Dr Daniela La Penna
- +44 (0) 118 378 6502
Head of Department, Department of Languages and Cultures.
I am the current Research Division Leader for Modern Languages and Linguistics. From 2010 to 2017 I served as the Departmental Director of Postgraduate Studies and the Programme Director of the MRes in Modern Languages. Since 2010 I have acted as the lead organiser of the Post-Graduate Training Consortium in Italian Studies (comprising the Italian Departments of Reading, UCL, RHUL, Oxford and Cambridge). Since 2016 I have been Senior Co-Editor of international peer-reviewed journal the Italianist.
I convene and teach the following UG modules:
- IT10MIA Making Italians: History and Culture of Modern Italian (Advanced Italian only)
- IT10MI Making Italians: A Journey in the History and Culture of Modern Italy
- IT2INT Apocalittici e Integrati: Intellectuals and Society in Twentieth-century Italy
- ML2GF Science, Perversion, and Dream in Global Fantastic Literature
- IT3VS Voice and the Self in Modern Italian Poetry
- IT3CCO Crisis, Change, Opportunity. Italy from 1968 to the Present
I contribute to the MA module FTMWD World Cinema, and to ENRPB Researching the Printed Book module for the MA in English. I am the convenor of the Italian History option for the MA in History.
Supervision of Research Students:
I have successfully supervised and co-supervised several PhD theses in Italian Studies. These include:
Dr Sara Pesatori: Vittorio Sereni traduttore di William Carlos Williams: un'edizione critica delle version edite ed inedited (completed in 2012)
Dr Tiziana Mancinelli: La camera da letto di Attilio Bertolucci: Un'edizione critica digitale (completed in 2013)
Dr Ilaria Poeri: Il confino di polizia: una scuola di dissenso (completed in 2014)
Dr Tamara Colacicco: Strade e volti della propaganda Fascista: La diffusione dell'Italiano in Gran Bretagna 1921-1940 (completed in 2015)
Dr Stefano Bragato: Strategie di composizione letteraria in Filippo Tommaso Marinetti (completed in 2015)
I welcome expressions of interest for doctoral research in Twentieth-century fiction and poetry (in particular experimentalism and multilingualism in literature); Benedetto Croce; Twentieth-century literary translation; Literary journals and Italian publishing history (post-1850); and any aspect of Twentieth-century Italian intellectual history.
Areas of Interest
My main research interest is modern Italian culture, and for a long time I have explored the interplay between tradition and experimentalism with form and language(s) in twentieth-century Italian fiction and poetry. I have published several articles, edited several books and special issues for A-rated journals. In 2013, I published a book on translingual poet Amelia Rosselli.
My current research explores issues related to resilience and change in the Italian intellectual field from 1920s to the 1960s and specifically focuses on the intellectual networks that developed around Benedetto Croce’s cultural hegemony. I am preparing a monograph provisionally entitled Capital Transfers. Resilience and Change in Intellectual Networks around Benedetto Croce.
My interests also include literary translation in twentieth-century Italy, the literature of the fantastic, and Italian film.
Mapping Literary Space: Intellectuals, Journals, and Publishing Firms in Italy 1940-1960
The research focuses on the patterns of organisation, cultural activity, and aesthetic programme of literary intellectual networks in Italy in a period of Italian history (1940-1960) characterised by radical historical, political, social and cultural changes. It does so through a detailed study of a range of literary journals, differing widely in life-span, geographical location, political allegiance, and aesthetic interests. This project builds on the hypothesis that literary journals have always serviced new writing, introduced readers to new artistic movements across continents, engendered debate, disseminated ideas, and more importantly sought to challenge settled aesthetic and cultural assumptions. This project, however, does not only look at the ways in which Italian intellectuals and writers traditionally verbalised cultural discourses and aesthetic concerns in journals in order to establish or counter forms of cultural hegemony; it also assesses and describe the ways in which intellectual networks used
(a) literary journals to create sites for discussion and dissemination of their aesthetic, literary, and political concerns to national and transnational audiences,
(b) how they sought to disseminate these ideas through strategic alliances with commercial and institutional outlets, such as emerging or established publishing houses of the day, and
(c) how intellectuals and writers used literary journals to map their new public identity and define their own space for public intervention.
