Dr Marina Spunta

Associate Professor of Italian

Dott Ling Lett Stran (Bologna), MPhil (Exeter), PhD (Birmingham)

Profile photo of Marina Spunta

Contact Details

  • Email: ms96@le.ac.uk
  • Telephone: +44 (0)116 252 2658
  • Office: 1111
  • Office hours: During term time: Tuesday 15:00-16.00; Wednesday 11.00-12.00, or by appointment
  • Subject: Italian Studies.


Personal details

Dott Ling Lett Stran, MPhil, PhD

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 
    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


Office hoursDuring 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)

Selected publications

Voicing the Word 2

Books (authored)

  • Claudio Piersanti, Florence: Cadmo, 2009
  • Voicing the Word: Writing Orality in Contemporary Italian Fiction, Oxford/Bern: Peter Lang, 2004


Spunta and Benci cover

Books (co-edited)

  • Marina Spunta and Jacopo Benci (eds), Luigi Ghirri and the Photography of Place. Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2017)
  • L. Rorato & M. Spunta (eds), Letteratura come fantasticazione. In conversazione con Gianni Celati, Lampeter: Edwin Mellen Press, 2009
  • M. Caesar and M. Spunta (eds), Orality and literacy in modern Italian culture, Oxford: Legenda, 2006
  • C. Dente, G. Ferzoco, M. Gill, M. Spunta, (eds), Proteus - The language of metamorphosis, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005
  • Recent, selected publications
  • M. Spunta and J. Benci (eds), Luigi Ghirri and the Photography of Place. Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2017)
  • M. Spunta, ‘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 (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2017), 199-224
  • Luigi Ghirri photo
    Luigi Ghirri, ‘Valli grandi veronesi’ (1989). Copyright: Eredi di Luigi Ghirri.
  • M. Spunta and J. Benci (eds), ‘Introduction. Re-siting Luigi Ghirri. Italian landscape photography in a cross-disciplinary dialogue’, in M. Spunta and J. Benci (eds), Luigi Ghirri and the Photography of Place. Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2017), i-lv
  • ‘L’ubicazione del bene: lo spaesamento suburbano narrato da Giorgio Falco’, in S. Contarini, G. Piras, M. Marras (eds), Nuove geografie letterarie nell’Italia del XXI secolo (Florence: Cesati, 2016), 133-140
  • ‘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: Toronto University Press, 2015), pp. 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: Toronto University Press, 2014), pp. 288-313
  • ‘‘A magical balance of opposites’. Reading Luigi Ghirri’s photography through Walter Benjamin’, Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies, vol. 2:2, May 2014, pp. 215-235
  • View a full list of publications.



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. I hold 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 1970s and 1980s and were influenced by their work.

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

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


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

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

Current students

Second supervisor

  • Alessandro Baù, PhD in Italian Studies (2017)

Previous students

I have supervised or co-supervised successfully the following PhD students in Italian Studies:

  • Maria Morelli, 'Queering Gender in Contemporary Italian Women's Writing. Maraini, Sapienza, Morante' (2017)
  • Dr Kate Litherland, ‘Pulp: youth language, popular culture and literature in 1990s Italian fiction’ (2004)
  • Dr Oliver Brett, ‘The lieu factice: Performance, Identity, and Place in French and Italian Queer Documentary since 2000’ (2013)
  • Dr Sara Bonfili, European Doctorate in Italian Studies, University of Macerata (2011)

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