Dr Paola Cori

Department of Modern Languages
Lecturer in Modern Languages

Contact details

316, Ashley Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

I am Lecturer in Modern Languages and I teach across the entire provision of Core modules for the Italian programme. I am also the Italian coordinator for the LfA programme. I specialize in nineteenth-century literature, philosophy and philosophy of language and I have devoted a large part of my research to Giacomo Leopardi. I am also interested in contemporary thought, as well as psychological approaches to literature and second language acquisition.


  • PhD (University of Birmingham)
  • Laurea in Lettere e Filosofia (University of Rome, La Sapienza)


I graduated at the University of Rome, La Sapienza. I then completed a PhD on Image and Memory in Leopardi at the University of Birmingham, which was awarded a Giacomo Leopardi Prize for doctoral dissertations form the Centro Nazionale di Studi Leopardiani in Recanati. From 2013 to 2016 I was Honorary Research Fellow of the Leopardi Centre at Birmingham, where I organized many international events, also as recipient of two Small Research Grants from the Cesare Barbieri Endowment (Trinity College, Hartford, USA). I have contributed to the Lessico leopardiano project and I collaborate with the Laboratorio Leopardi research network (University of Rome La Sapienza). Before returning to Birmingham as permanent lecturer, I held temporary lectureships at Nottingham Trent and Cardiff University.


I teach across the entire Core provision of the Italian programme and I am the Italian coordinator for Languages for All.

I teach the following modules:

  • LI Italian Core III – Intermediate: Icons of Italy (30128), Seminars
  • LI Italian Core III – Advanced: Icons of Italy (30218), Communicative Skills and Seminars
  • LH Italian Language (29669), Use of Language
  • LC Italian Core I – Advanced: Icons of Italy (29746), Use of Language and Communicative Skills
  • LC Translation in Practice I (Adv. Italian) (31446)
  • Supervisor for ISM Dissertations (Translation Studies related topic and IT04 Italian: Word, Music, Image: Interdisciplinarity and Translation Studies in Italian texts)

I am convenor of the following course:

  • LC Translation in Practice I (Adv Italian) (31446)

Postgraduate supervision

Giacomo Leopardi
Nineteenth-century Italian literature, philosophy and philosophy of language
The Irrational and the Unconscious before Freud
Literature and science
‘Italian Theory’
Translation studies
Modern foreign language pedagogy

I supervise the following PhD projects:

Sara Corpino, ‘Translation of dialects: Atzeni’s language in English and French’ (co-supervisor with Dr Emma Tyler)
Simona Scanni, ‘Effectiveness of Online Language Learning: A case study of Italian as a foreign language’ (co-supervisor with Dr Paolo De Ventura)


My research specialization is Leopardi and nineteenth-century literature and philosophy. My PhD thesis discussed the relations between memory and image in Leopardi’s Canti and Zibaldone. Since then, and as Honorary Research Fellow of the Leopardi Centre at Birmingham, I have continued to devote my research to Leopardi and nineteenth-century literature and philosophy, while at the same time investigating this period as the matrix of many epistemological questions which would become fully manifest in the Novecento and beyond, and which still inform our contemporary sensitivity. From the perspective of language pedagogy, I am also interested in exploring the way new attention ecology  theories can enhance the theory and practice of second language acquisition.

Other activities

I am Italian coordinator for the Languages for All programme.


Recent publications


Cori, P 2019, Forms of Thinking in Leopardi’s ‘Zibaldone’. Religion, Science and Everyday Life in an Age of Disenchantment. Italian Perspectives, Legenda, Cambridge.

Cori, P & Camilletti, F (eds) 2015, Ten Steps. Critical Inquiries on Leopardi. Peter Lang, Oxford.


Cori, P 2019, 'Ipnotismo e iperrealtà. Spunti per un dialogo tra Leopardi e il postmoderno', Italian Studies, vol. 74, no. 3, pp. 260-277. https://doi.org/10.1080/00751634.2019.1623524

Cori, P 2016, 'L’attenuazione in Leopardi. Lingua, diritto e storia delle idee', Studi medievali e moderni, vol. 1, pp. 43-62.

Cori, P 2016, 'The Zibaldone as Leopardi’s self-education', Italica, vol. 93, no. 1, pp. 77-91. <https://www.jstor.org/stable/43896084>

Cori, P 2014, 'La trappola della voce. Dinamiche della parola nella traduzione leopardiana dell’Epistola di Francesco Petrarca al cardinal Giovanni Colonna', Studi medievali e moderni, vol. 1-2, pp. 47-72.

Cori, P 2013, 'Augenblick: A Reading of Leopardi’s Le ricordanze', Rivista Internazionale di Studi Leopardiani, vol. 9, pp. 27-53.

Cori, P 2012, 'Ephemera: The Feeling of Time in Leopardi’s Canto notturno', Italian Studies, vol. 67, no. 1, pp. 70-91.

Cori, P 2011, 'Reflections on Leopardi, Borges, Deleuze and the Rhizome', Appunti leopardiani, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 20-25.

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Cori, P 2019, Italian Mesmerism, Religion and the Unconscious. Irresistible Analogies from Muratori to Morselli. in A Aloisi & F Camilletti (eds), Archaeology of the Unconscious . Routledge, London, pp. 113-140.

Cori, P 2016, Gli occhi del testo: Performance e intertestualità nel Leopardi traduttore di Petrarca. in Leopardi e la traduzione: Teoria e prassi . Olschki, Florence, pp. 445-463. https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctt1tqx822.30

Cori, P 2016, Intelletto. in Lessico Leopardiano 2016 . Universita di Roma "La Sapienza", Rome, pp. 57-63. https://doi.org/10.13133/978-88-9377-002-6

Cori, P 2015, 'Time-image' in Poetry and Cinema: Leopardi and Antonioni. in FA Camilletti & P Cori (eds), Ten Steps. Critical Inquiries on Leopardi . Peter Lang, pp. 175-203.

Cori, P 2014, Mente. in N Bellucci, F D'Intino & S Gensini (eds), Lessico Leopardiano 2014 . Universita di Roma "La Sapienza", Rome, pp. 85-93.

Cori, P 2013, 'ec. ec. ec.': modi e forme della sospensione nello Zibaldone’. in MDLN Muniz Muniz (ed.), Lo ‘Zibaldone’ di Leopardi come ipertesto. Olschki, Florence, pp. 93-107.

View all publications in research portal