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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Valentina Mele

(c) The University of Cambridge
PhD Student
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


Valentina received her BA in Literature and her MA in Philology from the Università degli Studi di Padova, during which time she spent a year at the University of Warwick as a visiting student. She mainly considered intersections between Italian, English and American literature, working on Dante, Alfred Tennyson, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and Jack Spicer. She continued her studies at Somerville College, University of Oxford, earning an MSt in Medieval and Modern Languages. Her thesis analysed and discussed textual representations of feminine figures in the Italian poetry of the Duecento. Valentina’s currently working under Dr. Heather Webb and her research focuses on the poetry of Guido Cavalcanti (c.1258-1300). Her broader interests mostly lie in the relationship between language and subjectivity, with a special interest in poetry and poetics.

Research interests: 

Thesis: Guido Cavalcanti, Rime. A study on textual subjectivity.

Valentina’s research focuses on the poetry of Guido Cavalcanti (c.1258-1300), regarded as one of the most innovative and intellectually challenging poets of the thirteenth century. With her thesis, she seeks to analyze the way in which the subject of the enunciation is encoded and articulated in Cavalcanti’s corpus, in order to rethink and challenge the idea of ‘the innovative Cavalcanti’, deepening current understanding of his Rime.

Recent research projects: 

Conference Papers

‘Diafanità e desiderio. L’incorporeità femminile nei sonetti ‘Willowwood’ di D. G. Rossetti’, Dantis Amor: i Rossetti e Dante, Vasto, Palazzo D’Avalos, 19th-20th November 2015.

‘L’Anti-modello della Vita Nova e Giacomo Leopardi’, Congresso Internazionale Alma Dante 2017, Ravenna, 24th-27th May 2017.

‘‘Di questa donna non si puo’ contare’. Guido Cavalcanti’s and Dante’s verbalisations of the feminine ideal’, Leeds International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, 3rd-6th July 2017.

‘L’attesa come sublimazione negata. Guido Cavalcanti e la modernità’, XLV Convegno Interuniversitario, Bressanone, 7th-9th July 2017.