Current PhD Students

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Sebastiano Bazzichetto
Laurea Triennale / Laurea Magistrale – Università degli Studi di Padova
Diploma Scuola Galileiana di Studi Superiori – Padova


Sebastiano Bazzichetto’s research mainly focuses on Italian Baroque poetry of the first half of the 17th century. He is also interested in Baroque theatre and melodramma and Decadent literature.

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).

 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; he holds an Honours B.A. in Italian Studies and Spanish and a M.A. in Italian Studies and Sexual Diversity Studies from the same university. Paolo’s publications and conference papers have focused on literature, cinema, dialectology, and language acquisition. He is a Project Assistant for the Endangered Language Alliance of Toronto (Languages of Italy) and a certified interpreter. Paolo’s current research explores issues of sexual diversity in contemporary Italian literature and cinema. His dissertation is tentatively titled The Importance of (not) Being Ernesto: Self-Censorship and Self-Expression in Umberto Saba.

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 Joanna Gaspari is currently in her second year as a PhD candidate in the Department of Italian Studies, at the University of Toronto. Her thesis is on Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, and she focuses on the invocations in the poem and their relation to prayer, rhetoric and the aesthetic appreciation of the work.

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


Nattapol Ruangsri’s main area of research is 20th century Italian literature, specifically Giorgio Bassani’s prose works, within the thematic focus of Equity Studies. His areas of interest also include other 20th century Italian authors of Jewish origin.

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.

Christina Vani
B.A. – Concordia University, Montréal
M.A. – University of Toronto


Christina’s thesis is titled Immortal Words: the Language and Style in the Contemporary Italian Undead-Romance Novel. She has always had an undying fascination with the creatures of the night, and recent publications of undead romances in Italy have allowed her to pursue this passion in her research. Christina is enthusiastic about teaching Introductory Italian at U of T, where she is honoured to hold a Jackman Junior Fellowship. In addition to her academic endeavours, she works as a proofreader, a translator, and a writer. Her research interests include Italian linguistics, Italian young-adult literature, giovanilese, and vampire romances.