Dr Gigliola Sulis

Dr Gigliola Sulis


I am an Associate Professor of Italian in the School of Languages Cultures and Societies (LCS). I received a PhD in Italian Studies from the University of Reading and I taught for one year at the University of Exeter before joining Leeds in 2006. I work on modern and contemporary Italian literature and culture, with a special focus on issues of diversity and marginality as expressed in multilingual texts and in regional and minority literatures, as well as in women’s writing.

Over the years I held various leadership roles, including Director of Italian, Director of Italian and Classics, Grant Advisor in the school (LCS) and at faculty level, LCS Residence Abroad Coordinator, and I have been an elected member of the Academic Senate. For six years I was the elected Honorary Secretary of the Society for Italian Studies in the UK and Ireland (SIS), coordinating at national and international level the work of academics in the field, and I am still a member of the SIS Exec Committee. I represent the community of Italian Studies in the University Council of Modern Languages (UCML).

I am the founder and director of LivItaly. Bringing Italian Culture to Yorkshire, a programme of knowledge-transfer events that since 2008 has brought to Leeds Italian writers, translators, publishers, and artists, forging international collaborations also beyond academia.

I am Senior Co-Editor of the academic journal The Italianist (Universities of Cambridge, Leeds, and Reading), I sit in the editorial board of Allegoria. Per uno studio materialistico della letteratura (University of Siena), and I am a regular contributor to the Times Literary Supplement.


  • AHC Research Leave (2023-24, sem1)

Research interests

My main research interests are: multilingual literature (from its theoretical underpinnings to the poetics and ideology of individual authors, especially in relation to the modern novel); regional literatures (esp. from the main islands, Sicily and Sardinia); cultural and artistic representations of Italian regionalism and polycentrism and of the tension between local and national dimension (including at transnational level and from a postcolonial critical perspective); Italian women writing; crime fiction.

My research approach integrates stylistics, narratology, and problems of identity raised by multicultural diversity.

I have published on multilingual literature, the language and style of contemporary Italian writers (e.g. Luigi Meneghello, Andrea Camilleri, Joyce Lussu, Laura Pariani, Sergio Atzeni, Marcello Fois), the literary canon, modern dialect poetry, Sardinian literature, and twentieth-century women's writing. I also have an interest in contemporary Italian history, with a main focus on the Resistance and on social unrest in the 1970s. 

Selected publications

Edited volumes and journals

  • E. Segnini and G. Sulis (eds), ‘Local, Regional, and Transnational Identities in Translation: The Italian Case’, special issue of The Translator, 27 (3) 2021
  • C. Gregoriou, D. Platten, G.Sulis (eds), Retold, Resold, Transformed. Crime Fiction in the Global Era (Milan: Mimesis 2019)
  • G. Ledda and G. Sulis (eds), Sergio Atzeni e le voci della Sardegna (Bologna: Bononia University Press, 2017)
  • F. Billiani and G. Sulis (eds), The Italian Gothic and Fantastic. Encounters and Re-writings of Narrative Traditions (Madison, N.J.: Fairleigh Dickinson, 2007)
  • (ed.) Sergio Atzeni, Scritti giornalistici (1966-1995), 2 vols (Nuoro: Il Maestrale, 2005)
  • M. Aresu, G. Sulis, and others (eds), Rivelazioni e promesse del '68 (Cagliari: Cuec, 2002)
  • G. Marci and G. Sulis (eds), Trovare racconti mai narrati, dirli con gioia: Convegno di studi su Sergio Atzeni (Cagliari: Cuec, 2001) 

Research supervision

I am happy to consider candidatures for postgraduate studies (MAR and PhD) on: twentieth- and twenty-first-century Italian literature (especially the contemporary novel, and including crime fiction), language and style of modern and contemporary writers, multilingual literature (also in comparative perspective), multilingualism and translation, regional and dialect literatures (especially – but not only - from Sardinia and Sicily), postcolonial and transnational Italy.

