Arnaldi, Dr Marta


Marta Arnaldi

Stipendiary Lecturer in Italian

Academic background

Marta’s interdisciplinary background includes degrees in Italian and comparative literature (BA Turin, MPhil Pavia, MSt Oxford, DPhil Oxford) as well as two years of Medicine and Surgery (Turin). After completing her doctorate at Magdalen College, Oxford (AHRC-funded), she held a number of research fellowships, including a Laming Junior Research Fellowship at The Queen’s College, Oxford (2019–21), an Extraordinary Junior Research Fellowship in Italian at the same institution (2021–22), and a Research Fellowship at the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages/Centre for Sustainable Healthcare Education, University of Oslo. Marta has been a lecturer in Italian at St Anne’s College since 2017.


Marta is the college tutor for students reading Italian and was the Academic Mentor for the MSt students in Comparative Literature and Critical Translation (2021–22). At St Anne’s College, she teaches literary papers across all year groups, especially modern and contemporary Italian literature and cinema (FHS Papers VIII, XI and XII), and Preliminary examinations papers including The History of the Italian Sonnet, Eugenio Montale, Giuseppe Ungaretti, and Modern Italian Narrative (Natalia Ginzburg, Igiaba Scego, Anna Maria Ortese, Primo Levi, Italo Calvino, and Cesare Pavese).                       

Marta has a special interest in comparative literature, translation studies and interdisciplinary encounters. She supervises undergraduate and master’s dissertations exploring these perspectives through textual, visual, material, thematic and/or theoretical lenses (e.g., feminist theory, postcolonial theory, translation theory, and the forms and meanings of world literature). She supervises doctoral research. Currently, she is co-supervising a doctoral thesis analysing self-narratives by damaged dancers. 

Research interests

Marta’s research focusses on two main areas, transnational Italian studies on the one hand, including the literatures and cultures of Italian migration, and medical and health humanities on the other. The Diasporic Canon: American Anthologies of Contemporary Italian Poetry 1945–2015, published by Legenda’s Transcript series in 2022, is the first monograph to be dedicated to the history of a national literary canon in another language and country. By exploring Italian poetry’s potential for mobility and transformation, the book argues that the theoretical concept of diaspora presents us with a new idea of canonicity, one that problematises received ideas of nationality, ethnicity, gender, genre, and authorship. Since 2019, Marta has led two international research projects, Translating Illness and Translating COVID-19, which were awarded a double grant from Wellcome Institution Strategic Support Fund (ISSF) and OUP-Oxford John Fell Fund. This research has led to international collaborations as well as to a successful programme of video podcasts (see here).

Marta is the author of three prize-winning poetry collections. In them, she explores ways of thinking and talking about research through creative methods, and in dialogue with non-academic audiences.

Recent Publications


The Diasporic Canon: American Anthologies of Contemporary Italian Poetry (Cambridge: Legenda, 2022) [monograph]

Alibi: The First Bilingual Anthology of Italian Poets in the UK (Rome: Ensemble, 2022) [poetry anthology co-edited with Luca Paci]

Mare storto (Milan: Montedit, 2022) [poetry collection, Jacques Prévert International Literary Prize]

Intraducibile, with an introduction by Alice Loda (Lecce: Besa Muci, 2022) [poetry collection]

Itaca (Milan: Montedit, 2016) [poetry collection, winner of the Jacques Prévert International Literary Prize and of the Elena Violani Landi International Literary Prize, Centre for Contemporary Poetry, University of Bologna]




‘Translating COVID-19: From Contagion to Containment’ , Journal of Medical Humanities 43, 387–404 (2022).

‘Contagious Otherness: Translating Communicable Diseases in the Modern Italian and Francophone Novel’, Open Library of Humanities 8.1 (2022). doi:

‘Translational Futures: Notes on Ecology and Translation from the COVID- 19 Crisis’, in The Languages of COVID-19: Transnational and Multicultural Perspectives on Global Healthcare, ed. by Steven Wilson and Piotr Blumczynsk (London: Routledge). Forthcoming in 2022.

‘Illness as a Foreign Tongue: Therapeutic Translation in Contemporary Italian Women’s Poetry’, Literature and Medicine. Forthcoming in Fall 2022.

‘Transnational Melancholia: Depression and Exile in Italian Women’s Poetry from the Early-Modern to the Contemporary’, in Women in Transition: Crossing Boundaries, Crossing Borders, ed. by Maria-José Blanco and Claire Williams (London: Routledge, 2021), pp. 133–48.

‘Terapia della traduzione nel Purgatorio di Dante’, ‘Purgatori della letteratura italiana’. Special Issue ed. by Fabio Camilletti, Quaderni d’Italianistica, 41.2 (2021): 9–32.

 ‘The Translational Imagination’, in Alan Bleakley and Shane Neilson, Poetry in the Clinic: Towards a Lyrical Medicine (London: Routledge, 2021), pp. 295–98.

For a full list of publications please visit my Academia profile: