Carla Locatelli

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Senior Lecturer


538 Williams Hall

Carla Locatelli received her PhD equivalence as Assegnista Ministeriale at the University of Milan IULM.

She is a Professor of Literary Theory and Comparative Literature at the University of Trento Italy where she is also the Honorary Vice-Rector for International Agreements. She was Vice Rector for internationalization from 2004 to 2015. She was a member of the University Academic Senate from 2012 to 2015.

In 1998 she founded the inter-university Doctorate Program in “Narrativity and Comparative Literatures at the Universities of Trento and Macerata. Between 2001 and 2007 she developed international co-tutelles with the Ecole des Hautes Etudes (Paris), Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris VIII (Vincennes) and Lille.

Between 2001 and 2007 was also the Director of the Area of the Humanities of the post-master School for high school teachers’ training (SSIS) at the University of Trento.

Since 1995 she has been a Referee for the Italian Ministry of Research (MIUR) in the area of Comparative Literature.

Since 2010 she has been a referee for QS University Rankings.

She has taught at Penn since 1984 as Visiting Associate Professor in Engliah (1984-1993), Adjunct Professor of English (1993-2011), and Senior Lecturer A of Italian (92013-)  Her courses have included Graduate Seminars in Literary Theory and Contemporary/Modern English and Italian Literature, and undergraduate lecture courses on English literature and Italian History and film.

Her publications include 17 volumes (some edited), and more than 160 articles, book chapters, and contributions to reference works. Updated list at:

Her main areas of research are: theory, hermeneutics, cultural semiotics, gender and queer theory, and comparative literature (with special focus on Italian, English, French, American and Filipino literatures).

She focuses on theoretical concepts, and her works have addressed these themes: “texts-cotexts-contexts”; “silence in literature and criticism”; theories of “narration and narrativity”; theories of “descriptions and inscriptions”, literary and linguistic theory of “space-spaces” theories of authobiography, of translation and translatability; textualizations of gender and sexuality; the role of literature in the contemporary world;  the dialectics of memory and desire, and the implications of rhetoric and culture.

She has worked and published on English Renaissance texts, English Romantic Poets, European Modernists and Filippino contemporary writers. Specifically, she has written on the following authors: J. Swift; W. Blake, V. Woolf, S. Beckett, G. Stein, A. Rich, G. Deledda, G. Gozzano, A. Santoro, G. Abad, and H. Cixous.

She is among the founding members of the SIL (Società Italiana delle Letterate), and was its vice-President between 2000 and 2003.

She is a member of the Editorial Board of: The Humanities Bulletin London Academic Publishing (; Testuale; The European Journal of Women's Studies; and Limite(e) Beckett ( She is a member of the International Advisory Board of The Philippine Humanities Review, and of the Global Business Review Journal (Burapha University, Thailand).

She has lectured extensively in Europe, USA, Mexico, Argentina, Brasil, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Viet Nam, Singapore and China.  

Honors and Awards:

She has been elected twice as President of ASEAUNINET (ASEAN-European Academic University Network): between 2008-2010 and 2016-2018. She has also been European coordinator and Italian coordinator of the same network.

Since 2013 she has been included in the  European REA (Research Executive Agency) database of Independent Referees for the Evaluation of European Research Projects (“Horizon 2020”).

She was a Fulbright Exchange Research Fellow at the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2004 and Senior Fulbright Fellow at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana in 2002.

In 1983 she lectured throughout the USA through the ’International Visitor's Program (I.V.P.) of the USIA (United States Infornation Agency).

In 2009 she was officially welcomed at  Hanban (Chinese Ministry of Culture) by the Deputy Director General HU Zhiping.

In 2013 she was awarded a Certificate for Outstanding Contribution  to the  ASEAN- Network by the Ministry of Culture in Malaysia from the Minister of Higher Education, YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin.

Office Hours
Spring 2024: Thursday 12.30-1.30 and by appointment