Dr Stefano Evangelista recently completed his PhD thesis (‘The International Reception and the Poetics of Antonio Fogazzaro on the basis of his correspondences with other Contemporary Intellectuals’) in Italian Studies, at Durham University, where he came after his completing no less than three Masters degree in Italy! We caught up with him to know more about his research and his post-PhD plans.
Congratulations on your PhD! Can you tell us more about your subject? What have you been researching?
Thanks a lot! My research subject is Italian Literature, but I am also interested in comparative studies and world literature. My Ph.D. thesis deals with Antonio Fogazzaro’s poetics and international reception. He was an Italian novelist and poet of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and his literary works were translated both in England and North America. During my doctorate, I studied an unpublished corpus of letters sent to Fogazzaro by Anglo-American and French editors, translators, and intellectuals of his time.
Why are you interested in this topic? What led you to pursue this area?
I have been interested in literary criticism since high school. During my academic studies, I had the opportunity to expand my knowledge in the fields of comparative literature and textual criticism. For my Master thesis, I translated into Italian Dante at Verona, a little poem written by Dante Gabriel Rossetti with a philological analysis of its textual tradition.
Can you tell us a bit more about your background?
I completed a Bachelor degree in Literature and a Master of Arts in Modern Philology at “G. d’Annunzio” University. Then, I attended the School of Modern Philology, organized by Catholic University of the Sacred Heart (Milan) in collaboration with the University of Milan. Before joining Durham for my PhD course, I also completed a Master in Human Resources Management at the University of Rome.
How did you arrive in Durham? What brought you here?
I was interested in doing a learning experience in the UK. My purpose was to pursue a PhD. in an international academic environment with the right balance between tradition and modernity. Durham University responded to both these needs.
What did you particularly enjoy during your time in Durham?
I enjoyed friends and the beautiful historic city centre, as well as the astonishing landscape of Durham County.
If you did not live in Durham/in the UK before your PhD, what was the hardest thing you had to adapt to here?
In the beginning, I had to adapt to the local accent as well as to some UK habits, such as the dinner at unusual hours for an Italian guy.
What are you up to now? What are your future plans?
I have been selected for a scholarship in Venice. My future plans involve both research and teaching.
Finally, which advice would you like to give to current or future PhD students in MLAC?
Make the most of being a PhD student in the School of Modern Language and Cultures at Durham University, from the research training seminars to the library utilities.