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Dr Mila Milani

Associate Professor


School of Modern Languages and Cultures
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL


Before joining Warwick, Mila Milani was Research Assistant at the University of Reading, working on an AHRC-funded project entitled 'Mapping Literary Space: Literary Journals, Publishing Firms and Intellectuals in Italy, 1940-1960' (PI: Dr La Penna - University of Reading; Co-I: Dr Billiani - The University of Manchester). She obtained her AHRC-funded PhD at The University of Manchester, with a research project focusing on the publishing strategies of poetry translation in post-WWII Italy.

Before moving to the UK, Mila did a 2-year MA in Comparative Literature at the University of Bologna, with a dissertation on Cesare Pavese's translation of James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man during Fascism. She also obtained an undergraduate degree in Modern Languages (English, French) from the same university, with a dissertation on the relations between Guillaume Apollinaire and Ardengo Soffici. During her UG and PG years, she was a student of Collegio Superiore, school of excellence of the University of Bologna.

Outside academia, Dr Milani has also worked as a proofreader and translation copy editor for publishing houses in Paris and Bologna, and as a translator trainee at the Centre for Translation of the European Parliament (Luxembourg).
She obtained a postgraduate certificate in education at the University of Milan (Italy).

Research interests

20th century Italian literature and culture; Intellectual History; History of Publishing; Periodical Studies; Sociology of Translation; Cultural Translation and Transculturalism; Translation Studies

Mila Milani's specialism is cultural history, particularly post-WWII History of Publishing and Intellectual History, from a sociological perspective.

Her research to date has explored the relationship between translation and publishing institutions in post-WWII Italy (1951-1977). Drawing on a sociological approach, intersecting histoire croisée, Bourdieu's theoretical framework and Actor-Network theory, her doctoral thesis investigates unpublished materials from the archives of some key Italian poetry publishers (Mondadori, Einaudi and Scheiwiller) to reconstruct the meta-discourses related to the publication of foreign poetry. It argues that translation was a way to modify power relations within the publishing field and to reshape publishers’ identity as intellectuals, by fostering cultural projects of political engagement.

She has also explored the processes of identity formation of Italian intellectual networks. Precisely, by analysing the national and transnational dimensions of three journals, Politecnico, Risorgimento and Sud (1945-1947), it aimed to highlight the ways in which post-WWII journals and publishers interwove translation and political commitment to forge their role in the Republican years.

Her current research explores the cultural and political dynamics informing literary translation practices in post-WWII Italy (1946-1972). It does so by charting the strategic influence of the Italian Communist Party on the publication of translated literature and the role of translation in forging a politically committed narrative in 'post-hegemonic' Italy.

Further research interests include: Translation Studies; Comparative Literature; European Post-WWII History; Twentieth Century Italian Literature; Futurism and Avant-Gardes.

Administrative roles

  • On research leave in Term 2 and Term 3 in 2022/23
  • In the past academic years, Mila acted as Head of Translation and Transcultural Studies, including Director of Research and PGR Admissions Tutor for Translation and Transcultural Studies

Publications (selection)

  • (2022) 'Cultural sociology', in The Routledge Handbook of Translation and Methodology, ed. by Federico Zanettin and Christopher Rundle, London: Routledge. pp. 239–253.

  • (2018) ‘Carlo Salinari, the PCI, and Transnational Exchanges in Il Contemporaneo (1954-55)’, Italian Studies 73 (2): 181-194.

  • (2017) 'The Role of Translation in the History of Publishing: Publishers and Contemporary Poetry Translation in 1960s Italy', Translation Studies 10 (3), pp. 296-311.

  • (2017) 'Translation and Ideology in Post-war Italy: Left-wing Publishers and the Italian Communist Party', Twentieth Century Communism 12, pp. 62-87.

  • (2016) 'Impegno, national and transnational identities in Il Politecnico and Sud' (1945–1947). Modern Italy, 21 (2), pp. 157-170.

  • (2016) 'From Risorgimento to Il Politecnico: impegno and intellectual networks in the Einaudi publishing house, 1945'. Journal of Modern Italian Studies, 21 (1). pp. 35-49.

Professional associations

  • Memberships (to date):
    - Society of Italian Studies;
    - American Association for Italian Studies;
    - European Society for Translation Studies


  • BA, MA (University of Bologna)
  • PGCE (Italian equivalent, University of Milan)
  • PhD (The University of Manchester)

Advice and Feedback Hours for 2022/23

Please book an appointment here


Undergraduate modules

IT316 Present Futures: Questions of Marginality in Contemporary Italy (module tutor in Term 1, 2022/23)

LN102 Translation: Methods and Practice (module tutor in Term 1, 2022/23)

IT334 Modern Italian Culture in Dialogue with Europe (module convenor) - not running in 2021/22 or 2022/23

Postgraduate modules

Module convenor:

LN902 Translation Portfolio

Module tutor:

LN903 Trans/national Cultures not running in 2021/22 or 2022/23

LN904 Dissertation in Translation Studies