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Dott.ssa Sara Boezio

Sara Boezio_photoPhD Candidate and Teaching Assistant

Email: S dot Boezio at warwick dot ac dot uk

Humanities Building, University Road
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL


Sara Boezio is currently a PhD student (fully funded by a Chancellor’s Scholarship) in Italian Studies under the supervision of Dr. Fabio Camilletti. Her current research focuses on cultural criticism produced in fin-de-siècle Italy, France, Germany, Russia, and the UK. Her PhD thesis is entitled Images of turn, death, and rebirth: Italy’s fin de siècle, Printed Media, and Europe.

She obtained both her BA and MA with honours in Italian Literature and Modern Philology jointly from the University of Pisa and the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa. Her MA thesis, L’attività critica e saggistica di Federico De Roberto da Arabeschi al Corriere della Sera, was awarded first-class honours as well as the Galilei-Carducci prize. During her MA, Sara conducted research in France, first in Paris at the Sorbonne, the Sorbonne Nouvelle, and the École Normale Supérieure, with which she was affiliated, and later at the École Normale Supérieure in Lyon.

While in Pisa she also specialized in Philology and Renaissance Literature. Her interest in the relationship between poetry and the visual arts led her to write a thesis on the sonnets of Bronzino, Varchi, Lasca and other poets, responding to the portrait of Laura Battiferri: Un commento al Bronzino lirico: sonetti sul ritratto di Laura Battiferri degli Ammannati – con un’appendice sulle rime di Michelangelo e Cellini.

A separate strand of her research concerns the fruitful cross-fertilization between Cognitive Science and the Humanities and, in particular, the field of Cognitive Literary Studies, with specific reference to Cognitive Poetics and Cognitive Narratology.

Sara has worked as an editorial assistant in the publishing house Bompiani (Rcs Libri S.p.a.) in Milan, where she was in charge of both fiction and non-fiction titles.

Research interests

PhD Thesis:
Images of turn, death, and rebirth: Italy’s fin de siècle, Printed Media, and Europe

Thesis abstract:
My thesis aims to explore how and why the turn of the century was seen as a turning point by authors and cultural critics, and to investigate the impact that historical, political, and social changes had on shaping new perceptions and representations of time in fin-de-siècle Italy.
I examine Italian texts that take as their subject and thematise the fin de siècle, such as works by Paolo Mantegazza, Scipio Sighele, Federico De Roberto, Ruggiero Bonghi, Enrico Morselli. While analogous works were produced elsewhere in Europe and recognized as a coherent genre which possessed formal similarities, the Italian works have never been addressed as a consistent literary body. My thesis aims to respond to the need of such investigation and traces the existence of this genre in late nineteenth-century Italy, while highlighting the connections between these Italian texts and comparable European publications. In addition to monographic volumes, I also draw upon a wide range of articles and essays centred on this topic published in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Italian periodicals (such as Nuova Antologia, Corriere della Sera, La Vita Internazionale, Fanfulla della Domenica, Il Marzocco, La Nuova Parola).
I claim that it is possible to identify a consistent and widespread adoption of two interrelated topoi across these different texts; the first is a process of viewing the nineteenth century as a behemoth, determining its legacy in the throes of an agonizing death, while the second looks forward to the twentieth century as a new phoenix-like age which promises the rebirth of humankind out of the ashes of late nineteenth-century degeneracy.

Sara’s broader research interests include:

  • Fin-de-siècle European literary cultures
  • Nineteenth-century readership and printed media culture; the history of the Italian periodical press
  • Apocalyptic discourses and narratives in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century culture
  • Cognitive Literary Studies; Cognitive Poetics; Cognitive Narratology; embodied simulation; theory of mind; conceptual metaphors; conceptual blending
  • Poetry written by visual artists in Early Modern Italy; word-and-image relationship; ekphrasis

Awards and grants


Thesis Prize ‘Premio Galilei-Carducci’ for Master Thesis on De Roberto: L’attività critica e saggistica di Federico De Roberto da Arabeschi al Corriere della Sera

