Rebecca Walker

Project Title: City Identities: Geographies of Female Embodiment in Goliarda Sapienza and Elena Ferrante

My doctoral research broadly investigates the overlap between narrative representations of space (geographical/psychic/bodily etc.) and female identity-formation in modern and contemporary Italian women’s writing. More specifically, I am interested in how literary iterations of Italian urban space shape the narrative construction of female subjectivities in the works of Goliarda Sapienza and Elena Ferrante. Thinking through the ideas of cultural geographers, urban and social theorists, and feminist and literary scholars, my research aims to illustrate how such ideas might come together to form a cohesive methodology through which to access the work of modern and contemporary women writers spatially. The project brings significant literary case studies of Sapienza and Ferrante into contact with recent developments in critical theory surrounding the material environment, the body, and the self, in order to explore fresh ways of reading the urban landscape in modern and contemporary women’s writing.


Awarded: Carnegie PhD Scholarship

Field: Italian Studies and Cultural Geography

University: University of St Andrews

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