Dr Charlotte Ross PhD

Photograph of Dr Charlotte Ross

Department of Modern Languages
Reader in Gender, Sexuality and Cultural Studies

Contact details

Address
Ashley Building
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

Head of Section and Admissions Tutor for Italian Studies; Head of PGT for the School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music.

Main research interests and areas of PG supervision: gender, sexuality and embodiment in modern and contemporary Italian culture.

Teaching

I teach modules on literature, society, identity and translation for Italian Studies. I teach seminars on gender, sexuality and feminism for the MRes in Sexuality and Gender Studies, as well as supervising PhD students.

Postgraduate supervision

I would be happy to hear from prospective doctoral candidates wishing to pursue research on gender and sexuality in Italian culture or other aspects of twentieth-century and contemporary Italian culture and society.

Research

My research focuses on how bodies, gender and sexuality are understood, constructed and represented in socio-cultural contexts. I am particularly interested in elaborations of sexuality and identity, in cultural texts as well as in practices of social engagement and activism. Recently, I have been involved in several collaborative projects. With Silvia Antosa (Enna 'Korè'), I am currently working on a BA/Leverhulme-funded project entitled 'Cultural Discourses on Desire between Women. A Queer Comparative Analysis’, which explores transversal relationships between discourses on female sexuality in Italy, France and the UK between the 1870s and the 1930s. Together with Julia Heim (Baruch College, CUNY) and SA Smythe (UC Irvine), I recently led an AHRC Research Network Project, called the 'Queer Italia Network (QuIR). See our website for details of the workshops and events we organised: www.queeritalia.com. 

Previously, I completed an AHRC-funded project called Eccentricity and Sameness: Lesbian Cultural Identity in Italy, which explores the discursive construction and representation of lesbian identities and desire in literary and cultural texts. This has led to the publication of a monograph,  Eccentricity and Sameness. Discourses on Lesbianism and Desire between Women in Italy, 1860s-1930sFor more information about this project, see my blog: http://charlotterossresearch.wordpress.com/

I studied Combined Honours English and Modern Languages at Newnham College, Cambridge and for a Master of Studies in Modern Languages at Balliol College, Oxford before completing a PhD at the University of Warwick, under the supervision of Professor Ann Hallamore Caesar and Dr Jenny Burns.

Other activities

  • Visiting Professor at the University of Palermo, Spring 2015
  • '"Cunnilingui" and "l'amore lesbiano" in late 19 and early 20th century Italy' at the American Association of Italian Studies conference, Zurich, May 2014
  • Keynote presentation: 'Goliarda Sapienza's French Connections' at the conference 'Goliarda Sapienza in Context', IGRS, University of London, May 2013
  • Presentation of the film The Hunger at 'Shout', Birmingham's festival of queer culture, 15 November 2012
  • 'Matrimoni Bostoniani', at 'Immaginaria' film festival, Milan, 5 October 2012
  • 'Self-same tongues of condemnation or approof:discourses around lesbian and female same-sex desire, 1870-1914' at the workshop 'Italian Sexualities Uncovered: The Long Nineteenth Century (1789-1914)', Bologna, 20-22 September 2012
  • '‘Goliarda Sapienza: an eccentric revolutionary’, at the 18th Lesbian Lives conference, ‘Revolting, bodies, politics and genders’, University of Brighton, February 2011
  • ‘Goliarda Sapienza e l’arte della fluidità sessuale’, presented at the conference ‘ “On ne naît pas, on le deviant”. Les Gender Studies et le cas italien, des années 70 a aujourd’hui. Entre libération sexuelle et nouveaux tabous’, University of Grenoble, November 2010
  • Invited keynote presentation, 'Queer bodies: fluidity, materiality and stickiness' at the interdisciplinary conference 'Queer Crossings', University of Palermo, June 2010

Publications

Recent publications

Book

Ross, C 2015, Eccentricity and sameness. Discourses on lesbianism and desire between women in Italy, 1860s-1930s. Italian Modernities, vol. 22, Peter Lang, Oxford and Bern. https://doi.org/10.3726/978-3-0353-0698-9

Article

Ross, C 2020, 'Surviving melancholy and mourning: a queer politics of damage in Italian literary representations of same-sex parenting', Phenomenology and Mind.

