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Dr Joanne Lee

Joanne Lee Profile PhotoAssociate Professor

Tel: +44 (0) 2476 151109
Email: jo dot lee at warwick dot ac dot uk

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

Advice and Feedback Hours (term time only via appointment):
Monday 12-1; 4-5 (in person)
Thursday 12-1 (online)


I studied English language and Italian at Cardiff University (1995-1999) followed by a three year period teaching English in Parma (1999-2002). I then returned to Cardiff to study for an MA in Literature in European Cultures (2002-2003) before completing a PhD at the University of Bristol (2003-2007). I have taught at Cardiff University and Bristol University before joining the Italian department at Warwick in 2008.

Research interests

My research interests include:

• Travel writing and travel practices
• Writings on Italian emigration and contemporary immigration
• Representations of Italy’s colonial past
• Post-war Italian women writers

My doctoral research examined how the implications of travel, migration and mobility have been represented in the work of Italian women writers such as Erminia Dell’Oro, Laura Pariani, Bamboo Hirst and Sandra Petrignani. It explored issues such as the memory of Italy’s colonial past, the psychological impact of displacement, the notion of home, representing the other, and the performance of cultural identities.

I am particularly interested in ethical issues of travelling and writing about travel including how travel writing engages with questions of sustainability, decolonization and cosmopolitan ethics. My recent publications have explored how the writings of Laura Pariani engage with the ethical dilemmas posed by globalization and raise questions about Italy’s and Europe’s response to the movement of people from the Global South to the Global North. My current projects examine decolonizing urban spaces in the postcolonial journeys of Igiaba Scego and sustainable travel in the pedestrian journeys of Paolo Rumiz.

I am also interested in changing patterns of tourism such as domestic travel, slow travel and virtual travel as a response to both the Covid-19 pandemic and the climate emergency. I have supervised an undergraduate summer research project (URSS) on this topic.

Administrative roles

  • Head of Italian Studies
  • Examinations officer (Italian)
  • Co-lead on Education for Sustainable Development theme of ITLR 2023 and Co-director of ESD network

Selected publications

  • 'Decolonising the Imperial City in the Works of Igiaba Scego' (forthcoming in Studies in Travel Writing)

  • 'Laura Pariani's Novels of Migration: from Transnational Memory to Cosmopolitan Ethics', Italian Culture, 41:1 (2023), 59-79, DOI: 10.1080/01614622.2023.2181492

  • Book Review: Katharine Mitchell, Italian Women Writers: Gender and Everyday Life in Fiction and Journalism 1870–1910, Gender and History, Vol 28, No. 1 (2016), 235–236.
  • ‘Political Utopia or Potemkin village? Italian Travellers to the Soviet Union in the Early Cold War’, Modern Italy, Vol. 20, No. 4 (2015), 379-393.
  • 'Alternative Urban Journeys: Italian Travel Writing and the Contromano Series', Studies in Travel Writing, Vol. 16, No 2 (2012), 203-214.
  • ‘Revisiting Italy’s Colonial Past: Journeys through Memory in Erminia Dell’Oro’s Asmara addio and La Gola del Diavolo’, The Italianist, Vol. 29, No. 3 (2009), 448-463.
  • ‘The Writings of Bamboo Hirst: Italy, China and the Performance of Cultural Identity’, Italian Studies, Vol. 63, No. 1 (2008), 105-118.


IT115 The History of Modern Italy
IT116 Introducing Italy: Local and Global Perspectives
IT336 Destination Italy: The Ethics of Travel and Travel Writing
IL137 The Slow Movement: Interdisciplinary Adventures in Time and Pace
IT331 Transnational Stories in Italy
IT101 Italian for Beginners
IT301 Modern Italian Language III 
IT313 Italian Cinema: Envisioning the Nation
IT302 Italian Women's Writing: Voices of Protest (No longer running)

Professional associations

  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Fellow of Warwick International Higher Education Academy
  • Member of the Society for Italian Studies


  • BA (Hons) Italian and Language Studies (Cardiff University, 1999)
  • MA Literature in European Cultures (Cardiff University, 2003)
  • PhD (University of Bristol, 2008)