Lucia Boldrini is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Goldsmiths. She was Head of Department in 2014-2018, and is currently on research leave. She normally convenes the 'Comparative Literature and Criticism' pathway of the MA Literary Studies. She is Vice-President of the International Comparative Literature Association.
- 1997 - PhD, University of Leicester
- 1995 - Dottorato di Ricerca, University of Pisa
- 1989 - Laurea in Lingue e Letterature Straniere [Modern Languages], University of Pisa. 110/110 summa cum laude
Prof. Lucia Boldrini has extensive teaching and examining experience at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, in seminars and lectures, on modules she has devised as well as on colleagues’ modules as part of a team. Her teaching is linked to her research interests, but she also enjoys teaching foundation and survey modules.
Lucia was among the first at Goldsmiths to be awarded a fellowship to develop web-based teaching tools, and in 2011 was the recipient of a Peake Excellence in Learning and Teaching Award, for which she was nominated by students. In 2009 and 2010 three of the students that had taken her very challenging course ‘Literature in Question: Writing since the Second World War' won essay prizes in the Emory Elliot international essay competition, organised by the Literary Encyclopedia, and in 2014 and 2017, students on her MA module “Writing the Mediterranean” won prizes in the Arthur Terry Postg organised by the BCLA.
Her areas of teaching include: Theories, history, methodologies and the practice of comparative literature; Modernism, Postmodernism, Post-War II writing, Joyce; Dante; fictional auto/biography, literature of the Mediterranean area.
Examples of modules currently or recently taught
The module includes sessions on the history, methodologies, concerns of comparative literature; its relationship with translation studies and world literature; classical, medieval and modern versions of concepts such as imitation, translation, influence, intertextuality, tradition. It associates theoretical focus with comparative readings where the concepts are put into practice and tested, for example following the development of heroic figures, such as Odysseus/Ulysses or Dido, of topoi (e.g. representations of the underworld), of myths (such as Arachne, or Narcissus and Echo). It also considers representations of colonial and cultural encounters or clashes and how identity is formed within these encounters. Texts studied range from classical and medieval to modern and contemporary.
Literature In Question: Writing Since World War II (final year undergraduate)
Taking its cue from the debate initiated by Jean-Paul Sartre’s ‘What is Literature?’ and looking at literary and theoretical texts published since the Second World War, this module examines how the role, scope and status of literature have been questioned and re-assessed both within literary texts and by other disciplines. It considers relationships between literature and philosophy, literature and science, literature and history, literature and ethics, and how generic boundaries and literary forms are re-defined. Texts studied include essays, excerpts or full works by, amongst others, Sartre, Adorno, Lyotard, Snow, Kuhn, Banville, Levi, Blanchot, Sebald, Swift, Coetzee, Enzensberger, Winterson, Süskind, Carter, Lispector.
Writing the Mediterranean.
This MA module, part of the Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership Mediterranean Imaginaries: Literature, Arts, Culture (2016-2018; formerly, an Erasmus Intensive Programme, 2012-2014), was taught over 2 intensive weeks in late March/early April at the Valletta campus of the University of Malta. The programme was the result of a collaboration between 6 European universities (Goldsmiths and Malta, alongside Nova Gorica, Braga, Florence, Cagliari) and a North African one (Carthage); it thus brought together students from many different countries and cultures, who benefitted from the expertise of a wide range of scholars to study writings and art from and about the Mediterranean region.
Areas of supervision
Recent and current topics of supervision:
- fantastic literature and magical realism
- James Joyce
- Fictional auto/biography
- 21st century fiction
- Forster & Saba
- Children fairy-tale picture-books
- journeying to the South in modern(ist) literature
- journeys of dissent and descent
- critical projects of PhDs in Creative Writing
Principal areas of research:
1) James Joyce, Dante, and Modernist Medievalism.
Prof. Lucia Boldrini is especially interested in intertextual relations between medieval and modern writers, texts and ideas. The monograph Joyce, Dante, and the Poetics of Literary Relations was published by Cambridge UP in 2001 and reissued in paperback in 2009. She has also edited the volume Medieval Joyce (Rodopi, 2002), published a number of articles, and organized conferences / workshops in this area. From 2000 to 2006 Lucia was a Trustee of the International James Joyce Foundation.
2) Fictional Biographies and Autobiographies of Historical Characters, or ‘Heterobiography’.
