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Dr. Simone Brioni

Assistant Professor, Department of European Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, College of Arts and Sciences, Stony Brook University

Institute for Modern Languages Research Visiting Fellow, School of Advanced Studies, University of London 2013-2014

Institute of Advanced Studies Early Career Fellow, University of Warwick 2012-2013

Part-time teacher and MA tutor, Department of Italian, University of Warwick

PhD (University of Warwick, 2013); Laurea Specialistica in Lingue e Letterature Euroamericane (Università di Trento, 2008); Laurea Triennale in Lingue e Letterature Straniere (Università di Bologna, 2005)

Research Interests

  • Postcolonial Theory
  • Migration Studies
  • Intersemiotic and Intercultural Translation
  • Postmodern Literature
  • Film Studies and Filmmaking

Contact details


Fellowships, Grants and Awards

  • 2013 – 2014 Institute for Modern Languages Research Visiting Fellow, University of London. Visiting Fellowship.
  • 2013 Warwick Arts Faculty Impact Award (Shortlisted)
  • 2011 – 2012 Institute for Advanced Studies Early Career Fellowship, University of Warwick. Research Fellowship.
  • 2012 (June-July) Work Experience Bursary, University of Warwick.
  • 2010 – 2011 Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning Collaboration Fund, University of Warwick. Teaching and Conference Fund.
  • 2010 – 2011 Humanities Research Centre Postgraduate Scholars Programme 2010, University of Warwick. Conference award.
  • 2010 Humanities Research Fund, University of Warwick. Travel grant.
  • 2009 – 2012 Warwick Italian Department, PhD Bursary. Research Award.

Research Profile

Simone Brioni is Assistant Professor at the Department of European Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, College of Arts and Sciences, Stony Brook University. He received his PhD from the University of Warwick, where he was also an Early Career Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies. In 2013-14, he was a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Modern Language Research, University of London.

Simone completed his doctoral thesis, under the supervision of Dr. Jennifer Burns, at Warwick's Italian department in 2012. His PhD thesis, The Somali Within: Questions of Language, Resistance and Identity in 'Minor' Italian Writings, analyses the writings by Italian authors of Somali origins from 1994 to 2012, providing an overview of the development of migrant writings in Italy from the perspective of a specific post-colonial encounter, that between Italy and its “last colony”, Somalia. The Somali Within employs Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattariʼs notion of ʻminor literatureʼ in order to identify the three main features in these writings, namely the presence of Somali terms within the Italian text, their political engagement against race and gender discrimination, and the construction of their subjectivity as a social entity, inseparable from the lives of both others members of the Somali diaspora or immigrants to Italy.

Using cultural studies, translation studies and postcolonial theory, his work analyses the literary and cinematographic representation of migration and Italian colonialism. He edited the bilingual volumes (Italian and English) Somalitalia. Quattro vie per Mogadiscio (Kimerafilm, 2012) and Aulò! Aulò! Aulò! Poesie di nostalgia, d’esilio e d’amore (Kimerafilm, 2012) by Ribka Sibhatu, which respectively contain the documentaries Aulò. Roma postcoloniale and La quarta via. Mogadiscio Italia, for which he was co-director and co-author. His publications also include J.G. Ballard. Il futuro quotidiano (Prospettiva, 2011).

Academic Profile

As an undergraduate Simone Brioni studied English, Spanish and French literature at the University of Bologna (BA, 2005) and at University of Leicester (Visiting Student, Erasmus Project, 2002-2003). His bachelor thesis, "Non ora - Non qui: L'eterno presente della psicosi di Traven. Alcune considerazioni su The Atrocity Exhibition di J.G. Ballard", supervised by Dr. Gino Scatasta, analyses how space and time are described in J.G. Ballard's novel The Atrocity Exhibition (1970). Drawing from Eugène Minkowski's research on the phenomenology of psychopathology (1933), this dissertation analyses the insane interaction of the main characters with the surrounding media landscape. By investigating The Atrocity Exhibition in the light of Susan Sontag's and Roland Barthes' studies on mass culture (respectively 1966 and 1957), "Non ora - Non qui" shows that the main characters of Ballard's novel are unable to interact with other human beings and that they identify with media icons. The analysis also refers to the theories of media critics such as Paul Virilio (1995), Gunther Anders (1956), and Jean Baudrillard (1986), in order to ascertain the ways in which Ballard represents the substitution of the main characters' perception of sensible reality with its virtual counterpart. Lastly, the analysis focuses on the political effects of the pathological relation between the media and its audience, and considers the ways in which Ballard describes the representation of John Fitzgerald Kennedy's killing, and Ronald Reagan's elections, which ratified the political victory of a media icon over politics.

As an postgraduate Simone Brioni studied American and Spanish literature at the University of Trento (MA, 2005), and German language at University of Kassel (Visiting Student, Leonardo Project, 2004-2005). His master thesis, "American Psycho and Fight Club: Contradictory Transgressions", supervised by Dr. Giovanna Covi, analyses the artistic commitment in mainstream American literature between the collapse of Communism in 1989 and the terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001. The analysis focuses in particular on two influential novels, Bret Easton Ellis' American Psycho (1991) and Chuck Palahniuk's Fight Club (1996), and their criticism of consumer society. Drawing on Henry Giroux's analysis of the "culture of cynicism" in the United States during the 1990s (2001), and the criticism of "American exceptionalism" in Donald Pease and Robyn Wiegman's The Future of American Studies (2002), the dissertation demonstrates that Palahniuk and Ellis do not describe alternatives to the present social, economic and political system, by confirming the status quo. Moreover, this apocalyptic representation of the present might be seen as a barometer of the anxieties of the United States, which sought to redefine itself as a nation following the collapse of its long-standing antithetical position to the Soviet Union and communism. "American Psycho and Fight Club" also draw on Herbert Marcuse's notion of "repressive tolerance" (1969), in order to criticise the graphic and explicit representation of violence as a means to criticise class inequality in a neoliberal system. Guy Debord's analysis of "spectacle society" (1967) is employed in order to criticise Palahniuk's and Ellis' spectacular accusation of consumer society, and their use of advertisement-like slogans. In conclusion, my textual analysis demonstrates that Palahniuk and Ellis address a thrilled audience, which enjoys the explicit depiction of gruesome violence for the sake of violence itself, rather than a reflective audience, which might become more aware of the uneven relationships of power in terms of class, gender and race in a neo-liberal society.


Member of The Society for Italian Studies, The American Association for Italian Studies, The Canadian Society for Italian Studies and The Modern Language Association, The International Network of Italian Colonial and Postcolonial Studies, and the research group Connecting Cultures - Postcolonial Studies Theme at the University of Warwick.