Dr Valentina Mele


Valentina received her BA in Italian Literature and her MA in Philology from the Università degli Studi di Padova, during which time she spent a year at the University of Warwick as a visiting student. She mainly considered intersections between Italian, English and American literature, working on the reception of Dante in nineteenth and twentieth century Anglo-American poetry. She continued her studies at Somerville College, University of Oxford, earning an MSt in Medieval and Modern Languages. Her thesis analysed textual representations of feminine figures in the Italian Duecento love lyric. Valentina holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge. Her doctoral research focusses on the poetry of Guido Cavalcanti (c.1258-1300). Valentina has been IRC Postdoctoral Fellow at University College Cork (2020-2022). She currently is British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Leeds, where she is working on the reception of Dante in the San Francisco Renaissance: https://www.thebritishacademy.ac.uk/funding/postdoctoral-fellowships/past-awards/postdoctoral-fellowship-awards-2022/

Valentina’s broader interests mostly lie in the relationship between language and subjectivity.



Authored Books and Edited Volumes

  1. ‘A Fraternity of Poets’. The Reception of Dante in the Berkeley Renaissance (in preparation) 75,000 words
  2. Lyric Subjectivity in the Poetry of Guido Cavalcanti (currently being revised) 70,000 words
  3. Cavalcanti After Cavalcanti. The Reception of Guido Cavalcanti in Italy. Special Monographic Issue ed. by V. Mele, «Italianistica», vol. LII (Forthcoming Spring 2024)

Peer-reviewed Articles and Book Chapters

  1. (in preparation) ‘Dialogical Rites of Passage. Thom Gunn and Robert Duncan’, in Thom Gunn, a Prismatic Portrait: Poet, Teacher, Man, Friend, Lover, ed. S. Michelucci (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, forthcoming Winter 2024), 3,000 words
  2. (in preparation) ‘Rereading Gerty McDowell with the Tradition of the donna gentile’, 5,000 words
  3. ‘Cavalcanti in Petrarca’, in Cavalcanti After Cavalcanti. The Reception of Guido Cavalcanti in Italy. Special Monographic Issue ed. by V. Mele, «Italianistica» vol. LII (Forthcoming Spring 2024). 7,500 words
  4. ‘The Years of Transition. 1900-1950 English translations of the Commedia’, in The Commedia in English, ed. T. Cachey, Blakesley and F. Pich (New York: Routledge, forthcoming Winter 2023). 8,500 words
  5. ‘Chapter XXXII’, in Rereading Dante’s Vita Nova: A Collaborative Research Project, ed. by Z. G. Baranski and H. Webb (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, Forthcoming Winter 2023). 3,500 words
  6. ‘“A fraternity of poets”: The reception of Dante and the Vita nuova in the San Francisco Renaissance’, in The English Life of the Vita Nova. Translation and Reception from the Victorians to the Present, ed. J. Blakesley and F. Coluzzi (London and New York: Routledge, 2022), pp. 155-172.
  7. ‘Le interiezioni della Vita nuova. Il caso di ‘deh’’, «Quaderni di Gargnano», vol. v (2022), 95-110
  8. ‘La voce dolente degli oggetti. Lettura di Cavalcanti, Rime, XVIII’, in “Con Altra Voce”. Echi, variazioni e dissonanze nell’espressione letteraria. Atti del Seminario dottorale internazionale (Pisa, 8-9 ottobre 2018), (Pisa: Edizioni della Normale, 2022), pp. 61-73
  9. ‘Poematicità e teatro in versi nel Purgatorio di Mario Luzi’, «Quaderni d’italianistica», vol. 41.2 (2021), 33-50.
  10. ‘“I have in my translations tried to bring over the qualities of Guido”. Il Cavalcanti di Ezra Pound’, «L’Ulisse», vol. xxiii (2020), 326-338.
  11. ‘Diafanità e desiderio: l’incorporeità femminile nei sonetti “Willowwood’”di D. G. Rossetti’, «Studi Medievali e Moderni», xx (2016), 123-148.


  1. Manuele Gragnolati, Francesca Southerden, Possibilities of Lyric. Reading Petrarch in Dialogue; with an epilogue by Antonella Anedda Angioy (Berlin, ICI Berlin Press, 2020), «Modern Language Review», 117/2 (2022), 300-302
  2. David Bowe, Poetry in dialogue in the Duecento and Dante (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020), «Annali d’Italianistica», 39 (2021), 444-445.
  3. Fabio A. Camilletti, The Portrait of Beatrice. Dante, D. G. Rossetti and the Imaginary Lady (Notre Dame (IND): University of Notre Dame Press, 2019), «Bibliotheca Dantesca: Journal of Dante Studies», vol. iii (2020), 171-173.
  4. Julia Caterina Hartley, Reading Dante and Proust by Analogy (Cambridge: Legenda, 2019), «Modern Language Review», 115/4 (2020), 891-892.


  1. Jack Spicer, Language, translated by V. Mele (Rome: Tic Edizioni, 2023)