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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Charlotte Alton

Photo of Charlotte Alton

College: Selwyn College


Supervisor: Prof Heather Webb

Research Topic: Affective Contagions and Communities in Boccaccio’s Decameron



Charlotte graduated in 2017 with a degree in French and Italian from the University of Manchester and continued her studies at Manchester, graduating in 2018 with an MA in Medieval and Early Modern Studies. Charlotte’s Master’s dissertation on Time and Narrative in Boccaccio’s Elegia di Madonna Fiammetta analysed the temporalities and narrative time of the text.

Charlotte began her studies as a PhD candidate in Italian Studies at Selwyn College in 2019, funded by the Vice-Chancellor’s and Selwyn Sykes Postgraduate Research Scholarship.



Charlotte specialises in medieval Italian literature and Boccaccio studies. Her research is particularly concerned with the application of critical theory, particularly, affect theory and how this allows us to reconsider Boccaccio’s presentation of community and contagion within his text.

Charlotte’s doctoral thesis focuses on ideas of community and contagion in Boccaccio’s Decameron, through the application of affect theory.



Dante Alighieri Award (Manchester, 2017)

Vice-Chancellor’s and Selwyn Sykes Postgraduate Research Scholarship (2019-22)



Charlotte has been involved with teaching supervisions covering Boccaccio’s Decameron for the second-year paper IT5: Italian Identities: Place, Language and Culture.


Conference papers

‘What is Affect and How Does it Circulate? Community and Contagion in Boccaccio’s Decameron’, University of Cambridge Italian Studies Graduate Conference, 12-13 October 2020.

‘The Decameron’s Musical Connections: Building Community with Ballads’, University of Cambridge Italian Studies Graduate Conference, 17-18 June 2021.