skip to content


Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Professor Robert S. C. Gordon

Robert Gordon
Serena Professor of Italian
Co-Chair of Faculty
Faculty of Modern & Medieval Languages
Contact details: 
Telephone number: 
+44 (0)1223 335426 (College)
+44 (0)1223 760820 (Faculty)

Gonville & Caius College
Trinity Street


Robert Gordon works on the literature, cinema and cultural history of modern Italy. He is the author or editor of over a dozen volumes, including a major study of the writer and filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini (Pasolini. Forms of Subjectivity) and several books on the work of Primo Levi (e.g. Primo Levi's Ordinary Virtues, Auschwitz Report, The Cambridge Companion to Primo Levi, Innesti). He has also published on the wider field of postwar cultural responses to the Holocaust, in the book The Holocaust in Italian Culture, 1944-2010, the co-edited collection Holocaust Intersections and a special issue of the Jewish history journal Quest. He is co-editor of Culture, Censorship and the State in 20th-Century Italy and his work on cinema includes the book on Pasolini, the BFI Film Classics volume Bicycle Thieves, DVD and Blu-ray audio commentaries, and articles and essays on diverse topics including Holocaust cinema, early film and literature, Antonioni, 'Hollywood on the Tiber', and censorship. He is also the author of a general account of modern Italian literature, A Difficult Modernity: An Introduction to Twentieth-Century Italian Literature. He has taught at Oxford and Cambridge Universities, is a former Senior Editor of the journal Italian Studies, and a member ot the Council of the British School at Rome. He was elected Fellow of the British Academy in 2015.

Enquiries from potential MPhil and PhD students are welcome.


Published works: 


Principal publications include:

2020 & G. Cinelli (eds). Innesti. Primo Levi e i libri altrui. Oxford: Peter Lang

2016 & E. Perra (eds). Holocaust Intersections in 21st-century Europe, special issue, Quest 10; at:

2013 & A. Bangert, L. Saxton (eds). Holocaust Intersections. Genocide and Visual Culture at the New Millennium. Oxford: Legenda

2012 The Holocaust in Italian Culture, 1944-2010. Stanford: Stanford University Press

2010 Sfacciata fortuna’. La Shoah e il caso / ‘Outrageous Fortune’. Luck and the Holocaust. Turin: Einaudi

2008 Bicycle Thieves. London: Palgrave / BFI Film Classics

2007 (ed.). Cambridge Companion to Primo Levi. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

2006 (ed.). Leonardo De Benedetti & Primo Levi, Auschwitz Report. London: Verso

2005 A Difficult Modernity: An Introduction to Twentieth-Century Italian Literature. London: Duckworth

2005 & G. Bonsaver (eds). Culture, Censorship and the State in Twentieth-Century Italy. Oxford: Legenda

2001 Primo Levi’s Ordinary Virtues: From Testimony to Ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press

2000 & M. Belpoliti (eds). Primo Levi, The Voice of Memory. Interviews 1961-1987. New York: New Press

1996. Pasolini. Forms of Subjectivity. Oxford: Oxford University Press