Dr Claudia Bernardi

Senior Lecturer in Italian School of Languages and Cultures


Teaching in 2017

Research interests

Italy, Italian literature, Italian culture, Italian language, Italian society, women writers, avant-garde, experimental writing, contemporary fiction

Dr Claudia Bernardi profile picture


BA (Hons) Bologna, MA Hull, PhD Bath


Dr Bernardi gained a Laurea in lingue and letterature straniere (BA Hons) at the University of Bologna, ltaly, and an MA in Women and Literature at the University of Hull, England. Her PhD in contemporary Italian literature at the University of Bath was titled The “Pulp” Generation Between Avant-Garde and Tradition(s): Legacies, Gender and Youth Culture in the Narrative of Silvia Ballestra. Rossana Campo and Isabella Santacroce.

Claudia has taught Italian language, literature and culture at university since 1995. She joined the Italian programme in the School of Languages and Cultures at Victoria University in 2000. Claudia is currently teaching undergraduate and Honours courses, as well as supervising postgraduate students at Victoria.

Current research projects

Ongoing research and publications on contemporary Italian Fiction, with a focus on women writers and representations of gender. Dr Bernardi is currently writing on the experimental works of Italian-Swiss writer Alice Ceresa; violence, gender and sexuality in crime fiction and films; and film adaptions of literary texts.

Research supervision

Current supervision

  • Contemporary Italian fiction
  • Women writers
  • Literary translation
  • Representation of illness in literature.

Primary supervision

Eleonora Bello (PhD Candidate in Italian): The Unconscious of the Asylum: The Representation of Mental Illness and Psychiatric Institution in Contemporary Italian Writings (1950-2000).

Secondary supervision

Francesca Benocci (PhD Candidate in Literary Translation Studies): An Annotated Anthology of New Zealand Women Poets in Italian Translation.

Mengying Jiang (PhD Candidate in Literary Translation Studies): “Translation as Representation: An Interdisciplinary Approach Towards English Translations of Contemporary Chinese Women Writers.”

Proposals welcome

  • Contemporary Italian fiction
  • Italian women writers
  • Italophone Swiss literature
  • Avant-garde and experimental writing
  • Popular genres in Italian fiction and films
  • Gender in Italian fiction and films
  • Gender and translation.

Teaching interests

Currently teaching Italian language from beginner to advanced level, Italian culture, Dante, modern and contemporary Italian literature.

Key achievements

  • Victoria University of Wellington Excellence in Teaching Award (2011)
  • Guest lecturer at the University of Bath, UK (2007)
  • The Victorias Award as Best Lecturer (Highly Commended) (2004)
  • Postgraduate research Grant by the British Federation of Women Graduates (1998)

Selected publications

“Murders in shocking Pink: Women, Love and Desire in Rossana Campo’s Noir Fiction”, Quaderni d’italianistica: Journal of the Canadian Society for Italian Studies, no. 1, vol. 37, 2016.

"Narratrici italiane tra tradizioni ed avanguardie", Nuova prosa, no. 64, 2014.

"Impegno in the Work of Silvia Ballestra: A Space of Political Engagement Between Realism and Postmodernism", Studi d'Italianistica nell'Africa Australe/Italian Studies in Southern Africa (Special Issue: Italian Studies in New Zealand), eds. Claudia Bernardi, Sarah Patricia Hill, Giacomo Lichtner, vol. 24, no. 1, 2011.

"Recalcitrant Daughters: the Search for Literary Mothers in Italian Women's Fiction of the 1990s", in Women's Writing in Western Europe: Gender, Generation and Legacy, eds. Adalgisa Giorgio and Julia Waters, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle, 2007.

"Collective Memories and Childhood Narratives: Revisiting the 1970's in the 1990s", in Speaking Out and Silencing: Culture, Society and Politics in Italy in the 1970s, ed Anna Cento Bull and Adalgisa Giorgio, Legenda/MHRA/Mahey Publishing, Leeds, 2006.

Book review of Stefania Lucamante, Italian Pulp Fiction: The New Narrative of The Giovani Cannibali Writers, Modern Languages Review, vol. 98 no. 1, 2003.

"Exiles/Nomads: Journeys through Language and Gender in Italian Women’s Pulp Fiction of the 1990s", Studi d’Italianistica nell’Africa Australe / Italian Studies in Southern Africa. Special Issue: Journey and Return / Il Viaggio e il Ritorno, vol. 16 no. 1, 2003.

"Experiments in Writing and Criticism: Ricercare (1993-1999)", Bulletin of the Society for Italian Studies, no. 32, 1999.

"'The Road to Berlin': Displacement and Cultural Exile in the New Italian Fiction of the Nineties", New Readings, vol. 4, 1998.

"Pulp and Other Fictions: An Overview of Young Italian Writers in the 1990s", Bulletin of the Society for Italian Studies, no. 30, 1997.