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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Simone Monti

PhD Candidate
Faculty of Modern & Medieval Languages
Contact details: 

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


I completed my BA (2016) and MA (2018) summa cum laude in Italian Literature from the University of Pisa and Scuola Normale Superiore, where I worked under the supervision of Prof Lina Bolzoni. My Bachelor’s thesis focused on Franco Fortini’s metrics and their connection with his poetics and theory of art. In my MA thesis, under the supervision of Prof Maria Cristina Cabani and Prof Alberto Casadei, I studied the topos of the mort d’amour in Renaissance lyric poetry and culture.

My main research interests lie in Renaissance women’s writing, Petrarch and the tradition of lyric poetry, with a particular focus on literary imitation, and the relationship between literature and social and cultural history. Other research interests include Italian Contemporary Literature, especially Pasolini and Fortini, and Cinema.



  • Sykes Studentship in Italian (2019-2022)
  • Scholarship Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa (2013-2018)


Teaching interests: 

Supervisor for the first-year paper ITA3: Texts and Contexts [2020].


Other activities and roles

  • Participated in the conception of the video Labirinto Ariosto – Giocare col Furioso attraverso i secoli (2018) by Lorenzo Garzella and Filippo Macelloni, produced by Nanof under the supervision of Prof Lina Bolzoni on the 500th anniversary of Orlando Furioso’s first publication.
  • Director of the student-organised academic invites for Italian Literature at the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa [2016-17 and 2017-18].


Recent research projects: 

I am working on the genre of in morte poems by Renaissance women writers, in particular Vittoria Colonna, Veronica Gambara, Chiara Matraini, and Francesca Turina. My main research questions revolve around the problematic aspects of mourning and its gendered connotations: I am trying to explore how lyric poetry and social norms on mourning, and female mourning in particular, interact.

My aim is to understand how these poets created a new public language, crafting their voice between the previous literary tradition, longstanding cultural stereotypes and representations about female mourning, and the social, cultural and ideological context of the time. I am undertaking a close reading of the texts that considers how the literary and hyper-codified language of Petrarchan lyric poetry might be subjected to profound revisions related to the new historical and cultural context and to the female gender.

In parallel with this work, I am also interrogating what this publicization of private grief meant for the four women writers and how it worked within their local networks both as literary work and as public discourse. I am trying to answer the question of what, in general, the function of this public mourning was, between memorialisation of the deceased husband, self-fashioning strategies, and social and literary mourning practices.


Conference papers

  • ‘Ormai son fatta la madre della Malinconia’: Francesca Turina’s Mourning Experiences and her Negotiation of Literary and Social Agency, International Conference ‘Recovering Women's Identities between Centre and Periphery (16th-20th Centuries)’, Institute of Modern Languages Research - University of London, 5-6 March 2020
  • ‘Tra metrica barbara e metrica biblica. Usi e funzioni dei versi lunghi in Franco Fortini’, International Conference ‘Il secolo di Franco Fortini. Conversazioni nel centenario della nascita’, University Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski in Warsaw under the patronage of Centro Studi Franco Fortini in Siena, 19-20 May 2017


Published works: 


  • Simone Monti, ‘La rabbia (1963): il film-saggio e la funzione-Benjamin nel cinema di Pasolini’, The Italianist, forthcoming.
  • Simone Monti, ‘Un aspetto del petrarchismo di Bembo: il topos della morte per amore’, Annali della Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa. Classe di Lettere e Filosofia, 12 (2020), pp. 165-201.
  • Simone Monti, ‘Le spie dell’affanno. L’endecasillabo dattilico tra Foglio di via e Poesia ed errore di Franco Fortini’, Italianistica, 47 (2018), pp. 213-224.


Book chapters

  • Simone Monti, ‘Widows, poetry, and portraits: Livia Spinola and Francesca Turina on the portraits of their dead husbands’, in Petrarch and Portraiture in Sixteenth-Century Italy, Amsterdam University Press (AUP), forthcoming.
  • Simone Monti, ‘“Mostragli nel mio cor l’essempio vero”: Marino e il ritratto della sua donna nella Galeria’ in Parola all’immagine. Esperienze dell’ecfrasi da Petrarca a Marino, edited by Andrea Torre (Lucca: Maria Pacini Fazzi editore, 2019).
  • Simone Monti, ‘Tra metrica barbara e metrica biblica. Usi e funzioni dei versi lunghi in Franco Fortini’, in Il secolo di Franco Fortini. Coversazioni nel centenario della nascita, Atti del Convegno Internazionale di Varsavia, 19-20 Maggio 2017 (Roma: Artemide, 2019).