Davide Messina


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Modern and Contemporary Italian Studies<br/>Comparative Literature and Arts<br/>Philosophy and Semiotics

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Personal profile


After his PhD in Philosophy at the University of Bologna, Italy, in 2005-06 Davide Messina was Visiting Fellow at the Italian Department and the Center for Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia University, New York. In 2007 he joined the University of Edinburgh as Lecturer in Italian, and served as Director of the MSc in Comparative and General Literature (2008-11 ) and Head of Italian (2011-12, 2014-20). Since 2019, he holds the Chair of Italian and Comparative Studies.


Professor Messina's research interests span a wide range of authors and topics from early-modern to contemporary Italian studies, engaging literary history and theory with cultural studies and the arts. Main research areas include modern and contemporary Italian studies, comparative literature and arts, cultural studies, philosophy and semiotics.


Undergraduate teaching

  • Italian by Heart: Love Songs from Dante to De André
  • Performing Europa in Modern and Contemporary Italy
  • Sicily from Sonnet to Cinema
  • The Italian Baroque: Literature, Science, and the Arts
  • Hannibal Lectures: Pasolini and the Cannibal Writers
  • Lampedusa and Stendhal: Prose Fiction in Comparative Perspective
  • Machiavelli: Prince and Prejudice
  • The Firefly Effect: Sciascia, Majorana, and the Moro Affair
  • Metrics Revolutions: Poetry and Society in Italy 1963-1993
  • The Leopard: History, Novel, and Film
  • Italian Styles: Dal ‘500 alla 500

Postgraduate teaching

  • What is Comparative Literature?’ (MSc Comparative and General Literature)
  • Writing (and) History: Holocaust Literature (MSc Comparative and General Literature)
  • Comparative Semiotics: Sign to Text (MSc Comparative and General Literature)
  • Visual Semiotics: Image, Meaning, Movement (MSc Intermediality)
  • European Intellectuals: Antonio Gramsci (MSc European Studies)
  • Portfolio of Literary Translation (MSc Literary Translation)


  • PQ Romance literatures
  • PN0080 Criticism
  • B Philosophy (General)

College Research Themes

  • Data and Digital


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