Existing scholarship has never fully addressed the interconnections between journals as a fruitful way of establishing their role as a collective, rather than a single, enterprise in shaping cultural, political and aesthetic expressions within Italian society. Furthermore, the strategic alliances that some journals forged with established or emerging publishing firms has been consistently neglected, despite substantial records showing evidence of the impact of journals' patronage of foreign and Italian authors on publishers' catalogues.
Through the examination of the intellectual networks sustaining the single journals over time, the project provides an analysis of the patterns of dissemination of literary practices and the role played by publishing firms in this, and also accounts for any significant shifts in political affiliations of important editors and contributors in the period under consideration. The research highlights and describes the conditions, mechanisms and circumstances that allowed some intellectuals and cultural organisers, who had either a marginal or significant role in the cultural landscape of the fascist regime, to maintain a presence or achieve prominence in the transition from the regime to the republic and beyond, through strategic alliances with journals and publishing firms. As a result, our research emphasises the adaptability of the literary journal as a form, and also highlights the centrality of its role for assessing the social and commercial dimension of post-war Italian literary exchange.
Research groups / Centres
Public-funded Research Projects
2012-2015: Principal Investigator: Mapping Literary Space: Intellectuals, Journals and Publishing houses in Italy, 1940-1960. AHRC Early Career Research Grant: £191,866
2012-2017: I am one of the two UK-based researchers contributing to the FIRB project 'Storia e mappe digitali della letteratura tedesca in Italia: l'editoria, il campo letterario, le interferenze: ll Novecento'.
2011-2014: Co-Investigator: Diasporic Literary Archives: Questions of Location, Ownership and Interpretation. An International Research Network funded by The Leverhulme Trust: £124,500
2004-2005: AHRB research leave (April-July 2005) in support of my research project on 'Style and Sources in Amelia Rosselli's oeuvre': £10,510
- La Penna, D. (2018) Tradurre Emily Apter. In: Di Giovanni, E. and Zanotti, S. (eds.) Donne in Traduzione. Strumenti Bompiani. Bompiani, Milan, pp. 276-283. ISBN 9788845296369
- La Penna, D. (2018) Italian literary archives: legacies and challenges. In: Sutton, D. C. and Livingstone, A. (eds.) The future of literary archives: diasporic and dispersed collections at risk. ARC, pp. 89-101. ISBN 9781942401575
- La Penna, D., Billiani, F. and Milani, M., eds. (2018) Continuity and rupture in the Italian literary field 1926-1960. Taylor and Francis. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/00751634.2018.1444533 (Special issue of Italian Studies)
- La Penna, D. (2018) Habitus and embeddedness in the Florentine literary field: the case of Alberto Carocci (1926-1939). Italian Studies, 73 (2). pp. 126-141. ISSN 1748-6181 doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/00751634.2018.1444536
- La Penna, D., Billiani, F. and Milani, M. (2018) Introduction: rupture and continuity in the Italian literary field 1926-1960. Italian Studies, 73 (2). pp. 123-125. ISSN 1748-6181 doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/00751634.2018.1444533
- La Penna, D., Milani, M. and Billiani, F., eds. (2016) National dialogues and transnational exchanges across Italian periodical culture, 1940-1960. Modern Italy, 21 (2). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
