Dr Gabriele Lazzari
Academic and research departmentsSchool of Literature and Languages, Mobilities in Literature and Culture Research Centre.
I am a Lecturer in Contemporary Literature with a PhD in Comparative Literature from Rutgers University.
Working at the intersection of comparative literature and novel theory, my research focuses on how contemporary literature engages with transnational migrations and the legacies of colonial and racial modernity.
My book, New Global Realism: Thinking Totality in the Contemporary Novel (forthcoming with Bloomsbury Academic), explores the current resurgence of literary realism through a comparative study of contemporary novels written in English, Italian, Kannada, and Spanish. The book employs a formalist approach to theorize the cognitive and political affordances of totality. It contends that contemporary realism, as a truth-driven mode of aesthetic apprehension, offers a self-conscious and serious representation of economic, racial, and social inequalities while actively envisioning new political configurations.
My work traverses and draws together my scholarly research, my engagement in the public humanities, and my commitment to social justice and educational equity within and beyond academia.
On peripheral realism and the bildungsroman in the context of postcoloniality, I have published an article in Research in African Literatures. Another article on the semi-peripheral novel has appeared in The Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry.
My other interests include mobility, migration, and colonial histories in the Italian context, particularly how Blackness and Afro-Italianness can help us rethink dynamics of cultural and linguistic belonging. On these topics, I have written two public-facing pieces for Public Books (1 and 2), an article for Comparative Literature, an open access chapter on methodologies of Blackness, and an article on theorizing from the South for Critical Quarterly.
I have also written on literary translingualism and on Jhumpa Lahiri’s turn to Italian for Comparative Literature Studies.
At Surrey, I supervise undergraduate dissertations, MA theses, and PhD projects in my areas of expertise. I am part of the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee, and co-convenor of the Mobilities Research Centre.
During my graduate studies, I worked as a digital coordinator for my program, I was a Public Fellow at the Newark Public Library, and I attended the Humanities Without Walls Workshop in Chicago.
My research and public humanities work have been supported by the Mellon Foundation, the Rutgers Bevier Dissertation Completion Fellowship, and the New Jersey Council for the Humanities.
Areas of specialism
Postgraduate research supervision
I am interested in PhD projects in the following areas:
- contemporary literature
- comparative literature
- world literature
- theory of the novel
- postcolonial and decolonial studies
- mobility and migration
- literary theory
Phd projects currently being supervised:
Rosie Ngure (with Dr Liz Bahs) - "A Dazzling Stone Many Miles Away: A Creative and Critical Exploration of the Woman’s Voice in the New African Novel"
Melanie Han (with Dr Stephen Mooney) - "Modern Sojourners and Multicultural Poets: A Critical and Creative Exploration of Postcolonial Transnationalism, Trauma, and Identity"
María Camila Suárez Valencia (with Dr Stephen Fay) - “Entangled Healing: Contemporary Narratives and Practices of Psychedelic Medicine in Latin America”
Chigozirim Miracle Nwaosu (with Dr Lena Mattheis and Prof Diane Watt) - “Duality of Identity: Racial and Queer Experiences of Black Gay Men and Women in African, African American, and Black British Novels”
ELI1029 Global Literatures
ELI2022 Contemporary Literature: Postcolonial Fictions
ELI1011 Theories of Reading II
ELI2021 Contemporary Literature: Gender and Sexuality
At Rutgers, English Writing Program
At Rutgers, Comparative Literature Program
Introduction to World Literature – Global Literary Geographies
Short Fiction – Elements of Literary Analysis
Introduction to Myth – Modern Mythologies and the Novel
At Rutgers, Italian Department
A Cultural Tour of Italy
Italian for Travel
This article discusses Jhumpa Lahiri’s recent turn to Italian through a formal and linguistic analysis of the creative and editorial projects she has undertaken in the last decade. By analyzing the author’s trajectory from In Other Words (2016) to Whereabouts (2021) and by discussing two short stories she has published in the interval between her linguistic autobiography and her first Italian novel, the article argues that Lahiri’s aesthetic and political concerns have transitioned from a utopian search for cosmopolitan encounters to a sharper attention to place-making and grounded relationality. Concurrently, her writing has moved from the pursuit of placeless abstraction to a more pronounced interest in site-specific forms of social bonding. The article further situates Lahiri’s translingual practice within paradigms of postcolonial, diasporic, and translingual writing, and discusses how her choice to forsake a dominant language for a semi-peripheral one requires a different critical approach that considers both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. In fully embracing the precarious translational space between Italian and English, the article contends that Lahiri’s latest reinvention contributes to deprovincializing both the Italian and the Anglophone literary field, while offering new ways of articulating identity, cultural belonging, and community in comparative and world literature studies.