Dr Marina Spunta

Personal details | Publications | Research | Teaching | Supervision

Associate Professor of Italian

Profile photo of Marina Spunta

    Department: Modern Languages

    Telephone: +44 (0)116 252 2658

    Email: m.spunta@le.ac.uk

    Office: Room 1111, Attenborough Tower

    Address: School of Arts, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH

    Office hours: During term time: Tuesday 15:00-16.00; Wednesday 11.00-12.00, or by appointment

Personal details

Biography

My research interests include contemporary Italian literature; cultural studies; space, place, landscape studies; orality and vocality; postwar Italian cinema; visual studies; contemporary Italian photography and the visual arts; I also have an interest in applied linguistics (especially pragmatics, discourse analysis and stylistics). I have a first degree in Modern Languages and Literatures (Bologna), an MPhil in Applied Linguistics (Exeter), and a PhD in Italian Studies (Birmingham). My current research explores the intersections between contemporary Italian literature, photography and the investigation of place and landscape, with particular reference to the Po valley region and to the work of Luigi Ghirri, Gianni Celati and a group of artists and writers who collaborated with them in the 1980s and were influenced by their work.

I am Director of Studies in Modern Languages and specialise in contemporary Italian literature and photography. My publications include Voicing the Word: Writing Orality in Contemporary Italian Fiction (2004) and Claudio Piersanti, (2009); I have also co-edited the first scholarly volume in English on Luigi Ghirri (with J. Benci), Luigi Ghirri and the Photography of Place. Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Peter Lang, 2017).

In 2013-2015 I was Principal Investigator for the British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grant ‘Viewing and writing Italian landscape. Luigi Ghirri and his legacy in photography and literature’.

Qualifications

  • Dottore in Lingue Letterature Straniere, University of Bologna
  • MPhil in Applied Linguistics, University of Exeter
  • PhD in Italian Studies, University of Birmingham
  • Senior Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy

Publications

Voicing the Word 2

Books

  • Claudio Piersanti (Cadmo, 2009)
  • Voicing the Word: Writing Orality in Contemporary Italian Fiction (Peter Lang, 2004)

 

Spunta and Benci cover

Edited books

  • With J. Benci, Luigi Ghirri and the Photography of Place. Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Peter Lang, 2017)
  • With S. Storchi and M. Morelli, Women and the Public Sphere in Modern and Contemporary Italy. Essays for Sharon Wood (Troubador, 2017)
  • With L. Rorato, Letteratura come fantasticazione. In conversazione con Gianni Celati (Edwin Mellen Press, 2009)
  • With M. Caesar, Orality and literacy in modern Italian culture (Legenda, 2006)
  • With C. Dente, G. Ferzoco, and M. Gill, Proteus - The language of metamorphosis (Ashgate, 2005)

Journal articles

  • '"A magical balance of opposites". Reading Luigi Ghirri’s photography through Walter Benjamin’, Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies 2:2 (May 2014): 215-235
  • ‘Fossati’s and Messori’s Viaggio in un paesaggio terrestre – an imaginative journey through writing, photography, landscape and painting’, Italian Studies 66.1 (2011): 93-111
  • 'Sense of home and "exile" in Giorgio Messori’s narrative fiction’, Romance Studies 29.4 (2011): 285-98
  • ‘Il profilo delle nuvole: Ghirri’s photography and the new Italian landscape’, Italian Studies 61.1 (2006): 114-36
  • ‘Esplorazioni sulla via Emilia e dintorni – la fotografia italiana degli anni ’80 in dialogo con la scrittura di paesaggio’, in G. Minghelli (ed), The modern Image, Intersections of Photography, Cinema and Literature in Italian Culture, special issue of L’anello che non tiene. Journal of Modern Italian Literature, University of Wisconsin, Madison, XX-XXI, 1-2 (Spring-Fall 2008-2009): 158-87
  • ‘Vocalità e ascolto nella narrativa di Gianni Celati e Daniele Benati’, Nuova prosa 47 (2007): 83-102
  • ‘‘Tra la via Emilia e il West’ – displacement and loss of identity in the fiction of Daniele Benati’, Italica, 83.3–4 (Fall and Winter 2006): 649–65

Book chapters

  • With J. Benci, ‘Introduction. Re-siting Luigi Ghirri’, in M. Spunta and J. Benci (eds), Luigi Ghirri and the Photography of Place. Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Peter Lang, 2017): i-lv
  • ‘Narrating the experience of place: Luigi Ghirri and literature’, in M. Spunta and J. Benci (eds), Luigi Ghirri and the Photography of Place. Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Peter Lang, 2017): 199-224
  • ‘Voicing female subjectivity: autobiography and authority in Silvia Ballestra and Joyce Lussu’, in S. Storchi, M. Spunta and M. Morelli (eds), Women and the Public Sphere in Modern and Contemporary Italy. Essays for Sharon Wood (Troubador, 2017): 91-105
  • With S. Storchi and M. Morelli, ‘Introduction’, in S. Storchi, M. Spunta and M. Morelli (eds), Women and the Public Sphere in Modern and Contemporary Italy. Essays for Sharon Wood (Troubador, 2017): xiii-xxv
  • ‘Fossati’s and Messori’s vision of landscape in Viaggio in un paesaggio terrestre’, in G. Alù and N. Pedri (eds), Enlightening encounters: Photography in Italian literature (Toronto University Press, 2015): 70-97
  • ‘Interfaces of photography, writing and landscape – the landscape photobook from Ghirri to Fossati and Messori’, in G. Minghelli & S. Hill (eds), Stillness in motion. Italy, Photography and the Meaning of Modernity (Toronto University Press, 2014): 288-313
  • ‘Fossati’s and Messori’s vision of landscape in Viaggio in un paesaggio terrestre’, in G. Alù and N. Pedri (eds), Enlightening encounters: Photography in Italian literature (Toronto University Press, 2015): 70-97
  • ‘Il paesaggio e l’estetica: considerazioni sulla teoria recente’, in P. Chirumbolo and L. Pocci (eds), Bel Paese? The Representation of Landscape in Contemporary Italian Literature and Cinema (Edwin Mellen Press, 2013): 21-5
  • ‘Lo spazio delle pianure come “territorio di racconti” - verso la foce con Gianni Celati’, Spunti e Ricerche 18 (2003): 5-28

Research

My research interests include contemporary Italian literature; photography and cinema, and their interactions, in particular theory and representation of space, place and landscape, and of orality and vocality.