Ross, C, Smythe, SA & Heim, J 2019, 'Queer Italian studies: critical reflections from the field', Italian Studies. https://doi.org/10.1080/00751634.2019.1658963

Ross, C 2016, 'Donne nate male, amicizie colpevoli e quelle profonde come una parentela: Marise Ferro's queerly desiring women', Italian Culture. https://doi.org/10.1080/01614622.2016.1158579

Ross, C 2016, '‘La Carezza Incompuita’: queer aesthetics, desire and censorship in Ticchioni’s 'Il suicidio di un esteta'', Modern Language Review, vol. 111, no. 2, pp. 390-412. https://doi.org/10.5699/modelangrevi.111.2.0390

Ross, C 2012, 'Goliarda Sapienza’s Eccentric Interruptions: Multiple selves, gender ambiguities and disrupted desires', Altrelettere. https://doi.org/10.5903/al_uzh-2

Ross, C 2012, 'Imagined communities: initiatives around LGBTQ ageing in Italy', Modern Italy, vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 449-464. https://doi.org/10.1080/13532944.2012.706997

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Ross, C 2020, “Exemplary” lesbians: the struggle for adequate representation. in A Bazzoni & A Bardazzi (eds), Gender and Authority across Disciplines, Space and Time. Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-45160-8

Ross, C 2017, Dalla patologizzazione all’amore per gli ‘anormali’: La rappresentazione del desiderio dissidente tra donne in testi (pseudo)scientifici del tardo Ottocento e del primo Novecento. in U Grassi, V Lagioia & G-P Romagnani (eds), Tribadi, Sodomiti, Invertite E Invertiti, Pederasti, Femminelle, Ermafroditi…: Per una storia dell'omosessualità, della bisessualità e delle trasgressioni gi genere in Italia. Edizioni ETS, Pisa, Italy, pp. 155-171.

Chapter

Ross, C 2017, Pathologies and Eroticism: Paolo Mantegazza’s Ambiguous Reflections on Female Same-sex Sexuality’. in L Benadusi, PL Bernardini, P Guazzo & E Bianco (eds), Homosexuality in Italian Literature, Culture, and Society 1789-1919. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp. 45-64. <https://www.cambridgescholars.com/homosexuality-in-italian-literature-society-and-culture-1789-1919>

Ross, C 2016, Goliarda Sapienza's 'French Connections'. in A Bazzoni, E Bond & K Wehling-Giorgi (eds), Goliarda Sapienza in context: intertextual relationships with Italian and European culture. The Fairleigh Dickinson University Press Series in Italian Studies, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, Madison, pp. 87-100.

Ross, C 2015, Italian Medical and Literary Discourses around Female Same-Sex Desire, 1877-1906. in V Babini, C Beccalossi & L Riall (eds), Italian Sexualities Uncovered, 1789-1914. Genders and Sexualities in History, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, pp. 228-48.

Ross, C 2013, Queering Spaces in Turin. in S Storchi (ed.), Beyond the Piazza: Public and Private Spaces in Modern Italian Culture. Moving Texts, vol. 4, P.I.E. - Peter Lang, Oxford and Bern, pp. 129-150.

Ross, C 2012, Identità di genere e sessualità nelle opere di Goliarda Sapienza: finzioni necessariamente queer’. in G Providenti (ed.), «Quel sogno d'essere» di Goliarda Sapienza: Percorsi critici su una delle maggiori autrici del Novecento italiano. Aracne Editrice, Rome, pp. 223-242.

Editorial

Heim, J, Ross, C & Smythe, SA 2019, 'Queer Italian cultures: journal editorial', Gender/sexuality/Italy, vol. 2019, no. 6, pp. viii-xiv. <http://www.gendersexualityitaly.com/journal/issues/g-s-i-6-2019>

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