School of Languages and Cultures

Dr Claudia Bernardi

Programme Director
School of Languages and Cultures

Phone: 04 463 5646
Location: Room 601, Von Zedlitz Building, Kelburn Pde, Kelburn Campus

Dr Claudia Bernardi


LLLStr Bologna, MA Hull, PhD Bath


Laurea in lingue and letterature straniere (equivalent to BA Hons)  at the University of Bologna, ltaly. MA in Women and Literature at the University of Hull, England, followed by a PhD in contemporary Italian literature at the University of Bath (title: "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").

Taught  Italian language, literature and culture at university level since 1995.

Joined the Italian Programme in the School of Languages & Culture at Victoria  University in 2000, teaching a variety of undergraduate and honours courses, as well as supervising a number of postgraduate students.

Currently Head of School.

Current research projects

Ongoing research and publications on Contemporary Italian Fiction, with a focus on women writers.

Book project on the women's experimental writing of the 1960-70s in the context of the Neoavanguardia movement. Currently writing on the works of Alice Ceresa.

Research Supervision

Primary supervision:

Eleonora Bellow (PhD Student in Italian: "Mental Illness and Literature"

Tim Smith (Honours Student in Classics): "Ulysses in Early Twentieth Century Italian Poetry"

Secondary supervision:

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

Alessandro Macilenti (PhD Student Italian): "Italian Literary Writing in the Late Anthropocene"

Welcomes proposals in:

  • Contemporary Italian  fiction
  • Italian women writers
  • Avant-garde and experimental writing
  • Popular fiction, genres and gender in Italian fiction, gay and lesbian writers

Currently has students working on

Contemporary Italian fiction, women writers, literary translation and representation of illness in literature

Major achievements

  • Victoria University of Wellington Excellence in Teaching Award (2011)
  • Invited as 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) 

Teaching interests

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

Selected publications

'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