Dr Emanuela Patti

Photograph of Dr Emanuela Patti

Department of Modern Languages
Senior Research Fellow

Contact details

Ashley Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I joined the University of Birmingham in 2015 where I am currently working as a Senior Research Fellow for the AHRC-funded project Interdisciplinary Italy 1900-2020: interart/intermedia. My research interests range across a variety of areas, including modern and contemporary Italian culture, cultural representations of Dante, comparative literature, digital cultures, intermediality. I have published on 20th and 21st Century culture, with a particular focus on Pasolini and Dante, postwar debates on realism and the politics of representation, experimental literature and digital humanities.

My first monograph, Pasolini After Dante. The ‘Divine Mimesis’ and The Politics of Representation (Oxford: Legenda, 2016) revolves around key debates of postwar Italy, such as the ‘questione della lingua’, realism in literature and the ‘national-popular’, the representation of the ‘other’, literary experimentalism, as well as broader critical debates such as the appropriation of classics and interartistic/intermedial theory and practice.

My contribution to Interdisciplinary Italy 1900-2020: Interart/Intermedia is focused on Italian experimentalism since 1945 and on theoretical approaches to digital culture and interartistic/intermedial practice.


  • Master’s in Comparative Literature (UCL)
  • Ph.D. in Italian Studies (University of Birmingham)


I graduated in Lettere Moderne at the University of Urbino, Italy (grade: 110/110 et lode) and I studied for a Master in Comparative Literature at UCL (grade: distinction). I completed a Ph.D. in Italian Studies at the University of Birmingham, under the supervision of Professor Michael Caesar. After my Ph.D. I have pursued a strategy of broadening my research interests in the area of Narratology, Culture and Media. In 2011 I was awarded a Visiting Professorship at the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3), UOC, Barcelona, directed by Manuel Castells and I re-launched, with Derrick De Kerckhove and Eric McLuhan, the International Journal of McLuhan Studies for which I was editorial co-director. In 2013/2014 I was Senior Lecturer of Italian and Director of the Centre for the study of Cultural Memory at the IMRL, School of Advanced Study, University of London. In 2014/2015 I was Senior Lecturer at the Media School, University of Bournemouth.


I have long standing experience in teaching Italian language, culture and media at undergraduate level in British and Italian universities. I have also taught modules on cinema theory at Master’s level. I have been responsible for the organization and coordination of the research training programme at the Institute of Modern Languages Research, School of Advanced Study, University of London (2013/2014). In 2016 I was invited to give lectures on Pasolini and Dante in Birmingham, Oxford, UCL and Leicester seminar series in Modern Languages.

In 2016/2017 I am teaching two modules:

  • From Modernism to Postmodernism: Impegno in Italian Culture (4th Year)
  • Translation Theory and Practice, seminars (4th Year)


Interdisciplinary Italy 1900-2020: interart/intermedia

I am currently working full-time on the AHRC-funded project Interdisciplinary Italy 1900-2020: interart/intermedia (2015-2018), run by Dr Clodagh Brook (principal investigator), together with Dr Florian Mussgnug (co-investigator) and Dr Giuliana Pieri (co-investigator). The project establishes a theoretical framework for interartistic creativity and traces the work of 20th and 21st Century Italian artists across a variety of media, with particular attention to digital art. My individual project within Interdisciplinary Italy investigates creativity across media in the digital age. I am working towards an interartistic cultural history of Italy in the digital age that will lead to a new monograph (in prep. 2019).

My other recent research projects are the following:

Pasolini and Dante

My first monograph, Pasolini After Dante. The ‘Divine Mimesis’ and The Politics of Representation (2016), is a comparative study on two great figures of Italian culture, Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) and Pier Paolo Pasolini (1922-1975). I examine Pasolini’s appropriation of Dante’s realism and how this relates to postwar Italian debates on the ‘questione della lingua’ (the linguistic question, i.e. what is national language?), the ‘national-popular’ (Gramsci), literary experimentalism, and intermediality. Key research questions of this project are the appropriation of classics and the crucial role played by critical interpretations, the representation of the ‘other’ and the convergence of styles and artistic media in Pasolini’s representations. I demonstrate how Pasolini’s rewriting of Dante’s Comedia, La Divina Mimesis, is just an outward sign of a sustained dialogue with Dante on representation started in the early 1950s.

Experimental Narratives From the Novel to Digital Storytelling

This project explores the concept of ‘experimentalism’ in fiction from print literature to digital storytelling, with a special focus on the development of new forms of textuality and reading practices. It follows a conference I co-organised at the IMLR entitled Experimental Narratives: From the Novel to Digital Storytelling (London, February 2015) and it will lead to two main publications: a special issue of the Journal of Romance Studies (in prep. Winter 2016) on interactive narratives; and a special issue of the Journal of Comparative Critical Studies (in prep. Autumn 2016) on the relationship between the literary heritage and digital storytelling. Both publications will offer a comparative perspective across languages and cultures.

