Current PhD Students

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Alessio Aletta
Laurea Triennale / Laurea Magistrale – Università del Salento
Diploma ISUFI (Istituto Superiore Universitario Formazione Interdisciplinare) – Lecce

Alessio Aletta obtained his Master’s Degree in Modern Literature at the University of Salento in 2017. His main area of research is Italian early XX Century Literature, with a focus on spatiality and geography in the works of Luigi Pirandello. He is also interested in the study of (primarily Italian) comics.

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).

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 and a masters in “Italian Language Education for Foreigners” at the University of Genoa. Nowadays she is a graduate student at the Italian Department at the University of Toronto where she researches on Dante Alighieri’s didactic project and she teaches Italian language courses. Besides her reasearch, her interests comprehend the linguistic and the didactic of the Italian language and culture.

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

Mohammad Jamali
B.A. – University of Toronto
M.A. – Middlebury College

Mohammad is a first-year Ph.D. student. He received his B.A. from the University of Toronto in Italian Studies, Spanish, and Linguistics. He received his M.A. in Italian from Middlebury College’s School in Italy. His

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 received her M.A. in Modern Philology from the University of Pavia where she previously earned her B.A. in Modern Literature. She is currently pursuing her PhD through a Joint Educational Placement with the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris. Her doctoral work consists of the critical edition and linguistic study of a late 15th century devotional manuscript from the Augustinian convent of Brignoles, Provence (Béziers, ms. CIRdOC 913), which contains a variety of texts in multiple languages: a collection of laude in a Northwestern variety of Italian, some Occitan orisons and other devotional materials in Latin and French. In the last few years, she has also worked on the critical edition of the northern branch of the Cantare di Lion Bruno, and on contemporary Italian and dialect poetry.

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 received his B.A. in Italian from Chulalongkorn University, Thailand and his Master’s in Italian Studies from University of Bologna. His research interests include: Jewishness in Twentieth-century Italian literature; marginalization and sexuality in Italian literature; landscape studies and environmentalism in Twentieth-century Italian writers, e.g. Giorgio Bassani, Italo Calvino, and Gianni Celati. His Ph.D. thesis focuses on the representation of nature and the ecological consciousness in Giorgio Bassani’s novels and short stories. Since 2017 Nattapol has been a member of the UTGSU’s  Environmental Justice and Sustainability Committee, which organizes events to promote sustainable practices in University of Toronto.

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.