Current PhD Students

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Paola Bernardini
Laurea Magistrale – Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo
M.A. – University of Toronto


Paola Bernardini’s research investigates the Nineteenth and early Twentieth-century Italian popular literature, and the novels by installments (feuilleton). Her major areas of interest include Media studies, literary Journalism, oral history, and contemporary Italian cinema. Paola is an award winning journalist with over thirty years of experience in Italy and in Canada’s media environment. She is co-editor of a book on Fellini and Assistant Editor of Italica (journal of the American Association of Teachers of Italian).

Cristina Carnevale
Laurea Triennale Laurea Magistrale – University of Calabria


Cristina Carnevale received her B.A. in Modern Languages and Cultures at the University of Calabria and her M.A. in Foreign Languages and Literature at the same university. Her research focuses on bilingualism, linguistics, and second language acquisition.

 Elisabetta Carraro
Laurea Triennale / Laurea Magistrale – Università Ca’ Foscari di Venezia


Elisabetta Carraro received her undergraduate degree in Italian Philology in 2012 at the University Ca’ Foscari in Venice, and received her Masters degree in Modern and Contemporary Italian Literature in 2014 at the same university. Her research focuses on twentieth century Italian and American literature, genre novels and science-fiction.

Davide De Luca
B.A. / M.A. – University of Toronto


Davide De Luca is a native of Toronto. His ancestral roots lie in Cosenza, Italy. Growing up in the same home as his dialectophone paternal grandmother, Davide became fluent in cosentino at a very young age and he quickly developed a passion for this dialect in particular and Italian (especially Southern Italian) dialects in general. This lifelong passion has also become the inspiration for Davide’s doctoral work. His research focuses specifically on the use and formation of the indicative past tense in Northern Calabria (i.e. the Province of Cosenza).

Francesca Facchi
Laurea Triennale / Laurea Magistrale – Università degli Studi di Pavia
Diploma Istituto Universitario di Studi Superiori Pavia


foto-profilo-voltoFrancesca Facchi’s areas of research are Italian popular literature in the Post-Unification period, and Twentieth Century Literature, both poetry and prose. She has worked extensively on Eugenio Montale’s correspondence, and she is currently researching on the origins of Italian Crime Fiction in the Nineteenth century, combining a philological approach with an interdisciplinary one.

Paolo Frascà
B.A. / M.A. – University of Toronto


 Paolo is pursuing a Ph.D. in Italian Studies and Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto,. where he also has the great pleasure of being a Course Instructor. As a SSHRC Doctoral Fellow and Ontario Graduate Scholar, Paolo has published on Italian literature. Italian cinema, sexuality studies, dialectology, migration, and language pedagogy. He is a Project Assistant for the Endangered Language Alliance of Toronto and a certified interpreter (Italian and Portuguese). He is a member of various academic associations, research groups, and professional organizations. Paolo’s doctoral research explores issues of sexual diversity in Italian literature and culture, with a focus on the Italian Gay Liberation Movement and the figure of Mario Mieli (1952-1983).

Sara Galli
Laurea Triennale / Laurea Magistrale – Università degli Studi di Genova
M.A. – Università degli Studi di Genova


Sara Galli received her Master’s degree in Modern Philology in 2013 at the University of Genoa. Her research is focused on Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy with a particular attention on how it has been a referral work during the centuries for those who were teaching Italian literature and language. She taught Italian in public and private schools in Italy, and she is interested in the didactic aspect and methodologies of teaching.

Sylvia Joanna Gaspari
B.A. / M.A. – University of Toronto


Sylvia is pursuing a Ph.D. in Italian literature at the department of Italian Studies at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on the relationship between prayer and invocation in Dante Alighieri’s Commedia, set against the background of medieval classicism and theology. Her interest in literature was piqued at a young age and was further enhanced during her undergraduate experience at U of T, where she completed a B.A. in Literary Studies and Philosophy. Prior to enrolling in a Masters, and subsequently a Doctoral program, Sylvia worked at the Italian Consulate in Toronto for three years. She also has extensive experience teaching language (Italian as well as English) to adults and high-school students, both in Canada and in Italy.