- La Penna, D. (2016) The rise and fall of Benedetto Croce: intellectual positionings in the Italian cultural field 1944-1947. Modern Italy, 21 (2). pp. 139-155. ISSN 1469-9877 doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/mit.2016.5
- La Penna, D., Billiani, F. and Milani, M., eds. (2016) Mediating culture in the Italian literary field: 1940s-1950s. Journal of Modern Italian Studies, 21 (1). Taylor and Francis. ISBN 469-9583
- La Penna, D. (2016) Aretusa: continuity, rupture, and space for intervention, 1944-1946. Journal of Modern Italian Studies, 21 (1). pp. 19-34. ISSN 1354-571X doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/1354571X.2016.1112061
- La Penna, D. and Billiani, F. (2016) Mediating culture in the Italian literary field, 1940s-1950s: an introduction. Journal of Modern Italian Studies, 21 (1). pp. 1-3. ISSN 1469-9583 doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/1354571X.2016.1112058
- La Penna, D. (2014) Authoriality in poetic translation. The case of Amelia Rosselli's practice. Translation Studies, 7 (1). ISSN 1751-2921 doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/14781700.2013.825877
- La Penna, D. (2013) "La promessa d'un semplice linguaggio". Lingua e stile nella poesia di Amelia Rosselli. Carocci, Rome, pp210. ISBN 9788843072231
- La Penna, D. (2012) Luciano Erba: l'ultima intervista. Testo: Studi di teoria e storia della letteratura e della critica, 64 (2). pp. 11-22. ISSN 1123-4660
- La Penna, D. (2012) Meneghello's intellectual profile. The Italianist (32). pp. 7-17. ISSN 1748-619X (Special Supplement, 32)
- La Penna, D., ed. (2012) Meneghello: fiction, scholarship, passione civile. The Italianist: Special Supplement, 32. Maney Publishing, pp246.
- La Penna, D. (2010) 'Cercatemi e fuoriuscite': biography, textuality, and gender in recent criticism on Amelia Rosselli. Italian Studies, 65 (2). pp. 278-285. ISSN 0075-1634 doi: https://doi.org/10.1179/016146210X12593180344577
- La Penna, D. (2008) Historicizing value, negotiating visibility: English and Italian poetic canons in translation. In: La Penna, D. and Caselli, D. (eds.) Twentieth-century poetic translation: literary cultures in Italian and English. Continuum, London, pp. 1-22. ISBN 9781847060037
- La Penna, D. and Caselli, D. (2008) Twentieth-century poetic translation: literary cultures in Italian and English. Continuum, London, pp236. ISBN 9781847060037
- La Penna, D. (2008) Aesthetic discourse and the paradox of representation in Camillo Boito's “Un corpo”. Forum for Modern Language Studies, 44 (4). pp. 460-479. ISSN 1471-6860 doi: https://doi.org/10.1093/fmls/cqn054
- La Penna, D. (2007) An inquiry into modality and genre: reconsidering L'Iguana by Anna Maria Ortese. In: Billiani, F. and Sulis, G. (eds.) The Italian gothic and fantastic: encounters and rewritings of narrative traditions. Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, Madison, pp. 160-187. ISBN 9780838641262
- La Penna, D. (2006) Enunciazione, simulazione di parlato e norma scritta. Ricognizioni tematiche e linguistico-stilistiche su La ferita dell’aprile di Vincenzo Consolo. In: Adamo, G. (ed.) La parola scritta e pronunciata: nuovi saggi sulla narrativa di Vincenzo Consolo. Manni, Lecce, pp. 13-48. ISBN 9788881768615
- La Penna, D. (2005) L'autocitazione nell'opera di Amelia Rosselli: il caso di Serie ospedaliera. In: Butcher, J. and Moroni, M. (eds.) From Eugenio Montale to Amelia Rosselli:. Troubador Publishing, Leicester, pp. 194-209. ISBN 9781904744504
- La Penna, D. (2004) The cinema of Giuseppe M. Gaudino and Edoardo Winspeare: between tradition and experiment. In: Hope, W. (ed.) Italian cinema: new directions. New studies in European cinema (1). Peter Lang, Oxford, pp. 175-197. ISBN 9783039102822
- La Penna, D. (2003) La metafora ventosa nell'opera di Amelia Rosselli. Trasparenza, 17-19. pp. 309-332. (special issue 'Amelia Rosselli')
