Foto del docente

Rita Monticelli

Full Professor

Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

Academic discipline: L-LIN/10 English Literature


Keywords: Utopia and dystopia Travel literature and colonial literature Cultura visuale Trauma studies Cultural memory Gender studies Feminist Theories Women's studies Cultural studies Postcolonial studies and theories Orientalism(s) Politics of the Body


  • Trauma studies: representations, transmissions and 'heritage' of memory in (post)-traumatic and post-conflict contexts
  • Cultural Studies, postcolonial theories
  • Gender studies. Women's studies. Feminist studies. Queer studies
  • Postcolonial studies
  • Travel literature
  • Critical utopias and dystopias
  • Photography, literature and visual culture
  • Literatures in English; English literature
  • Analyses of the representations of the body in literature and visual art

  •  Study of the representation, transmission and elaboration of traumatic events with specific reference to massacres in neo-colonial regimes and postcolonial contexts. This analysis requires epistemological instruments and methodologies that take into account the diverse and complex historical contexts and call for a synergy amongst diverse research fields. The study of the representation of massacres implies a dialogue between memory and oblivion, memories and counter-memories, the ethics of bearing witness and the difficulty of telling and representing. Mediatic representations, cinema, television, photography, the visual arts (and more recently, the internet), literature and critical theories have been, for at least sixty years, the fundamental vehicles by means of which traumatic events connected to massacres are transmitted, judged and remembered at a collective level. The accent placed on the possibility of “re-constructing” and representing conflicts connected to massacres has foregrounded sources such as diaries, autobiographies, testimonies, narrations (fictions) not only as individual expressions, but also as cultural structures exposing narratives of imagination and opposition.
  • The research include two interrelated topics: trauma/cultural memory and the issue of ‘race' with specific reference to post-traumatic contexts, including the ways in which communities are transformed, lacerated, disrupt or, paradoxically, unified, through traumatic events. In these analyses the issues of race and gender emerge as crucial for the discussion of traumatic events, including massacres, postcolonial and post-conflicts contexts. Recent traumatic events still expose ‘race' and ‘ethnicity' as elements that, covertly or overtly, inform the rhetoric of conflicts and their representations in media, literature, cinema and visual arts. Amongst literary genres exposing traumas, travel literature and dystopias (reporting or envisaging places of conflicts, and traumatic events) have been studied as hybrid genres foregrounding the articulation of history and imagination, memory and countermemories, re-memorization and oblivion, fiction and science. In these genres the representations/reports of traumas foreground ‘race' (e.g. connected to the primitive, the savage, the barbarous; or founding traumas such as slavery and the Shoah) as an empty and rhetorical category that has served as socio-cultural element connected to dominant powers.
  • Trauma studies. The analysis is focussed on the representations, transmissions and 'heritage' of traumas in litertaure, photoghraphs and visual culture with specific reference to images after 9/11 and from Abu Ghraib and their reception. These photographs and their circulation epitomize the controversial relationship between image, public gaze, the role of media and the visual, and the ethics of memory.
  • Postcolonial theories.
  • Gender studies
  • Trauma studies and critical dystopias
  • Re-readings of the body in gender and Feminist Studies.