Benedetta Lamanna
B.A. / M.A. – University of Toronto
B.Ed. – University of Toronto – OISE


Benedetta Lamanna holds an Honours B.A. in English and Italian Studies and an M.A. in Italian Studies from the University of Toronto. She received her B.Ed. from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE). Her research interests focus on Renaissance women’s writing, in particular the poetry and epistolary works of Veronica Franco.

Daniele Laudadio
Laurea Triennale / Laurea Magistrale – Sapienza, Università di Roma


Daniele Laudadio obtained his B.A. in Mediazione Linguistico-Culturale and received his M.A. in Scienze Linguistiche, Letterarie e della Traduzione at Sapienza, Università di Roma. Daniele’s research focuses on the dynamics and the tension of identity construction in the works of North American LGBTQ writers of Italian descent. Daniele’s academic interests also include translation from English and Spanish into Italian, postcolonial literature and its critical theory.

Katharina Logan
B.A. – Australian National University
M.A. – University of Toronto


Katharina was born in Sydney, Australia and received her B.A., majoring in Italian, English and Linguistics, at the Australian National University in 2001. She received her MA in Italian Studies from the University of Toronto in 2016 and gave up an established career in writing, editing and digital project management to pursue her Ph.D. Her research interests focus on diaspora, migrant language and the development of cultural identity in Italian migrant populations.

Alessandro Loss
Laurea Triennale / Laurea Magistrale – Università della Calabria


Alessandro Loss received his B.A. in Languages and Modern Cultures at the University of Calabria and his M.A. in Modern Languages and Literatures at the same university. His main interests concern both Italian linguistics and translation studies.

Alice Martignoni
Laurea Triennale / Laurea Magistrale – Università degli Studi di Pavia
Diploma Istituto Universitario di Studi Superiori – Pavia

alice.martignoni [at]

Alice Martignoni received her B.A. in Modern Literature at the University of Pavia and her M.A. in Modern Philology at the same university. Her major interests concern both Italian and Romance philology of Medieval texts: so far, she has extensively worked on critical editions of a XV century cantare and of a late Occitanic poem. Her area of research also includes contemporary poetry in both Italian and dialect.

Valentina Pigini
B.A. – Università degli Studi di Macerata
M.A. – Università degli Studi di Verona


Valentina Pigini is in her first year of study in the Department of Italian Studies as a Ph.D. candidate. Her thesis is about Leopardi’s concept of Nature and Progress and his influence on Twentieth Century Italian authors, such as Dino Buzzati, Andrea Zanzotto and Italo Calvino.


Nattapol Ruangsri
B.A. – Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand
Laurea Magistrale – Università degli Studi di Bologna


Nattapol wrote his Master’s thesis on Jewish identity in Giorgio Bassani’s Dentro le mura. His research interests include Jewishness in twentieth-century Italian literature, Italian authors of Jewish origins, and the themes of marginalization, sexuality and homosexuality in Italian literature.

Maurizio Scontrino
Laurea Magistrale – Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna
M.A. – University of Connecticut


scontrinoMaurizio Scontrino received a Master’s degree in Italian Literature & Cultures from the University of Connecticut, USA. A native of Sicily, he completed his laurea in Political Science at the University of Bologna. He has taught Italian language at several institutions, including The College of Saint Rose, Fairfield University, and the University of Hartford. Mr. Scontrino’s research interests include contemporary Italian cinema, focusing on gender theory, sexual diversity, and LGBTQ roles in Italian film.


Tatiana Selepiuc
B.A. – York University
M.A. – University of Toronto


Tatiana Selepiuc is pursuing a Ph.D. in Italian Studies at the University of Toronto; she completed an International B.A. with Honours in Italian Studies and French at York University and a M.A. in Italian Studies at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on Italian literature of the Cinquecento, specifically Pietro Aretino’s contribution to the genre cavalleresco.

Letizia Tesi
Laurea Magistrale – Università degli Studi di Firenze
M.A. – University of Toronto


Letizia Tesi’s research focuses on Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Literature, with particular emphasis on Gabriele d’Annunzio’s novels and the fin de siècle crisis.
A licensed member of the Ordine Nazionale dei Giornalisti Italiani, she has also been working as a journalist for over fifteen years, writing about contemporary Italian literature and culture on national outlets both in Italy and in Canada.