Damiano Benvegnu

Academic Appointments

Senior Lecturer of Italian

I hold a Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of Notre Dame (2014) and a Dottorato di Ricerca in Italianistica (the Italian equivalent of a Ph.D. in Italian Studies)  from the University “La Sapienza” in Rome (2007). My current research focuses on representations of animals and animality in modern literature, visual arts, and philosophy. I am also interested in literatures produced in peripheral languages (particularly by multilingual and diglossic communities), and in the interactions between aesthetics, history, and nature. I am an Associate Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics and the Creative Writing and Arts Editor for Ecozon@: European Journal of Literature, Culture and Environment.


302 Dartmouth Hall
HB 6087


  • Laurea in Lettere, La Sapienza University of Rome
  • Dottorato di Ricerca in Italianistica, La Sapienza University of Rome
  • Ph.D., University of Notre Dame

Selected Publications

  • a) Books

    1. Animals and Animality in Primo Levi’s Work. London: Palgrave McMillian [Spring 2018].

    b) Articles in peer-reviewed journals:

    1. “Deadly Mirrors. Animal Death in Tommaso Landolfi and Stefano D’Arrigo.” Paragraph, [Under review]

    2. “Language and Reality in Gian Mario Villalta’s Newdialect Poetry.” The Italianist 37.3 [forthcoming]

    3. “Toward a Minor Michelstaedter.” Italian Culture 34.2 (2016): 1-17.

    3. “Ti-Koyo and His Shark. Human-Animal Brotherhood from Clement Richer to Italo Calvino and Folco Quilici.” Ecozon@: European Journal of Literature, Culture and Environment 7.1 (2016): 59-75.

    5. “Images of Narcissus: Figuring Identity in José Lezama Lima and Pier Paolo Pasolini.” Comparative Literature Studies 52.4 (2015): 818-842.

    6. “Uno sguardo dalla periferia: appunti per una storia novecentesca della poesia in dialetto nel Triveneto.” Modern Language Notes (MLN) 126.1 (2011): 74-97.

    c) Essays in edited volumes:

    1. “Contro il dolore: Primo Levi, Hans Ruesch e il dibattito sulla sperimentazione animale.” In M. Barenghi & M. Belpoliti (eds.), Riga 38: Primo Levi etologo e antropologo, Milano: Marcos y Marcos, forthcoming.

     2. “Birds Who Speak My Dialect: Poetry, Birds, and Landscape in Andrea Zanzotto.” In E. Cesaretti, S. Iovino, E. Past (eds.), Landscapes, Natures, Ecologies. Italy and the Environmental Humanities, Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2017: 39-49.

    3. “The Tortured Animals of Modernity. Animal Studies and Italian Literature.” In D. Herman (ed.), Creatural Fictions, London: Palgrave, 2016: 41-63.

    4. “Witnessing Animal Suffering. Primo Levi on Animal Experimentation.” In A. Chapman & M. Vuohelainen (eds.), Interpreting Primo Levi: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, London: Palgrave, 2015: 83-96.

    5. “Il sacrificio di Narciso: Pasolini friulano.” In E. Patti (ed.), La nuova gioventù? L’eredità intellettuale di Pier Paolo Pasolini, Genova: Edizioni Joker, 2009: 106-117.

Works In Progress

1. Animal Voices [book project]

2. The Dialogues Digital Project [digital humanities project]

3. “Performing Landscapes: an Ecocritical Approach to Eugenio Turri’s Landscape Theory” [article]

4. “Going Upstream: the Po River in Primo Levi and Gianni Celati” [article]