Dr Francesco Giusti

Dr Francesco Giusti

Associate College Lecturer in Italian


After completing my PhD at the Italian Institute of Human Sciences in Florence and Sapienza University of Rome in 2012, I held postdoctoral fellowships at the University of York (2013), the Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main (2014-2015), and the ICI Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry (2016-2018). Before coming to Oxford as a Career Development Fellow in Italian at Christ Church and College Lecturer at Worcester College and St John’s College, I taught comparative literature at Bard College Berlin (2019-2021).

Research Interests

My research focuses on the Italian poetic tradition and its modern and contemporary ramifications, but my work extends into other genres and media, as well as theoretical dimensions. Over the years I have written on Dante, Petrarch, Francesca Turini Bufalini, Giacomo Leopardi, Eugenio Montale, and Giorgio Caproni, among several others. My new project, 'Gestural Communities: Lyric and the Suspension of Action', developed out of my long-term interest in the history and theory of the lyric, which led to my monographs 'Canzonieri in morte. Per un’etica poetica del lutto' (2015) and 'Il desiderio della lirica. Poesia, creazione, conoscenza' (2016), devoted respectively to the ethics of mourning and to creative desire in lyric poetry. In recent years, working at the intersection of literature and theory, I have increasingly begun to scrutinise the ways in which the lyric offers the possibility to rethink certain concepts and socio-cultural practices in much broader and transdisciplinary terms. My project starts from the investigation of the transnational and transmedia developments of the lyric in the Italian experimental scene of the twentieth and twenty-first century in order to explore a different model of community formation and its cultural and political implications.


I teach most areas of Italian literature for both Prelims papers and the Final Honours School, from Dante and the Middle Ages to the current era. My approach to teaching reflects the methods of my research. Indeed, I believe that the two activities are part of the complex process of learning in which both teacher and students take part. In my teaching I tend to explore literary texts from a comparative perspective that brings into the discussion artistic practices, philosophical reflection, material culture, and social forms of the times, also in combination with gender, queer, and ecocritical approaches. For me, it is crucial that texts offer a space for discussion in which students and teacher can conjoin their diverse personal perspectives and experiences.

Recent Publications



l desiderio della lirica. Poesia, creazione, conoscenza (Rome: Carocci, 2016) 


Canzonieri in morte. Per un’etica poetica del lutto (L'Aquila: Textus Edizioni, 2015) 


Edited volumes

A Gaping Wound: Mourning in Italian Poetry, co-edited with Adele Bardazzi and Emanuela Tandello (Cambridge: Legenda, forthcoming 2022)


The Work of World Literature, co-edited with Benjamin Lewis Robinson (Berlin: ICI Berlin Press, 2020)  


Poesia e nuovi media, co-edited with Damiano Frasca and Christine Ott (Florence: Cesati Editore, 2018)