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Kate Willman


I was awarded my PhD in Italian Studies (fully funded by the AHRC) at the University of Warwick in January 2016. My doctoral thesis, supervised by Dr Jennifer Burns with Dr Fabio Camilletti, was entitled 'New Italian Epic: History, Journalism and the 21st-Century "Novel"'. It centred on the recent phenomenon in Italian literature known as the New Italian Epic, a label coined to describe certain hybrid texts published mainly after the year 2000 in Italy that are an unusual mix of genres and media. I argue that this is an important literary movement both within and outside Italy, signalling a new stage in the development of the novel form in the twenty-first century. I am currently developing a comparative project on 21st century autofiction and preparing my PhD thesis for publication.

Education & Qualifications

PhD in Italian Studies, University of Warwick

PGA (Postgraduate Award) for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, University of Warwick

MA in Comparative Literature, King's College London

BA French and Italian, University of Bristol

Teaching & Supervision

At Warwick, I taught on the following modules:

  • IT103 Italian for Literature Students
  • IT301 Modern Language Italian II: Translation

In the academic year 2015-16, I taught at the University of Bristol on the following modules:

  • ITAL10029 Modern Italy (Convenor)
  • ITAL30001 Italian Language (Translation)


Journal special issues

Editor with Giacomo Comiati and Martina Piperno, Italy Made in Britain: Contemporary British Perspectives on Italian Culture (forthcoming).

Articles in journals

‘Contemporary British Travel Writing on Italy and British Broadsheets’, Italy Made in Britain: Contemporary British Perspectives on Italian Culture (forthcoming).

‘Fatherhood in Contemporary Autofiction: Giuseppe Genna and Bret Easton Ellis’, Comparative Critical Studies (February 2018).

‘Wu Ming: tra collettivo ed individuo’ (‘Wu Ming: Between Collective and Individual’) with Dr Francesca Medaglia, Fermenti, no.243 (October 2015).

Book chapters

'The Risorgimento in 21st Century Italian Literature', The Nineteenth Century in Italian Contemporary Culture: Survival, Continuity, Legacy, Fabio Camilletti and Martina Piperno (ed.s) (forthcoming).


Various chapters of The Formation of a National Audience: Readers and Spectators in Italy, 1750-1890, Jennifer Burns and Gabriella Romani (ed.s) (forthcoming 2016).

Various chapters of The Friulian Language: Identity, Migration, Culture, Rosa Mucignat (ed.) (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014).

‘Foreword’ by Simone Brioni in Lontano da Mogadiscio / Far From Mogadishu by Shirin Ramzanali Fazel (Milan: Laurana Editore, 2013).


‘21st Century Autofiction’, Interdisciplinary Italy (February 2016),

‘Un approccio laterale alla scrittura: Intervista con Letizia Muratori’ (‘A Lateral Approach to Writing: Interview with Letizia Muratori’), Nazione indiana (April 2015),

Conference Papers

‘Helena Janeczek and the Aporia of Testimony in Contemporary Italian Life-Writing’, Life of Testimony / Testimony of Lives, Queen Mary University of London, 5th-6th May 2016.

‘A Subjective Turn? 21st Century Italian Autofiction’ at the Society for Italian Studies’ Interim Conference, Turning Points: Cultures of Transition, Transformation and Transmission in Italy, Trinity College Dublin, 29th-30th April 2016.

'De Cataldo’s Nelle mani giuste and the New Italian Epic’s Approach to the Italian Crisis' at the Association for the Study of Modern Italy Conference, The Italian Crisis 20 Years On, Italian Cultural Institute, London, 21st – 22nd November 2014.

'Wu Ming’s Collaborative Writing' at the American Association of Italian Studies Annual Conference, University of Zurich, 23rd – 25th May 2014.

'The Death of the Father and Giuseppe Genna’s Italia De Profundis' at the Society of Italian Studies Interim Conference, Interstitial Italy: Reassessing Global Questions through the "Peculiar" Italian Case, British School at Rome, 27th – 28th March 2014.

'The Force of the Past in Antonio Scurati’s Una storia romantica' at the Chiasmi Conference, Memories: Tradition and Revision, Amnesia and Revival, Brown University, 7th – 8th March 2014.

'"This is a true story including the parts that are not": Antar Mohamed and Wu Ming 2's Timira' at Intimate Archives: Photography and Life Writing, University of Oxford,Wolfson College, 29th November 2013.

'Power and the New Italian Epic: The Case of Timira' at the Society for Italian Studies Postgraduate Colloquium, University of Reading, 8th November 2013.

Events Organised

2nd – 3rd June 2014 Sub-Faculty of Modern Languages Postgraduate Symposium: I co-organised the University of Warwick’s first ever conference bringing together postgraduates from all the language departments. The funding was awarded by Warwick’s Research Students Skills Programme.

22nd February 2014 Italy Made in England: Contemporary British Perspectives on Italian Culture: This inter-disciplinary conference at the University of Warwick was funded by the Humanities Research Centre, whose doctoral fellowship competition I won. I plan to co-edit a volume based on the proceedings of the conference.

31st January 2014 The Past Before Us: Uses of History in 21st Century Italy: I co-organised a half-day event with the writer Giorgio Vasta and the film-maker Alina Marazzi as part of the Italian Studies departmental seminar series.

Other Academic Activities

Proof reading for colleagues in academia, including academic articles and thesis chapters.

Peer reviewer for Warwick’s postgraduate journal Exchanges.


I won the Rome Award for Early Career Scholars to study for 3 months at the British School at Rome (October-December 2014).