- La Penna, D. (2003) Traduzioni e traduttori. In: Giovannuzzi, S. (ed.) Gli Anni '60 E '70 in Italia: Due Decenni Di Ricerca Poetica. San Marco dei Giustiniani, Genoa, pp. 297-322. ISBN 9788874941278
- La Penna, D. (2002) Aspetti stilistici e linguistici della poesia italiana di Amelia Rosselli. Stilistica e Metrica Italiana, 2. pp. 217-233. ISSN 1591-6693
- La Penna, D. (2002) La mente interlinguistica: strategie dell'interferenza nell'opera trilingue di Amelia Rosselli. In: Orioles, V. and Brugnolo, F. (eds.) Eteroglossia e Plurilinguismo letterario. Lingue, Culture e Testi, 2. Il Calamo, Rome, pp. 397-415. ISBN 88-88039-23-6
- La Penna, D. (1999) La trama e la struttura: il narcisismo in 'Mafarka le futuriste'. The Italianist, 19 (1). pp. 133-163. ISSN 0261-4340 doi: https://doi.org/10.1179/ita.19188.8.131.52
Co-organiser (with Sara Pesatori and Peter Robinson): 'Torna il tuo cielo d'un tempo': A Centenary Conference on Vittorio Sereni, Reading, 6 June 2013. (Guest speakers Edoardo Esposito; Barbara Colli; Maurizio Cucchi)
Co-organiser (with Federico Faloppa, Paola Nasti and Francesca Billiani): 'Transnational Italy: National Identity and the World Atlas', Reading, 14-15 July 2012. (Guest speakers: Vittorio Coletti, Gisèle Sapiro, Donald Sassoon, Nick Havely)
Organiser of the International Symposium 'Publishing Institutions and Translations: a European Perspective', Reading MERL, 17 January 2009.
Organiser of the International Conference 'Meneghello: Fiction, Scholarship, Passione civile', Reading MERL and Istituto Italiano di Cultura, London, 13-14 June 2008. (Guest speakers: Francesca Caputo, Paul Corner, Giulio Lepschy, John Scott; Stuart Woolf)
Co-organiser (with Dr Daniela Caselli) of the International Conference 'Value and Visibility: Twentieth-century Poetic Translation in Italian and English', the Institute of Romance Studies, 10-11 September 2004. (Guest speakers: Lawrence Venuti, George Steiner, Pier Vincenzo Mengaldo).
2005: Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
2002: PhD in Italian Literature (University of Reading)
2001: Abilitazione all'insegnamento della Lingua e Letteratura Inglese per le Scuole Medie e Superiori(English equivalent: Postgraduate Certificate of Education in English Language and Literature)
1997: MA (Res) in Italian Studies, Distinction (University of Reading)
1995: Laurea in Lingue e Letterature Straniere Moderne, 110/110 magna cum laude (Università degli Studi di Napoli, Federico II)
Membership of Learned Societies:
Professional Advisory or Consultancy Work
2002-present: I have acted as peer reviewer for University of Toronto Press and the following journals: Forum for Modern Language Studies, Romance Studies, Journal of Romance Studies, The Italianist, Italian Studies, Pirandello Studies, Arena Romanistica.
2012-2015: Member of the AHRC Peer Review College
Extra-mural Service and Leadership
2008-2012: National representative for Italian Studies at the University Council for Modern Languages (UCML) and member of the UCML executive committee
2010-2012: Member of the UCML REF advisory panel
2008-2012: co-opted member of the Society for Italian Studies (SIS) executive committee.
2012-2015: co-opted member of the SIS executive committee
2012-2015: national representative for Italian Studies at the UCML member of the exec committee
2012-2015: member of the peer review college of MIUR, the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities, and Research (Ministero dell'Istruzione, Universita', e Ricerca)
2012-2015: designated international member of the Italian Modern Literature panel, ANVUR (National Agency for the Evaluation of Universities and Research Institutes)About Italian Studies at the School of Languages and European Studies