Italian Language Class: The Uses of Non-Native Literature to Develop Intercultural Competence' (2020) and I am currently co-editing a volume on Transnational Teaching in Modern Languages.
- Year Abroad Coordinator (2021 to present)
- SSLC Convenor for Italian (2022/2023)
Piantanida, C. (2021), Sappho and Catullus in Twentieth-Century Italian and North American Poetry, Bloomsbury Studies in Classical Reception Series (London: Bloomsbury Academic).https://bloomsburycp3.codemantra.com/viewer/5fa2a451e21b8400014cbf56
Franco, T. and C. Piantanida, eds. (2018), Echoing Voices in Italian Literature: Tradition and Translation in the 20thCentury, New Castle: Cambridge Scholars. https://www.cambridgescholars.com/product/978-1-5275-0590-2
Piantanida, C. (2022), 'Defamiliarizing Mediterranean Migration in Contemporary Visual Culture and Literature', Journal of Romance Studies 22.1: 105-131. DOI:https://doi.org/10.3828/jrs.2022.5
Piantanida, C. (2014), ‘Le varie facce della luna nella poesia di Giovanni Pascoli: tradizione, mito ed esoterismo,’ Griseldaonline 14. DOI: https://doi.org/10.6092/issn.1721-4777/9178.
Piantanida, C. (2013) [May 2014], ‘Pascoli and Sappho: Two Unpublished Manuscripts,’ Filologia Italiana 10: 181-214. DOI: 10.1400/221564
Chapters in Books
Piantanida, C. (forthcoming), ‘Translating Eros: The Representation of Sexuality in Contemporary Italian Translations of Sappho (2000-2017),’ in Translation in/of Antiquity: Methods and Practices, Symbolae Osloenses.
Piantanida, C. (2021), ‘Early Modern and Modern German, Italian, and Spanish Sapphos,’ in Kelly, A. and P.J. Finglass (eds), The Cambridge Companion to Sappho, pp. 353-70, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316986974.026
Piantanida, C. (2020), ‘Transnational Perspectives in the Italian Language Class: The Uses of Non-Native Literature to Develop Intercultural Competence,’ in A. B. Almeida, U. Bavendiek and R. Biasini (eds), Literature in language learning: new approaches, pp. 23-31, Research-publishing.net. https://doi.org/10.14705/rpnet.2020.43.1092.
Franco, T. and C. Piantanida (2018), ‘Introduction,’ in Franco, T. and C. Piantanida (eds), Echoing Voices in Italian Literature: Tradition and Translation in the 20th Century, pp. x-xviii, New Castle: Cambridge Scholars.
Other Academic Publications
Piantanida, C. (2014), ‘Note al testo in Catullo,’ in Carmina: il libro delle poesie, trans. by Nicola Gardini, Milan: Feltrinelli, passim.
Piantanida, C. (2019), ‘Review of Alberto Comparini (ed.), Ovid’s Metamorphoses in Twentieth-Century Italian Literature (Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2018),’ Classical Review, 69.1. 1,810 words.
- BA Combined Honours in Arts (English and Classics) - Durham University
- Ma Comparative Literature - King's College London
- DPhil Medieval and Modern Languages - University of Oxford
- Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Advice and Feedback Hours
Mondays, 12 noon-1pm, FAB.4.46
Thursdays, 2-3pm on MS Teams
IT107 Modern Italian Language I (Advanced)Link opens in a new window - module convenor and instructor
IT201 Modern Italian Language IILink opens in a new window - module convenor and instructor (translation T2)
IT301 Modern Italian Language IIILink opens in a new window - module convenor and instructor (writing and grammar)
IT401 Modern Italian Language IVLink opens in a new window - English to Italian translation
IT316 Present Futures: Questions of Marginality in Contemporary ItalyLink opens in a new window - module convenor and tutor
LN307 Propaganda and Persuasion in Modern Europe Link opens in a new window(module tutor - Italian section)