Dr Mirna Cicioni


Honorary Research Associate

Research Interests

  • Italian women between 1943 and the present day
  • Gender studies
  • Post-World War II Italian Jewish writers
  • Primo Levi



  • In progress (provisional title) Laughing and Surviving, a monograph on autobiographical and humorous elements in the works of four post-World War II Italian Jewish writers.
  • 2008 [Co-editor with Nicoletta Di Ciolla] Differences, Deceits and Desires. Murder and Mayhem in Italian Crime Fiction. Newark: University of Delaware Press.
  • 1995 Primo Levi: Bridges of Knowledge , Oxford and Providence: Berg.

Edited Books

  • 1992 Visions and Revisions: Women in Italian Culture. Oxford and Providence: Berg. (Co-edited with Nicole Prunster).

Recent Book Chapters

  • (forthcoming)  “Levi’s Western: ‘Professional Plot’ and History in If Not Now, When?“. Risa Sodi and Millicent Marcus (eds), Primo Levi in the Present Tense. New Reflections on His Life and Work (forthcoming, 2009).
  • (forthcoming)  “Il cibo come linguaggio nella narrativa di Clara Sereni.” John Gatt-Rutter (ed.), Quaderni dell’Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Melbourne. Numero speciale per Simonetta Magnani (forthcoming, 2009).
  • (in progress)  “Homosocial, Homoerotic or Queer? Male Pairbonds in three Italian Westerns.”
  • 2008 (50%, with Nicoletta Di Ciolla). “Introduction”. Mirna Cicioni and Nicoletta Di Ciolla (eds), Differences, Deceits and Desires. Murder and Mayhem in Italian Crime Fiction. (Newark, U of Delaware P, 2008). 1-9.
  • 2008 “Loyalties and Lesbianism in the Novels of Fiorella Cagnoni.” Mirna Cicioni and Nicoletta Di Ciolla (eds),Differences, Deceits and Desires. Murder and Mayhem in Italian Crime Fiction. (Newark, U of Delaware P, 2008). 145-59.
  • 2007 “Primo Levi’s Humour.” R. Gordon (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Primo Levi (Cambridge, Cambridge U.P., 2007). 137-53.
  • 2007 “Negotiating appartenenze in the Autobiographical Macrotexts of Natalia Ginzburg and Clara Sereni.” A. Giorgio and J. Waters (eds) Women’s Writing in Western Europe. Gender, Generations and Legacy. (Newcastle, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007). 362-74.
  • 2007 “Un’amicizia asimmetrica e feconda: Levi e Manzoni.” Luigi Dei (ed.), Voci dal mondo per Primo Levi. In memoria, per la memoria. Firenze U.P., 2007). 63-70.
  • 2007 “Speaking ‘as a’ and Speaking ‘for’: Multiple appartenenze in the Autobiographical Macrotexts of Aldo Zargani and Clara Sereni” Raniero Speelman, Monica Jansen and Silvia Gaiga (eds) Contemporary Jewish Writers in Italy: a Generational Approach. (Utrecht, Italianistica Ultraiectina, 2007). 261-76.
  • 2005  “Familiarity with Proteus’: Primo Levi’s Sons and Daughters.” in R. Freadman and J. Gatt-Rutter (eds), Life Writing and the Generations, special issue of a/b: Auto/Biography Studies, Vol. 19, 1-2 (Summer 2004): 33-45.
  • 2005 “ ‘No True Darkness’? The Critical Response to Life Is Beautiful in Italy and Australia.” In G. Russo Bullaro (ed.), Beyond ‘Life Is Beautiful’ – Comedy and Tragedy in the Cinema of Roberto Benigni. Leicester: Troubador: 272-91.
  • In press “Familiarity with Proteus: Primo Levi’s Sons and Daughters” in Life Writing and the Generations, ed. R. Freedman and J. Gatt-Rutter. Double issue of A/B (2004-2005).
  • 2004a “Tales of Toil and Trouble: an Intertextual Reading of Giovanni Bongee, Tevye the Dairyman, and Tino Faussone” in Essays in Modern Italian and French Literature – In Recollection of Tom O’Neill , ed. A. Hurst and T. Pagliaro, Melbourne: Spunti e ricerche, pp. 29-39.
  • 2004b “Better Losers than Lost: Self, Other and Irony in Clara Sereni’s Autobiographical Macrotext” inReconfiguring Italian Identity: Women Writing Lives , ed. S. Scarparo and R. Wilson.
  • 2004c “‘Do Not Call Us Teachers’: Primo Levi and the Next Generation” in Primo Levi – the Austere Humanist, ed. J. Farrell, Bern and Berlin: Peter Lang. pp. 19-35.
  • 2001 “Moral Snares and Parables: Levi Between Science Fiction and Midrash” in Memory and Mastery: the Legacy of Primo Levi, ed. R. Kremer, New York: SUNY Press. pp. 75-87.
  • 2000a “Bildungslash? Rapporti di coppia e piaceri testuali e cognitivi” in Shonen Ai Slash, ed. V. Sabucco, Rome: Castelvecchi. pp. 155-65.
  • 2000b “Picking Up the Pieces: Clara Sereni’s Recipies for Survival” in Novel Turns, special issue of Antpodas on the contemporary European novel, ed. J. Gatt-Rutter. (50% with S. Walker).

Recent Journal Articles

  • 2007 “Primo Levi fra ‘autos’, ‘bios’ e ‘graphos’.” Intersezioni xxvii: 3 (December 2007). Special issue (“L’autobiografia nell’epoca dell’impersonale”, ed. by Massimo Lollini). 391-403.
  • 2006 (40% with Denise Formica) “Translating Idiolects: Natalia Ginzburg’s Lessico famigliare.” MULP (Monash University Linguistic Papers) (2006). 17-25.
  • 2002a “‘Disgrazie ridicole’: Jewishness and Humour in Aldo Zargani’s Autobiographical Bildungstext ‘”. Forum for Modern Language Studies (vol. 38, no. 2) 213-20.
  • 2002b “Coming Round: Autobiography and Anesthesia in Brunella Gasperini’s Cumulative Self-Construct’”. Studi d’italianistica nell’Africa Australe (vol. 15, no. 2) 5-23. (50% with Susan Walker).
  • 2000 “‘Un riso che direi sabbatico’: aspetti dell’umorismo di Primo Levi’”.Italian Culture (vol. 18, no. 2) 183-93.


Currently preparing a study of autobiography and humour in the works of four post-World War II Italian Jewish Writers.