Alberica Bazzoni is a researcher in the fields of modern Italian literature, literary theory, feminist, queer, and decolonial studies, and sociology of culture, with a particular interest in themes of power, embodiment, and temporality, their articulation in literary texts and their relationship with social structures. She completed her PhD in Italian literature at the University of Oxford in 2015, where she then taught Italian language and literature as Lector for two years, and where she is currently Hon. Research Fellow. She then was British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Warwick with a research project on gender, authority, and the Italian literary canon; Stipendiary Lecturer in Italian literature at St. Hugh’s College, University of Oxford; and was Visiting Fellow at Seton Hall University, New Jersey and the University of Milan. 

She is the author of Writing for Freedom: Body, Identity and Power in Goliarda Sapienza’s Narrative (Peter Lang 2018), winner of the ‘Peter Lang Young Scholars Competition in Women’s Studies’ and recently published in Italian in a revised edition with the title Scrivere la libertà. Corpo, identità e potere in Goliarda Sapienza (ETS 2022). She is also co-editor of Gender and Authority across Disciplines, Space and Time (Palgrave Macmillan 2020) and Goliarda Sapienza in Context (Fairleigh Dickinson UP 2016).

Translating Across Lines of Identity and Domination
Affiliated Project 2022-23

As translation connects different worlds of experience, what does it mean to translate across identity lines that are historically and politically charged with violence, oppression, and erasure? This project analyses two recent cases that were at the centre of a heated debate on translation and identity in the European context: the translation of African American poet Amanda Gorman’s The Hills We Climb (2020) into Dutch and Spanish, and the translation of Canadian Caribbean poet Marlene NourbeSe Philip’s Zong! (2008) into Italian. 

In the case of the translation of Amanda Gorman’s The Hills We Climb, critical voices contested the publishers’ choice of assigning it to white translators, considering it as a missed opportunity to involve black European voices and raising questions about the politics of translation in relation to racial identity. The case of Philip’s Zong! concerns specific choices made in the Italian translation itself, which did not respect what the author considered essential formal principles of her work. Philip accused the Italian version of re-enacting racist violence, to which the Italian translator and publisher replied arguing for their choices and refusing to accept NourbeSe’s request to withdraw the book. 

Through the investigation of questions of authority in the translation process, this project foregrounds the critical role of identity and uncovers the perduring of colonial mindsets, underscoring both limits and creative potential of translation as a practice of cultural connection. This research is part of a wider project, which will converge in a special issue of Comparative Critical Studies, ‘Feminist and Decolonial Approaches to Transnational Reception: Mapping the Translation, Circulation, and Recognition of Women’s Writings in the 20th and 21st Century’, co-edited by Alberica Bazzoni and Caterina Paoli.

The Living Body: Kinaesthetic Experiences of the Present in Modern Italian Literature
ICI Project 2020-22

How is the kinesthetic experience of the living present accessed and represented in literary texts? What does an aesthetic of the living present reveal about the culture and politics of a specific text and its context? This project explores literary figurations of the living present in nineteenth- to twenty-first-century Italian literature, with a view to producing a feminist theory of the present as a privileged site for a reflection on bodily ontology and agency.

While the dimensions of the past, the future, and various forms of non-linear temporalities have been richly investigated in philosophy and literary studies, the temporal domain of the living present remains largely unexplored territory. Bazzoni will map the configurations, functions, and political implications of experiences of the living present that nourish agency and subjectivity and contrast them with representations of a paralyzed present in which time breaks down and subjects disintegrate.