Italian Studies Staff


Associate Professor Giona Tuccini

MA PGDip PhD Florence PGDip Roma Tor Vergata (Beattie 216)

Section Head (Italian)

Research Interests: Petrarch and Spiritual Petrarchism: Preaching and Christian thought from the Middle Ages to Renaissance; the study of patristics,mediaeval and golden-age mysticism in modern Italian culture; the intersections between mythology and imagology in Italian literature (16th,17th,20th centuries); the rediscovery of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance in 20th century Italian culture; Italian cinema, drama and Opera libretti.

Giona Tuccini was born in Fucecchio in the district of Florence (Italy) on 23 October 1974. He achieved summa cum laude his Master's Degree in Italian Studies at the University of Florence in 1999, where he then was awarded a PhD in Languages and Cultures of the Mediterranean (2005). In 2006 he was as Research fellow at the Fundação Oriente in Goa (India). He joined the University of Cape Town in 2010 where he serves as Associate Professor of Italian Literature and Head of the Italian Section. He has been approved as Full Professor of Italian Literature by the Italian National Scientific Qualification Committee established by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (DD n. 1532/2016). He has contributed, with articles on mediaeval and early modern authors, as well as on writers and trends in twentieth-century literature,to the main refereed journals in his field.   


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Research Associate: Dr Wilhelm Snyman

MA PhD Stell

Research interests: Italian & German Modernism and post-war cinema; colonial literature and history of Asia and Africa; literature arising from captivity, prisoner of war (POW) literature; Italian and German language teaching. 


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Honorary Research Associate: Dr Lara Gochin Raffaelli

MA Wits PhD Cape Town

Research Interests: Gabriele D’Annunzio, Maria Messina, Natalia Ginzburg, women’s studies, Renaissance theatre 

Contract Lecturer: Dr Mara Boccaccio

MA PhD Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa (Beattie 215)

Research interests: 20th century Italian art and literature; contemporary poetry 


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Lettore / Language Assistant: Claudio Natale (Dottore in lingue e letterature straniere moderne)

MA Palermo PGDip Venezia Ca’ Foscari PGDip Roma “Sapienza” PGDip Ferrara (Beattie 214)