skip to content


Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Serena Laiena

(c) The University of Cambridge
PhD Candidate
Faculty of Modern & Medieval Languages & Linguistics
Contact details: 
Telephone number: 
+44 (0)1223 335 000 (Main Faculty number)

Faculty of Modern & Medieval Languages
Raised Faculty Building
University of Cambridge
Sidgwick Avenue
United Kingdom


I completed my BA in Literature, Music and Performing Arts and my MA in Modern Philology cum laude at La Sapienza University in Rome. At the same time I attended the Sapienza School for Advanced Studies (SSAS) where I graduated in 2017. During the first year of my Master’s degree, I spent two months at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris to research the character of the Pedant in Italian and French comedy.  For my Bachelor’s dissertation I explored the Pedantesco and for my Master’s dissertation, under the supervision of Prof. Luca Serianni, I investigated the presence of Neapolitan dialect in the plurilingualist Roman Commedia Ridicolosa. My interests include Early Modern Italian theatre, Italian dialectology and translation of dialects, as well as the history of the Italian language.

Teaching interests: 

I supervise for the first-year paper ITA3: Texts and Contexts 

Research interests: 

My PhD project offers a new perspective on the life and work of Giovan Battista Andreini (1576-1654), who is considered to be the most important playwright of seventeenth-century Italy. He followed in the footsteps of his famous parents, Francesco Andreini (1548-1624) and the diva Isabella Andreini (1562-1604), as actor and playwright. His complex literary and social network deserves further investigation: it involved musicians, men of letters, academicians and nobles. A conjunction of favorable creative circumstances, as the co-occurrent development of the first operatic forms, influenced the form of his plays, which usually contain musical parts. His copious hybrid production was also influential throughout Europe. These are just some of the lines of research that Andreini’s eclectic career produces, allowing intertextual and interdisciplinary reflections