At present, I act as supervisor for the following projects:

  • Daniela Nicolaescu, Multilingualism, performance, and transnationalism in the exophonic poetry of Tristan Tzara, Isidore Isou and Gherasim Luca (PhD, University of Leeds)
  • Angelo Campanella, Strategie retoriche nelle opera non narrative di Leonardo Sciascia (PhD, Università di Palermo)
  • Marina Mercati, Struggle of Recognition and Female ‘New Italian’ Writers. A qualitative research (PhD, Università di Verona)
  • Silvia Pulinas, Sardinian Women Writers: home, island, space (MPhil, University of Kent)

In the past, I have supervised the following postgraduate students in their Master by Research (MAR) and PhD theses in Leeds:

  • Hannah Burton, Women, Postcolonialism and italianità: Exploring Female Subaltern Voices in 21st Century Italian Literature (post-2010) (MAR, 2022)
  • Maddalena Moretti, ‘Come una specie di guida’. Pasolini’s reconceptualisation of Dante in his theory and practice of realism (PhD, 2020)
  • Serena Vandi, ‘Satura’: varietà per verità in Dante e Gadda, (PhD, 2019)
  • Alice Franzon, Retorica dell’antiretorica nel romanzo della Resistenza: Pavese, Calvino, Fenoglio, Meneghello (PhD, 2019)
  • Laura Lucia Rossi, Poetics of indeterminacy in the Italian Novel. Landolfi, Gadda, Vittorini, Tozzi, Ortese (PhD, 2018)
  • Julia Berthenshaw, The Liberty Style of Galileo Chini in the Royal Palaces of Bangkok (MAR, 2018)
  • Pier Simone Pischedda, Translation and Creation of Ideophones in Italian Disney Comics (PhD, 2016)
  • Natale Filice, La doppia identità di Ascanio Celestini: il profilo cangiante dell’impegno, tra ibridismo macrotestuale e transmedialità (PhD, 2016)
  • Silvia Bergamini, Sintassi a confronto: la narrativa di Leonardo Sciascia e di Gesualdo Bufalino, 1981-91 (PhD, 2016)
  • Angelica Pesarini, Colour Strategies: Negotiations of black ‘mixed race’ women’s identities in colonial and postcolonial Italy (PhD, 2015)
  • Georgia Wall, Camilleri and Saviano and the Tradition of the Italian scrittore impegnato. A Comparative Study (MAR, 2012)
  • Alice Franzon, Multilingualism in Fictional Representations of the Italian Resistance. A Comparative Analysis of Beppe Fenoglio and Luigi Meneghello (MAR, 2012)
  • Emiliano Cori, Stylistic and Thematic Re-uses of Classical Sources in Contemporary Italian Fiction: The Case of Memoria del vuoto by Marcello Fois (MAR, 2009)

I have also supervised international visiting Postdoctoral fellows and PhD students:

  • Anna Baldini, Expatriation and Marginality in Italian Literature: Luigi Meneghello’s Dispatrio in the UK (Università di Siena, British Academy Visiting Fellowship)
  • Ilaria Puggioni, Sergio Atzeni e il racconto di fondazione (Università di Sassari, Erasmus+)
  • Carola Farci, Scrittori delle isole negli anni zero: Sardegna, Sicilia, Corsica, Baleari (PhD, Università di Padova)
  • Federico Fabris, Postcolonial Generations? Intergenerational (Ex)Changes in Contemporary British and Italian Novels (PhD, University of Bamberg)
  •  Myriam Mereu, Lingua e varietà linguistiche nel ‘nuovo cinema sardo’. Analisi di quattro ‘film letterari’ (PhD, Università di Cagliari)
  • Danila Atzeni, The Acquisition of Italian as a Second Language (PhD, Università di Cagliari)
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • Qualification aux fonctions de Maître de Conférences, Italian Studies (France) (2012)
  • PhD in Italian Studies (University of Reading, 2005)
  • Abilitazione all’Insegnamento di Lettere (Italy, 2000) (English equivalent: PGCE)
  • Laurea in Lettere (University of Cagliari, 1998)

Professional memberships

  • Executive Committee of the University Council of Modern Languages (UMCL)
  • Executive Committee of the Society for Italian Studies in the UK and Ireland (SIS)
  • Société des Italianistes de l’Einsegnement Supérieur (SIES)
  • American Association of Italian Studies (AAIS)

Student education

I teach modern and contemporary Italian literature and culture, Italian sociolinguistics, Mediterranean literature, and postcolonial/transnational literature.

Research groups and institutes

  • Italian
  • Literary studies
  • Centre for World Literatures

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>