Dr Alessio Baldini
- Position: Lecturer in Italian Culture
- Areas of expertise: Modern Italian literature and culture; literary and cultural theory; comparative literature; convergence culture (inter-, trans-, cross-media storytelling); digital humanities (social media analysis)
- Email: A.Baldini@leeds.ac.uk
- Phone: +44(0)113 343 2925
- Location: 1.50 Michael Sadler
I am a Lecturer in Italian Culture at the University of Leeds. The common thread of my academic career is my interest in storytelling across different arts and media.
I graduated in modern Italian literature from the University of Siena (2003), where I later completed an MA (2008) and a Doctorate (PhD) (2009) in modern Italian literature and literary theory. During my studies, I spent time as a visiting student at the Freie Universität Berlin and at the Université Paris 8. In 2010, I was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship at the University for Foreigners of Siena. Thanks to this fellowship, I was able to turn my PhD dissertation into a book. My first monograph was shortlisted for the 11th Casa Museo ‘Marino Moretti’ Biennial prize in literary criticism.
I came to Leeds in 2010 to work on my new project on family sagas in European literature. In 2011, I spent a semester at the Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies (IGRS) [now, Institute of Modern Languages Research (IMLR)] as a Junior Research Fellow. In 2012, I lectured at the University of Hull. Later that year, I was appointed Lecturer in Italian at the University of Leeds. During my years at Leeds, my research and teaching interests have widened to include storytelling across different arts and media (literature, film, TV, and web advertising). A development that was reflected in my appointment as Lecturer in Italian Culture in 2016.
I have been invited to give lectures at conferences and conduct research seminars in UK (UCL, Royal Holloway), Europe (Catania, Ghent, Konstanz, Naples, Pavia, Rome, Siena), and the US (Dartmouth College).
I have reviewed articles/monographs on Italian literature/culture and comparative literature for a number of academic journals (Allegoria, Between, Contemporary European History, Griselda Online, L’ospite ingrato, The Italianist, Italian Studies, Nostos, Romance Studies) and publishing houses (Lexington Books, Oxford University Press, Routledge). I have also acted as a reviewer for a national research council (FWO), and I have been a member of the review panel (Italian literature, literary theory, comparative literature) in the 2016 national research assessment exercise carried out by the Italian Higher Education and Research Council (ANVUR).
I sit on the Editorial Board of the journal Allegoria and on the Advisory Board of the journal The Italianist.
In 2022, I have been elected for a second term as a member of the Executive Committee of the Society for Italian Studies (SIS). I am also a member of the British Comparative Literature Association (BCLA).
- Programme Manager (LCS JH Programmes with LUBS or POLIS)
My core research interests revolve around modern Italian literature and culture seen from a transnational perspective. In particular, I look at how storytelling across media (literature, television, cinema) can reflect and shape audiences’ moral and political responses.
In 2017, I organized a major international conference entitled Family Sagas in World Literatures and Audio-Visual Cultures: Reimagining Nations Across the Globe, which was sponsored by the British Comparative Literature Association (BCLA). The aim was to explore how the family saga as a narrative genre travels across media (literature, television, cinema, radio) and cultures.
In 2019, I led an interdisciplinary research project called Challenging National and Social Imaginaries through Cinematic Art. Researchers from the humanities and the social sciences asked how social activism and documentary film-making can challenge our moral and political attitudes regarding migration and citizenship.
Currently, I am working on the following journal articles/book chapters:
- Engaging with Television Crime Drama: Moral and Aesthetic Value in Gomorra — La serie (Seasons 1-3) and Viewers’ Response (Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies, special issue edited by Luca Barra and Valentina Re)
- Il middlebrow italiano: appunti per una prospettiva storica e comparata (Allegoria)
- Middlebrow Fiction and the Telling of Trauma: Ferrante’s Neapolitan Quartet and St Aubyn’s The Patrick Melrose Novels (Romance Studies, special issue edited by Tiziana de Rogatis, Stiliana Milkova, and Katrin Wehling-Giorgi)
- Starting from Zero (2021): Twitter Users’ Responses to a Netflix Series (book edited by Luca Barra, Danielle Hipkins, Catherine O’Rawe, and Dana Renga)
- Anti-aestheticism and the Limits of Cinematic Art: Iuventa (2018) by Michele Cinque (co-authored with Rachel Johnson)
<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>
- PhD Italian Literature and Literary Theory
- MA Italian Literature and Literary Theory
- BA Italian Literature
- Society for Italian Studies
- Association for the Study of Modern Italy
- British Comparative Literature Association
All my teaching stems from my research interest in storytelling practices across arts and media (literature, cinema television, web advertising, social media). In my teaching, I focus on literary/cultural theory and Italian culture seen from a transnational perspective. At Leeds, I have been teaching on a wide range of modules at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in Italian, comparative literature, and cultural studies. I have taught lectures and led seminars on topics such as modern Italian history, ethics and literature, consumer culture, advertising, the ‘Made in Italy’ (Italian fashion, design, and cuisine), Italian cinema and television, and cultural appropriation.
Research groups and institutes
- Cultural studies
- Centre for World Literatures
- Literary studies
- LivItaly: Bringing Italian Culture to Yorkshire