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Dr Mila Milani

Associate Professor


School of Modern Languages and Cultures

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

Research interests

Sociology of Translation and Cultural Production; Cultural Translation and Transculturalism; Translation Studies; 20th century Italian literature and culture; Intellectual History; History of Publishing; Periodical Studies; Futurism and Avant-Gardes

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

Her research has explored the relationship between translation and publishing institutions in post-war Italy through a sociological approach, intersecting histoire croisée, Bourdieu's theoretical framework and Actor-Network theory. She has done extensive archival research related to Italian publishing houses (Mondadori, Einaudi and Scheiwiller, in particular) to reconstruct the meta-discourses related to the publication of foreign poetry. The main argument of her research is 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 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 in Italy during the Cold War. 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.

She is also currently developing a new strand of research, to apply methods of sociology of translation and cultural production to the circulation of Italian culture in the contemporary age, as part of a joint project funded by the International Partnership Fund at Warwick, with Prof. Jenny Burns and Prof. Giuliana Benvenuti (Bologna). The project, called ‘Global Directions in Italian Studies: Transmediality and Crosscultural Translation’, looks at how contemporary Italian cultural production interacts with transnational phenomena of globalisation and migration from two, interweaving perspectives: within Italy, in the forms of cross-cultural translation and migration literature, and outside Italy, in the form of a global reception that retains its distinctiveness and local character

Dr Milani is currently supervising PhD students in Translation and Transcultural Studies, with a focus on sociology of translation. She is interested in supervising projects on the sociological modes of cultural and translation exchanges, as well as projects focused on 20th-21st Italian culture with a translation and transnational approach.

Administrative roles

  • On leave in 2023/24
  • In the past academic years, Mila acted as Head of Translation and Transcultural Studies (2019-2022, and as co-Lead 2017-2019), including Director of Research and PGR Admissions Tutor for Translation and Transcultural Studies. In the Italian section, she acted as Year Abroad Coordinator and SSLC Convenor and Social Media Manager.

Publications (selection)

  • (2023) Publishing Contemporary Foreign Poetry: Transnational Exchange in the Italian Publishing Field, 1939-1977 (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press) [ISBN:9781837644407]

  • (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.
  • Full List of Publications

Professional associations

  • Memberships (to date):
    - Society for Italian Studies;
    - American Association for Italian Studies;
    - European Society for Translation Studies;
    - History and Translation Network
    - Society for the History of Authorship, Reading & Publishing
  • Mila peer-reviews for Comparative Critical Studies, The Italianist, Target, Translation and Interpreting Studies


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

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: Prof. La Penna - University of Reading; Co-I: Prof. Billiani - The University of Manchester). 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).

Advice and Feedback Hours in 2023/24

On leave


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