Lucia has been investigating this field for many years. Her first monograph on the subject came out in 1998, in Italian (Biografie fittizie e personaggi storici), and Autobiographies of Others: Historical Subjects and Literary Fiction was published by Routledge in 2012. She co-edited the journal issue ‘autobiografictions’ (2004) , and more recently she has co-edited Experiments in Life-Writing: Intersections of Auto/Biography and Fiction (2017), with Julia Novak (University of Salzburg); she has also published various articles in internationally recognized journals (such as the Slovenian journal Primerjalna književnost).
3) Comparative Literature
As well as working ‘in’ comparative literature, Lucia is also interested in it as a subject, in its relationship with neighbouring practices such as translation, and from a longer historical perspective than is usually considered. She has published articles in, and edited issues of, prestigious journals such as Translation and Literature, Comparative Critical Studies and CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
Prof. Lucia Boldrini is also interested in aspects of the relationship between literature and science, and writing of the Mediterranean area.
Boldrini, Lucia. 2012. Autobiographies of Others: Historical Subjects and Literary Fiction. New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-50737-0
Boldrini, Lucia. 2001. Joyce, Dante, and the Poetics of Literary Relations: Language and Meaning in Finnegans Wake. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521792769
Boldrini, Lucia. 1998. Biografie fittizie di personaggi storici. (Auto)biografia, soggettività, teoria nel romanzo contemporaneo [Fictional Biographies of Historical Characters. (Auto)biography, Subjectivity, Theory in the Contemporary Novel]. Pisa: ETS. ISBN 88-467-0103-8
Boldrini, Lucia and Novak, Julia, eds. 2017. Experiments in Life-Writing: Intersections of Auto/Biography and Fiction. London: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-3-319-55413-6
Boldrini, Lucia and Davies, Peter, eds. 2003. Comparative Critical Studies: Autobiografictions. Comparatist Essays, Comparative Critical Studies, 1(3). 1744-1854
Boldrini, Lucia. 2019. Biographical Fiction’s Challenge to Realism: Patricia Duncker’s Sophie and the Sibyl and Alicia Giménez Bartlett’s Una habitación ajena. In: Dirk Göttsche; Rosa Micignat and Robert Weninger, eds. Mapping Realism (Volume I of Landscapes of Realism Rethinking Literary Realism(s) in Global Comparative Perspective. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Boldrini, Lucia. 2014. Among Schoolchildren: Joyce's "Night Lesson" and Chaucer's Treatise on the Astrolabe. In: Haun Saussy and Gerald Gillespie, eds. Intersections, Interfaces, Interdisciplines: Literature with Other Arts. 30 Brussels: Peter Lang, pp. 35-46. ISBN 978-2-87574-156-1
Boldrini, Lucia. 2013. The Uncertain Mediterranean Borders of Comparative Literature. In: Adnan Karaismailoğlu and Yusuf Öz, eds. IV Uluslararasi Karşilaştirmali Edebiyat Bilimi Kongresi, "Kültürler ve Değerler Buluşması" / IV International Comparative Literature Congress, "Meeting of Cultures and Values", Bildiriler / Proceedings. Kırıkkale: Kırıkkale Universitesi Yayilari [Kırıkkale University Publications], pp. 441-454. ISBN 978-975-8626-04-5
Boldrini, Lucia. 2011. Drunkards, Simoniac Preachers and Unjust Stewards: A Chaucerian Intertext for “Grace”. In: Raffaella Baccolini; Delia Chiaro; Chris Rundle and Sam Whitsitt, eds. A Joyceful of Talkatalka. From Friendshapes for Rosa Maria Bollettieri Bosinelli. Bologna: Bononia University Press, pp. 45-53. ISBN 978-88-7395-570-2
Boldrini, Lucia. 2011. Rattling the Cage of Meaning: Primo Levi’s The Periodic Table, the Two Cultures, and the Ethical Duty of the Writer. In: Cedric Barfoot and Valeria Tinkler Villani, eds. Restoring the Mystery of the Rainbow: Literature’s Refraction of Science. 47 Amsterdam: Rodopi, pp. 187-206. ISBN 978-90-420-3325-2
Boldrini, Lucia. 2009. The Anamorphosis of Photography in Michael Ondaatje’s The Collected Works of Billy the Kid. In: Carmen Concilio and Richard J. Lane, eds. Image Technologies in Canadian Literature: Narrative, Film and Photography. Brussels: Peter Lang, pp. 31-46. ISBN 978-90-5201-474-6