Externally-funded projects and grants (selected)

July 2013: British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grants: £9,886

Pomponesco, 1985
Luigi Ghirri, 'Pomponesco, 1985', courtesy Fototeca della Biblioteca Panizzi, Reggio Emilia Copyright: Eredi di Luigi Ghirri.

  • Project Title: ‘Viewing and writing Italian landscape. Luigi Ghirri and his legacy in photography and literature’
  • Principal Investigator: Marina Spunta; Co-Investigator: Jacopo Benci (British School at Rome).
  • Duration: 2 years: 1/9/2013 – 31/8/2015
  • Project Website: http://www.le.ac.uk/ghirri
  • Project Blog: http://staffblogs.le.ac.uk/luigighirri


December 2006: British Academy Conference Grant: £1,920

  • Conference: ‘Letteratura come fantasticazione – in conversazione con Gianni Celati’, University of Leicester, 2-4 May 2007
  • Principal Investigator: Marina Spunta

Advisory boards

I sit on the Executive Committee of the following associations and projects:

Peer reviewing

  • Modern Languages Open; Between; Rivista di Storia della Fotografia; Modern Language Review; Rassegna Europea della Letteratura Italiana.

External examining

  • University of Liverpool, Italian undergraduate courses (2014-) (2nd year)
  • University of Nottingham Trent, Italian undergraduate courses (2016-)
  • University of Salford, Italian undergraduate and postgraduate courses (2009-2013)

Organised conferences

  • ‘L’esperienza del luogo’: Italian photography, writing and landscape. Luigi Ghirri, his contemporaries, his legacy, University 
    Scandiano
    Luigi Ghirri, ‘Scandiano. Fiera di San Giuseppe’, from Il profilo delle nuvole (1989). Copyright: Eredi di Luigi Ghirri.
    of Leicester, 19-20 September 2014 (with J. Benci)
  • ‘How to think in images? Luigi Ghirri and photography’, The British School at Rome, 9 October 2013 (with J. Benci)
  • ‘Letteratura come fantasticazione – in conversazione con Gianni Celati’, University of Leicester, 2-4 May 2007 (with Dr L. Rorato)
  • ‘Orality and Literacy in Modern Italian Culture’, Institute of Romance Studies, University of London, 2-4 May 2002 (with Prof M. Caesar)

Invited talks

  • Cesare Fabbri, The Flying Carpet - Book Launch and Discussion with Cesare Fabbri and Michael Mack (M. Spunta as Chair), Italian Cultural Institute, 20 March 2017
  • Guido Guidi, ‘Facciate/Facades’: In conversation with David Campany and James Lingwood, Large Glass, London, 15 December 2016
  • Lecture on ‘Visual culture in Postwar Italy (1945-1960)’, Research dialogue day, School of Art, Design and Architecture, University of Plymouth, 16 November 2016
  • Respondent to book launch of Luigi Ghirri. The Complete Essays (Mack); Waterstones Gower Street, London, 25 October 2016
  • ‘The allure of the voice: rewriting vocality and listening in Gianni Celati’s narrative fiction’, International conference on Gianni Celati: Translation, Tradition, Rewriting, University of Cork, 23-24 September 2016
  • ‘Gabriele Basilico’s photography and the experience of place’, workshop: A Photographer’s Sense of Space: Looking at the work of Gabriele Basilico, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, University of Westminster, 18 May 2016

Teaching

Office hours: During term time: Tuesday 15:00-16.00; Wednesday 11.00-12.00, or by appointment

I teach various undergraduate modules in contemporary Italian culture, literature and photography, cinema, language and linguistics. I also contribute to a module on the MA in Film and Film Cultures.

  • Italy since 1945
  • Authors & genres 2
  • Italian language advanced
  • Italian linguistics
  • European texts in translation
  • History of Italian cinema
  • Contemporary fiction
  • Postwar directors
  • Film and Film Cultures in Historical Contexts (Italian cinema) (MA Module)

Valli grandi veronesi
Luigi Ghirri, ‘Valli grandi veronesi, 1985′, Copyright: Eredi di Luigi Ghirri.

Supervision

I welcome enquiries from prospective postgraduate students, particularly in the following areas:

  • 20th/21st Century Italian literature and Cultural Studies
  • Postwar Italian cinema
  • Postwar Italian photography; photography and literature
  • Space, place, landscape studies
  • Orality and vocality

Current students

  • Laura Albertini, PhD in Italian Studies (2017-)

Previous students

  • Kate Litherland, PhD in Italian Studies (1999-2005)
  • Oliver Brett, PhD in Italian & French Studies, part-time (1998-2014)
  • Sara Bonfili, European Doctorate in Italian Studies, University of Macerata, Italy (2013)
  • Maria Morelli, PhD in Italian Studies (2011-2017)
  • Alessandro Baù, PhD in Italian Studies, part-time (2010-2017) (second supervisor)

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