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Silvia Albertazzi

Full Professor

Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

Academic discipline: L-LIN/10 English Literature


Keywords: Modern and Contemporary English Literature Postcolonial Literature Literature and Photography Visual studies World Literature Cultural studies Cultural Topographies Fantastic Geocriticism Comparative Literature

My interest for diaspora literatures and the new literatures in English is carried on in a comparative literature perspective, that is to say, confronting anglophone non metropolitan works with contemporary European and North-American literary products, and British canonical works, in the wake of Postcolonial theory. My interest for visula studies comes from the sudy of the visionary elements of the fantastic and their use and emplot in the so-called magical reaklism that characterizes so many literary works from non-European realities. Visual studies are intended both as the study of visual devices in literature and the relationship bewteen image and writing, and the approach to the various declinations of the "gaze theme". Finally, a  deep curiosity for all the expressions of contemporary culture, postomodernism and postcolonialism, has lead me to cultural studies, and World Literature.

Silvia Albertazzi is the Director of CLOPEx (Centro studi sulle letterature omeoglotte dei paesi extraeuropei). Her research focuses on these main fields:

1)      Colonial and postcolonial literature. Postcolonial theory. Migration and Diaspora literature. Silvia Albertazzi published the first volume to appear in Italy on Indo-English literature, Il tempio e il villaggio,  in 1978. Since then she has never ceased to study Indian literature in English: she has written many articles and volumes on the subject (see her history of Indo-English literature in the volume Verso gli Antipodi, edited by Agostino Lombardo in 1995) , held lectures, read papers at national and international congresses, divulged the subject on magazines and newspapers,  and organised two international conferences on Indo-English literature at the University of Bologna (in 1992 and 1997). Her books Translating India (1993) and Nel bosco degli spiriti (1998), where she compares Indo-English literature both with the other  Postcolonial literatures in English and with British and North American contemporary literatures, together with the collection of essays  Appartenenze, on female Black writing in English, which she edited in 1998, are a proof of her continuous interest for the so-called new literatures in English. With Lo sguardo dell'Altro (Carocci, 2000), she opened her critical view to all the literatures written in European languages outside Europe, examining theory and praxis of Postcolonial literatures both diachronically  and synchronically. A result of the work done with the members of the Centre for Postcolonial studies of the University of Bologna are the two volumes of  Abbecedario Postcoloniale, which she edited in 2001 and 2002 with Roberto Vecchi for the publishing house Quodlibet; Postmodernism and Postcolonialism (Il poligrafo, Padova, 2002), edited with Donatella Possamai,  and Periferie della storia, edited with Roberto Vecchi and Barnaba Maj (Quodlibet, 2004). Moreover, Prof. Albertazzi taught Postclonial literatures at courses for teachers and librarians in Ravenna, Padova, Venezia, Longiano, Salerno, Cesena, Bologna, and  was invited to  talk about her experience of teaching Postcolonial literature at the University of Innsbruck, at the Australian National University of Canberra  and at the European Parliament of Luxemburg.      

2)      Fantastic literature. Prof. Albertazzi has been interested in fantastic literature since 1980, when her volume Il sogno gotico appeared. In 1993 Laterza  published her volume Il punto su: la letteratura fantastica. After that, she has devoted to the comparative study of European and extra-European contemporary literature where imagination and magic are used to convey political contents and social protests. Moving form the so-called magical realism, she has detected new uses of the fantastic in  Postcolonial literatures. A particular attention has been devoted to the idea of the healing force of narration. Starting from Benjamin's thoughts on the relationship between narration and technical reproducibility and applying it to the so-called new literatures, Prof. Albertazzi has put in question  limits and boundaries of fantastic literature in order to individuate features of fantasy and fable in the most recent postcolonial narrative. The result of this research are to be found in Il romanzo new global. Storie di intolleranza, fiabe di comunità, Pisa, ETS, 2003, which she wrote together with psycho-analyist Adalinda Gasparini.

3)      Modern and contemporary fiction in English . In the field of modern English literature, prof. Albertazzi has studied the gothic novel and Victorian fiction. Very recently she has written the chapters on XVII and XIX century  of  Breve storia della letteratura inglese edited by Paolo Bertinetti (Einaudi, 2004). As for contemporary literature, she has written extensively on XXth century authors, from D. H. Lawrence (to whom she devoted a book published by Laterza in 1988) to Julian Barnes, Ian MacEwan, Graham Swift. As her works published in the ‘90s - Bugie sincere (Editori Riuniti, Roma, 1992) and her more recents books, such as In questo mondo (Meltemi 2006) and Il nulla, quasi (Le Lettere, 2010) -  show, now Silvia Albertazzi studies contemporary fiction in a World Literature perspective. In this context, her comparative study of Postmodern and Postcolonial is particularly interesting. Not by chance, she has been invited to relate on it at various congresses and foreign Universities (Brown University, Providence; Innsbruck; UWA, Perth;  ANU, Canberra; Helsinki; Belo Horizonte, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais) and has been visiting professor three times  at Brown University and at the Université d'Orléans, France.

4) World Literature

See her work with the members of CLOPEx, Introduzione alla World Literature (Carocci 2021) and the events she organized at the central library of Bologna, Sala Borsa, in 2020-2021.

5) Cultural Studies

See her recent works on popular music and English culture of the Sixties, such as Leonard Cohen (paginauno 2018); Questo è domani (paginauno 2020); John Lennon (Castel Negrino 2022) and the events she organized at the central library of Bologna, Sala Borsa, in 2022. As an international expert on Leonard Cohen, she was invited to give a lecture at Byre Theatre, St Andrews University (Scotland) in 2019.

 Finally, as Scientific Responsible of the Centre for Postcolonial Studies of the University of Bologna, Silvia Albertazzi launched a series of critical essays called “Troposfere” published by Quodlibet, Macerata  in 2001; coordinated  two Departmental researches: “Multiculturalism and multimedia” (1997-2000) and “Post-modern, Post-colonial, Post-empire and Post-regime” (2000-2002); organised four international congresses in Bologna: Imagining Australia (1997), Scrivere=incontrare (2000); Postmodernism and Postcolonialism (2001); Post-Scripta. Possible and Impossible Encounters Between Cultures (2003). As a cultural divulger, she has collaborated with various magazines, newspapers, radio broadcastings.

After being a member of the Palermo unit of a PRIN research on "Literature and Visual Studies" coordinated by Prof. Michele Cometa, she is still working on literature and photography.


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