Boldrini, Lucia. 2003. Ex Sterco Dantis: Dante's Post-Babelian Linguistics in the Wake. In: Laurent Milesi, ed. James Joyce and the Difference of Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 180-194. ISBN 9780521623377
Boldrini, Lucia. 2003. 'Intimations of proximate dawn': re-viewing Joyce's Ulysses through the eye of Kubrick's Space Odyssey. In: Mario Curreli and Fausto Ciompi, eds. Many-voicèd fountains: Studi di anglistica e comparatistica in onore di Elsa Linguanti. Pisa: ETS, pp. 360-371. ISBN 8846707885
Boldrini, Lucia. 2002. Let Dante Be Silent: Finnegans Wake and the Medieval Theory of Polysemy. In: Lucia Boldrini, ed. Medieval Joyce. (13) Amsterdam and Atlanta: Rodopi, pp. 199-218. ISBN 9789042014091
Boldrini, Lucia. 1999. The Ragged Edge of Miracles; or, A Word or Two On Those Jack Hodgins Novels. In: Elsa Linguanti; Francesco Casotti and Carmen Concilio, eds. Coterminous Worlds: Magical Realism and Contemporary Post-Colonial Literature in English. Amesterdam: Rodopi, pp. 83-101. ISBN 9789042004481
Boldrini, Lucia. 1998. The Artist Paring His Quotations: Aesthetic and Ethical Implications of the Dantean Intertext in Dubliners. In: Harold Mosher and Rosa Maria Bollettieri Bosinelli, eds. Re-Joycing: New Readings of Joyce’s Dubliners. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, pp. 228-246. ISBN 0813120578
Boldrini, Lucia. 1998. The Rule of Analogy and Contrappasso: Babel, Dante, Joyce and the Redemption of Language. In: Clive Hart; George Sandulescu; Bonnie Kime Scott and Fritz Senn, eds. Images of Joyce: Proceedings of the XII International James Joyce Symposium. 1 Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe, pp. 183-187. ISBN 0861404092
Boldrini, Lucia. 2015. ‘“L’esprit humain, qui semble voyager d’un pays à l’autre”: Considerazioni sulle relazioni storiche tra traduzione e letteratura comparata’. Cadernos de Tradução, 35, pp. 13-30. ISSN 2175-7968
Boldrini, Lucia; Grishakova, Marina and Reynolds, Matthew. 2013. Introduction to New Work in Comparative Literature in Europe. CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture, 15(7), pp. 1-8.
Boldrini, Lucia. 2013. Comparative Literature, Ancient Rome, and the Crisis of Modern European History. CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture, 15(7), pp. 1-8. ISSN 1481-4374
Boldrini, Lucia. 2010. Comparative literature and translation, historical breaks and continuing debates: Can the past teach us something about the future? diacrítica. Dossier Literatura Comparada,, 24(3), pp. 181-199. ISSN 0808-8967
Boldrini, Lucia. 2009. Anna Banti and Virginia Woolf: A Grammar of Responsibility. Journal of Anglo-Italian Studies, 10, pp. 135-149. ISSN 1560-2168
Boldrini, Lucia. 2009. Heterobiography, Hypocriticism, and the Ethics of Authorial Responsibility. Primerjalna književnost, special issue: The Author: Who or What is Writing Literature?(3), pp. 249-259. ISSN 0351-1189
Boldrini, Lucia. 2007. 'Keeping our nerve': Scientific and historical paradigms in John Banville's Doctor Copernicus. Primerjalna Knjizevnost, 30, pp. 141-157. ISSN 0351-1189
Boldrini, Lucia. 2006. Comparative Literature in the Twenty-First Century: A View from Europe and the UK. Comparative Critical Studies, 3(1-2), pp. 13-23. ISSN 1744-1854
Boldrini, Lucia. 2004. "Allowing it to speak out of him": The Heterobiographies of David Malouf, Antonio Tabucchi and Marguerite Yourcenar. Comparative Critical Studies, 1(3), pp. 243-263. ISSN 1744-1854
Boldrini, Lucia. 2003. Translating the Middle Ages: Modernism and the Ideal of the Common Language. Translation and Literature, 12(1), p. 41. ISSN 0968-1361
Boldrini, Lucia. 1994. The Failure of Argumentation and the Disjunction of Aesthetics in Robert Browning’s “Pictor Ignotus”. Linguistica e Letteratura, 19, pp. 155-181. ISSN 0392-6915
Boldrini, Lucia. 1993. "It was part of the joke, you see”: The Author in the Novel between Theoretical Death and Biographical Life. Usure/Rupture GRAAT N° 13, 13, pp. 133-148. ISSN 0997-4970
Boldrini, Lucia. 1991. ”The Sisters” and the Inferno: An Intertextual Network. Style, 25(3), pp. 453-465. ISSN 0039-4238