Other activities

Organization of Conferences, Symposia, Workshops, Seminars, Roundtables

Selected events (2014-2015)

  1. International Conference - Experimental Narratives: From the novel to digital storytelling. International conference. 26/27 February 2015, Senate House, London. Co-organized with Jordana Blejmar (IMLR) and Godela Weiss-Sussex (IMLR).
  2. Events Series - Italian culture and society in the Internet age 2014/2015. Senate House, London.
  3. Roundtable - “Apocalittici ed integrati”. Italian intellectuals and new technologies. Roundtable. Speakers: Florian Mussgnug (UCL), Daniela La Penna (Reading) and Charlotte Ross (Birmingham) in conversation with Pierpaolo Antonello (Cambridge), author of the book Dimenticare Pasolini. 30 May 2014, Senate House, London. 
  4. International Conference - Memories of the Future. Co-organized with the University of the Arts London, Chelsea. London, 2-3 May 2014. 
  5. Seminar - Fabio Vighi (Cardiff) on Agamben, trauma and post-capitalist scenarios (Italian Philosophy Seminar Series).7 April 2014, Senate House, London. 
  6. Book launch - Amor che move by Manuele Gragnolati (Oxford) in conversation with Robert Gordon (Cambridge), Elena Lombardi (Oxford) and Emanuele Trevi (writer). 17 March 2014, Senate House, London. In collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute, ICI Berlin, The Italian Bookshop.
  7. Seminar - Practising Theory: The Friction between Critical Theory and Writing Novels. Speakers: Enrico Palandri (UCL) and Nicola Gardini (Oxford). 7 March 2014, Senate House, London.

Past events (2005-2013)

  1. Book launch - Storia umana e inumana by Giorgio Pressburger in conversation with Laura Lepschy (UCL), Emma Bond (St.Andrews) and Manuele Gragnolati (Oxford). 25 November 2013, Senate House, London. In collaboration with the University of Oxford. 
  2. Book launch - John Foot (Bristol University), Benedetta Tobagi (UCL) and Ilaria Favretto (Kingston) in conversation with Philip Cooke and Anna Cento Bull, authors of the book Ending Terrorism in Italy (Extremism and Democracy) (Routledge). In collaboration with the Modern Italian History Seminar.
  3. Conference panel - Italian transmedia culture: stories and storytelling across media. Biennial conference of the Society for Italian Studies, Durham, 9-11 July 2013 (Panelists and chairs: Emanuela Patti, Clodagh Brook, Marco Amici, Paolo Granata, Emanuela Piga, Giulio Iacoli, Marina Guglielmi, Anna Chierici, Donata Meneghelli, Francesco Monico). 
  4. Symposium - Literature and transmediality. Co-organized with Dr. Florian Mussgnug. Centre for Intercultural Studies, University College London, UK, 25 May 2012. Sponsored by FIGGS and Roberts Funding. Invited speakers: Claudia Boscolo, Tommaso Pincio, Otto Gabos, Cristina Massaccesi, Federica Chiocchetti, Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen. Chairs: Pierpaolo Antonello, Federica Mazzara. 
  5. International Conference - La nuova gioventù? The intellectual legacy of Pier Paolo Pasolini 30 years on. Co-organized with Laurence Hooper. Centre for Research in Arts Humanities and Social Sciences (CRAASH), Cambridge, UK, 4-5 November 2005. Sponsored by CRAASH and the Society of Italian Studies. Invited speakers: Giorgio Pressburger, Goffredo Fofi, Cecilia Mangini, Fabio Vighi, Armando Maggi, Antonio Tricomi, Mirko Grasso, Mariano D’Amora, Derek Duncan, Patrick Rumble and the organizers.
  6. Events Series and Conference - Trent’anni senza Pasolini. Member of the Advisory Board. Cagliari, 2-20 November 2005. Sponsored by Provincia di Cagliari, Regione Sardegna and DS. Organizer of the conference L’imperativo dell’espressività: Pasolini sperimentatore di linguaggi. ERSU, Università di Cagliari, Italy, 10 November 2005. Chair of Pasolini, tra identità e omologazione, interview with Goffredo Fofi. 9 November 2005. 



  • The Digital Turn in Italian Culture (in preparation)
  • Pasolini After Dante: the ‘Divine Mimesis’ and the Politics of Representation (Oxford: Legenda, 2016), ISBN: 9781909662933

Edited Volumes

  • Transmedia. Storia, memoria e narrazioni attraverso i media, with Clodagh Brook, (Milan: Mimesis, 2014), ISBN: 9788857526997
  • La nuova gioventù? Saggi sull’eredità intellettuale di Pier Paolo Pasolini, (Novi Ligure: Joker, 2009), ISBN: 9788875362133