Selected Grants and Fellowships

  • Fully funded PhD Chancellor’s Scholarship, University of Warwick
  • Humanities Research Fund conference travel grant (2016-2017)
  • Callum MacDonald Memorial Bursary (University of Warwick, 2016-17)
  • CADRE (Centre for Arts Doctoral Research Excellence, University of Warwick) grant for CADRE Peer Development Exchange workshop: Meshing Disciplines: Where the Humanities and Science collide. An exploration of Cognitive Science (May 17, 2016)
  • Humanities Research Fund conference travel grants (2015-2016) to take part as a speaker in the SIS conference 2016 (Trinity College Dublin, April 29-30, 2016) and in the conference ‘Bramosia dell’ignoto’ (Italian Cultural Institute in Prague, April 13-15, 2016)
  • Canadian Society for Italian Studies travel grant for taking part in the CSIS conference 2015 (Sorrento, June 19-21, 2015)
  • Humanities Research Centre Transatlantic Fellowship for a research period in Boston (Harvard), New York, and Toronto (April-May 2015)
  • Society for Italian Studies conference travel grant to take part as a speaker in the VIII Annual Graduate Conference in Italian Studies at the University College Cork (February 28, 2015)
  • Winner of ‘Borsa di sviluppo e merito: corso di aggiornamento e formazione Leader del futuro’ (Development and merit scholarship) – The European House Ambrosetti (2013-14)
  • Fully funded Visiting student Scholarship – École Normale Supérieure in Lyon (2012-13)
  • Fully funded Visiting student Scholarship – École Normale Supérieure in Paris (2011-12)
  • Grant for residential international summer school in Renaissance Studies – University of Cambridge (2010)
  • Winner of a fully funded (full tuition, lodging, board and stipend) five-year scholarship for BA and MA – Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa (2008-2013)
  • Winner of the international competition for entering the Honours School IUSS (Pavia) and the colleges Collegio Ghislieri, Collegio Santa Caterina, and Collegio Nuovo in Pavia (September 2008)
  • ‘Alfiere del Lavoro’ award – Presidenza della Repubblica italiana, Quirinale (October 2008)

Joint grants

  • HRC (Humanities Research Centre) grant and RSSP grant for the organisation of the conference Literary Journalism in Times of Crisis and Transition, 1870-1970 (University of Warwick, November 26, 2016) co-organised with Giulia Brecciaroli (University of Warwick)
  • Society for Italian Studies grant for the organisation of the conference Milan: Crossroad of Cultures (Milan, September 22-23, 2016) co-organised with Marco Bellardi (University of Birmingham), Giulia Brecciaroli and Maria Belova (University of Warwick)

Organised Conferences and Panels

Selected Publications

- Sinestesie. Rivista di Studi sulle Letterature e le arti europee, special issue on ‘Sentieri della modernità da Leopardi a Pasolini’, 13 (2015), pp. 415-419;
  • Sara Boezio, ‘L’esperienza della lettura in ottica cognitiva: un inquadramento teorico e un saggio di lettura di Mrs. Dalloway fra simulazione incarnata (embodied simulation) e teoria della mente (theory of mind)’, Between: Rivista dell’Associazione di Teoria e Storia Comparata della Letteratura, 4:7 (2014), pp. 39
  • Sara Boezio, ‘Derobertiana’, Revue des études italiennes, special issue on ‘Federico De Roberto: le deuil des illusions’ (Juillet-Décembre 2011), pp. 309-330.
  • Sara Boezio, ‘La poetica cognitiva tra scienze cognitive e critica letteraria: presupposti e convergenze’, Italianistica, special issue on ‘Letteratura e scienze cognitive: teorie e analisi’, ed. by A. Casadei, S. Boezio, I. Campeggiani, V. Ribechini, 3 (2011), pp. 19-46.

Selected conference papers

Selected Workshops

Editorial activities

  • Member of the Editorial Board of the Bullettin of the Scuola Normale Superiore Alumni Association, 2011-
  • Member of the Editorial Board of the academic journal Italianistica (Pisa-Roma: Fabrizio Serra editore), 2011-
  • Editorial Assistant in the publishing house Bompiani (Rizzoli, Milan), 2011-2012


  • AAIS – American Association for Italian Studies
  • CSIS – Canadian Society for Italian Studies
  • SIS – Society for Italian Studies
  • ESPRit – European Society for Periodical Research
  • ENS Alumni – Association des anciens élèves et des amis de l’École Normale Supérieure (Ulm et Lyon)
  • SNS Alumni – Associazione Normalisti (Secretary of the Executive Board, 2012-15)


  • MA (Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa)
  • MA (University of Pisa)
  • BA (Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa)
  • BA (University of Pisa)

Boezio_chapter in Poetics of Decadence


A. Y. 2016-17, Reading group of IT326 'Renaissance Imitation and Parody' - TERM 2 Monday, 5-6pm, H 4.02
A. Y. 2016-17, IT401 'Essay Writing' (Advanced module for Finalists)
A. Y. 2015-16, IT105 'Working Italian' (Italian for Beginners)
A. Y. 2014-15, Reading group of IT327 'Love, Desire and Poetry in Dante and the Italian Middle Ages'