Professor Lucia Boldrini

Staff details

Professor Lucia Boldrini


Professor of English and Comparative Literature,


English and Creative Writing


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Goldsmiths Research Centres/Groups

Lucia’s principal areas of research are comparative literature, fictional biography and autobiography, and James Joyce

Lucia Boldrini is Professor of English and Comparative Literature and Director of the Centre for Comparative Literature. She convenes the 'Comparative Literature and Criticism' pathway of the MA Literary Studies and is President of the International Comparative Literature Association.

Academic qualifications

  • PhD, University of Leicester 1997
  • Dottorato di Ricerca (PhD), University of Pisa, Italy 1995
  • Laurea in Lingue e Letterature Straniere [Modern Languages], University of Pisa. 110/110 summa cum laude 1989

Research interests

Principal areas of research:
1) Fictional Biographies and Autobiographies of Historical Characters (Biofiction, Heterobiography).
My first monograph came out in 1998, in Italian (Biografie fittizie e personaggi storici); Autobiographies of Others: Historical Subjects and Literary Fiction was published by Routledge in 2012. I have co-edited the journal issue ‘Autobiografictions’ (2004, with Peter Davies) and the book Experiments in Life-Writing: Intersections of Auto/Biography and Fiction (2017, with Julia Novak). I co-edit the Bloomsbury Biofiction Studies series with Michael Lackey and Monica Latham.

2) Comparative and World Literature
As well as working ‘in’ comparative literature, I am interested in it as a subject, in its relationship with related practices such as translation, and from a longer historical perspective than is usually considered. I have published articles in and edited issues of international journals such as Translation and Literature, Comparative Critical Studies and CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture. I serve as the current president of the International Comparative Literature Association.

3) James Joyce, Dante, and Modernist Medievalism.
I am 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 (reissued in 2009); the edited volume Medieval Joyce came out in 2002; and I have published a number of articles in this area, and organised conferences and workshops. From 2000 to 2006 I was a Trustee of the International James Joyce Foundation.

4) Literature of the Mediterranean.
I am interested in literature about and from the Mediterranean – both its Southern and Northern sides. In 2016-18 I was Academic Co-Director of the Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership “Mediterranean Imaginaries: Literature, Arts, Culture” with Ivan Callus and Stella Borg Barthet of the University of Malta.

Publications and research outputs


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

Edited Book

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, ed. 2002. Medieval Joyce. Amsterdam ; New York, NY: Rodopi. ISBN 9789042014091

Edited Journal

Boldrini, Lucia; Grishakova, Marina and Reynolds, Matthew, eds. 2013. New Work in Comparative Literature in Europe, CLCWeb: Comparative Literature amd Culture, 15(7).

Boldrini, Lucia and Sweeney, Carole, eds. 2013. Fractured, Travelling, Transformed Narratives, Comparative Critical Studies, 10(3-supp). 1744-1854

Boldrini, Lucia and Mussgnug, Florian, eds. 2008. Comparative Critical Studies: Folly, Comparative Critical Studies, 5(2-3). 1744-1854

Book Section

Boldrini, Lucia. 2023. Chapter 22. Introduction (World Literature). In: Péter Hajdu and Xiaohing Zhang, eds. Literatures of the World and the Future of Comparative Literature: Proceedings of the 22nd Congress of the International Comparative Literature Association. 102 Leiden: Brill, pp. 273-283. ISBN 9789004538498

Boldrini, Lucia. 2021. 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 Mucignat and Robert Weninger, eds. Mapping Realism (Volume I of Landscapes of Realism Rethinking Literary Realism(s) in Global Comparative Perspective. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, pp. 775-791. ISBN 9789027208064

Boldrini, Lucia. 2021. Rock, Mirror, Mirage: Europe, Elsewhere. In: Vladimir Biti; Joep Leerssen and Vivian Liska, eds. The Idea of Europe: The Clash of Projections. Leiden: Brill, pp. 99-120. ISBN 9789004449442


Boldrini, Lucia. 2024. Familiar Ghosts: Imagining Lives, Re-imagining the Nation, Inventing the Future. Journal of Foreign Languages and Cultures, 8(2), pp. 31-47. ISSN 2096-4374

Boldrini, Lucia. 2024. Biographical Fictions and the Writing of the World. Recherche littéraire / Literary Research, 39, pp. 33-53. ISSN 0849–0570

Boldrini, Lucia. 2022. Biofiction, Heterobiography and the Ethics of Speaking of, for and as Another. Interdisciplinary Studies of Literature, 6(1), pp. 18-37. ISSN 2520-4920

Conferences and talks

2019: ‘Biofiction, heterobiography and the ethics of speaking of, for and as another’
Keynote lecture, the 9th International Convention on Ethical Literary Criticism: The Ethico-Political Turn in Literary Studies: Cross-Cultural and Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives, Zhejiang University

2021: Lives, Places, Worlds
Keynote lecture at the conference ‘Biofiction as World Literature’, University of Leuven, 15-18 September 2021

Areas of teaching and supervision

I have extensive teaching and examining experience at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, in seminars and lectures, on modules I have devised as well as on colleagues’ modules as part of a team. My teaching is linked to my research interests, but I also enjoy teaching foundation and survey modules.

I 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 student-nominated Peake Excellence in Learning and Teaching Award. Students on my modules have won many essay prizes, notably the Emory Elliot international essay competition, organised by the Literary Encyclopedia (2009 and 2010, with essays from the challenging module ‘Literature in Question: Writing since the Second World War’); and the British Comparative Literature Association’s Arthur Terry Postgraduate Essay Prize (several since 2014 with essays from the MA modules ‘Writing the Mediterranean’ and ‘Studies in Comparative Literature and Criticism’).

My recent and current areas of supervision include projects on fictional auto/biography, 20th- and 21st-century fiction, James Joyce and modernism, various aspects of comparative literature, as well as the critical components of PhDs in Creative Writing.

I welcome new applications in all these areas.