Journal special issues

Articles in peer-reviewed journals

  • 'Modern Languages and The Digital: The Shape of The Discipline', with Claire Taylor, Niamh Thornton et al., Modern Languages Open 2017 DOI: http://doi.org/10.3828/mlo.v0i0.156
  • 'Pasolini's intermediality', in ISLG Bullettin. The Annual Newsletter of the Italian Studies Library Group, edited by Andrea Del Corno, 15 (2016), pp. 45-54
  • ‘From Page to Screen/From Screen to Page: Collaborative Narratives in Twenty-First Century Italian Fiction: the Wu Ming Case’, in Reading Practices in Experimental Narratives: From Print to Digital, Special Issue of the Journal of Romance Studies (forthcoming, 16: 1, 2016)
  • ‘La Divina Mimesis come progetto popolare-nazionale: Pasolini e il regresso nel parlante’, Pasolini entre régression et échec, edited by Paolo Desogus, Manuele Gragnolati, Davide Luglio, Cristoph Holzhey, Special Issue of LaRivista, online, 4 (Spring 2016)
  • ‘Linking Venus. New Technologies of Memory and Reconfiguration of Space at the Warburg Library’ (with François Quiviger), Between. Rivista dell’associazione di Teoria e Storia Comparata della Letteratura, online, 8 (Autumn 2014)
  • ‘Pasolini, intellettuale mimetico’, Studi Pasoliniani, 7 (Autumn 2013), pp. 89-100
  • ‘Forme di dantismo ed antipetrarchismo nella poetica pasoliniana degli anni ’40’, Letterature Straniere & (Quaderni della Facoltà di Lingue e Letterature Straniere dell'Università di Cagliari), 13 (Autumn 2011), pp. 269-80
  • Petrolio as a model of UNO in Giuseppe Genna’s Italia De Profundis’, Overcoming Postmodernism: The debate on the New Italian Epic, Special Issue of the Journal of Romance Studies, 10 (Spring 2010), pp. 83-95
  • ‘Pasolini’s La Divina Mimesis: frammenti di un discorso infernale’, Arachnofiles. A Journal of European Languages and Cultures, online, 3 (Spring 2004).

Chapters in edited volumes

  • 'La ricezione critica di Pasolini nel Regno Unito', in Pasolini oggi. Fortuna internazionale e ricezione critica, edited by Angela Felice, Arturo Larcati and Antonio Tricomi (Venice: Marsilio, 2016), pp. 161-176.
  • ‘L’ibridazione tra le arti nella prospettiva postmediale’, in Amos Bianchi and Giovanni Leghissa (eds.), Mondi altri. Processi di soggettivazione nell’era postumana a partire dal pensiero di Antonio Caronia (Milan: Mimesis, 2016), 251-262
  • ‘Letteratura oltre i confini del libro. Storie e narrazioni attraverso i media’, in Marco Gargiulo (ed.), Lingua e cultura italiana nei mass media, (Roma: Aracne, 2014), 31-55
  • ‘From Dantean realism to postrealism: La Divina Mimesis and the mimetic project’, in D. Messina (ed.), Corpus xxx: Pasolini, Petrolio, Salò, (Bologna: Clueb, 2012), 109-33
  • ‘We are a dream in a dream: the illusion of reality in film representation’, in Atti del I convegno NABA: Always Already New, (Milan: M-Node Press, 2011), 303-10
  • ‘Fictional reality and real fiction in Pasolini and Fassbinder’, in F. Vighi e A.Nuss, Pasolini and Fassbinder: the European Legacy Between Utopia and Nihilism, (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010), 37-48
  • ‘Ideologia e linguaggio: Pasolini e Sanguineti a confronto sul realismo di Dante’, in La nuova gioventù? Saggi sull’eredità intellettuale di Pier Paolo Pasolini (Novi Ligure: Joker, 2009), 88-105
  • Petrolio, scrittura della differenza: memoria, storia e identità alla deriva’, in AA.VV., Tempo e memoria nella lingua e letteratura italiana. Atti del XVII congresso A.I.P.I., Vol. III: Narrativa del Novecento e degli anni Duemila (Bruxelles: Civiltà Italiana, 2009), 201-11
  • ‘Mimesis: Pasolini’s will to be a poet’, in B. Lawton and M. Bergonzoni (eds). Pier Paolo Pasolini, 30 Years Later, (Washington: New Academia Publishing, 2009), 115-30
  • ‘A poetic idea: (re)sacralizing the wor(l)d. Pasolini’s project for a film about Saint Paul’, in L. Risso (ed). Politics and culture in Post-War Italy, (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholar Press, 2006), 77-87.


  • Review of Massimo Riva, Pinocchio digitale. Postumanesimo e iper-romanzo, in Annali di Italianistica, 31 (2013), 582
  • Review of Fabio Vighi, Sexual difference in European Cinema, in Between. Rivista dell’associazione di Teoria e Storia Comparata della Letteratura, online, 2 (Spring 2011)
  • Review of Erminia Passannanti, Il corpo e il potere, in Allegoria, 52-53 (January-August 2006), 222

Interviews in volumes and peer-reviewed journals

  • ‘From the Letter to Electronic Lettrism. The Reincarnation of the Word and the Implosion of the Muses’. Interview with Derrick de Kerckhove. International Journal of McLuhan Studies, 1 (Autumn 2011), 141-5
  • ‘Pasolini e i media’. Interview with Derrick de Kerckhove. La nuova gioventù? Saggi sull’eredità intellettuale di Pier Paolo Pasolini, (Novi Ligure: Joker, 2009), 153-65