Katharine Mitchell

Lecturer B

Personal Statement

I was educated in Leicestershire at local comprehensive schools, and after working in Italy for a year I studied for a BA(Hons) in Italian with French at the University of Leeds. Following a period of TEFL teaching in Finland, I worked in Arts Administration in major opera companies in London and Sydney while studying for an MA by Research at the University of Leeds. My PhD in Italian Literature is from the University of Warwick, and before joining Strathclyde I was a Junior Research Fellow at Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge.

I specialise in gender studies, women's studies, literary studies, opera studies, and cultural studies in the late C19th and early C20th centuries. I am author of Italian Women Writers: Gender and Everyday Life in Fiction and Journalism, 1870-1910 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2014), co-editor of Women and Gender in Post-Unification Italy (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2013), and recently co-edited a special issue of the journal Italian Studies on The Diva in Modern Italian Culture (2015). I am currently writing a second monograph, provisionally entitled Gender, Writing, and Spectatorship: Evenings at the Theatre and Opera in Italy, 1870-1910, and collaborating with Dr Ursula Fanning (UCD) and Dr Gabriella Romani (Seton Hall University, NJ) on an edited book, to be published with Classiques Garniers (Paris, 2018), entitled Matilde Serao Beyond National Fame: Reframing the Neapolitan Writer’s Reception and Networks, as well as on establishing a global research network in nineteenth-century Italian studies, and a separate Scottish network for nineteenth-century European cultures.

For a recent online review of my latest monograph, click here

I teach and research celebrity culture, theatre and opera spectatorships, and women writers in post-Unification Italy, women's cultural history, opera, theatre, and film, on undergraduate and taught postgraduate courses. I supervised a PhD project on letterati and tragedians in early eighteenth-century Venetian opera from 2015-2017, and teach Italian grammar and translation classes at all levels. I am convenor of all Level 3 classes.

From 2011 to 2014 I convened the School's Languages & Literatures Research Seminars. I am a member of the University's Feminist Network, and the AHRC's Peer Review College. I am also a Carnegie Research Assessor for the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, and a member of the judging panel for the Undergraduate Awards Languages and Linguistics category. During the academic year 2015-16, I established and chaired the School of Humanities Athena SWAN Bronze award Self-assessment Team.

I welcome applications from prospective PhD students on all aspects of modern Italian culture and literature.

Research Interests

Research publications since 2014

'Priming Spectators for Pirandello's Sei personaggi in cerca d'autore (1921) through Puccini from 1884', in Pirandello studies 37 (2017)

with Danielle Hipkins, ‘Le traviate: Suffering heroines and the Italian state between the 19th and 21st centuries’ in Prostitution and Sex Work in Global Visual Media: New Takes on Fallen Women, eds Danielle Hipkins and Kate Taylor (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), 195-217

‘Late Nineteenth-Century Italian Women Writers’ Re-Imaginings of the femme fatale’ in Women and the Public Sphere in Modern and Contemporary Italy. Essays for Sharon Wood, eds Marina Spunta and Simona Storchi (Leicester: Troubadour, 2017), 1-13

‘Evenings Out: Female Spectators of Opera and Theatre in Late Nineteenth-Century Italy’, eds Jennifer Burns and Gabriella Romani, The Formation of a National Audience: Readers and Spectators in Italy, 1750-1890 (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2017), 259-80

‘Beauty Italian Style: Gendered imaginings of, and responses to, stage divas in early post-Unification literary culture’, in ‘The Diva in Modern Italian Culture’, eds, Katharine Mitchell and Clorinda Donato, special issue of Italian Studies 70:3, (2015), 330-346

with Clorinda Donato, eds, ‘The Diva in Modern Italian Culture’, special issue of Italian Studies 70:3 (2015)

‘Literary and Epistolary Figurations of Female Desire in Early Post-Unification Italy, 1861-1914’ in Italian Sexualities Uncovered: The Long Nineteenth Century,eds, Valeria Babini, Chiara Beccalossi, and Lucy Riall (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015)

Italian Women Writers: Gender and Everyday Life in Fiction and Journalism, 1870-1910 (Toronto: Toronto University Press, 2014) -- ‘In this groundbreaking study, Mitchell analyzes some domestic fiction and some non-fiction pieces – especially journalism and essays – of three middleclass Italian women who were professionally active between 1870 and 1910’. (C. De Santi, Choice Magazine, vol 52:2 (2015)

Forthcoming research publications 

Gender, Writing, and Spectatorship: Evenings at the Theatre and Opera in Italy, 1870-1910 (in preparation)

‘Pleasuring Female Spectators: Responses in the French Press to the Parisian Staging of Matilde Serao’s Dopo il perdono (1906)’, in Matilde Serao Beyond National Fame: Reframing the Neapolitan Writer’s Reception and Networks, eds Ursula Fanning, Katharine Mitchell, and Gabriella Romani (Paris: Classiques Garniers, 2018)

‘Cultural Movements and Taste’ in the Oxford Handbook to Europe in the Long Nineteenth Century, 1789-1914, ed. by Michael Rapport (Oxford, OUP, 2018) 


Teaching Interests

Undergraduate teaching

R3109: Italian 1a and 1b Beginners' Italian

R3111: Introduction to Italian 

R3203: Italian 2a & 2b Translation into English 

R3200: Modern Italy (Film) - Semester 2

R3006: Italian language 3b project 

R3005: Italian and English language 3a writing 

R3374: Italian Stage & Screen - Semester 1

R3533: Honours Italian Translation into English - Semester 2

R3534: Women, Celebrity Culture & Emancipation in Post-Unification Italy - Semester 2

I am class coordinator for all courses at Level 3

Postgraduate teaching and supervision

Masters in Literature, Culture and Place: Women Writers of the Italo- and Anglo-spheres in the Long Nineteenth Century (2012-13)




Expertise & Capabilities

  • 19th & 20th-century women writers
  • tragic opera
  • gender & sexuality in 19th and 20th-century culture
  • domestic fiction
  • the figure of the diva
  • female spectatorship of C19th theatre & opera

    Research areas

  • Italian women writers, Italian tragic opera, representations of gender & sexuality in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Italian culture, domestic fiction, female performing artists, female spectatorship, journalism


  1. AHRC Panel Member (Event)

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workMembership of peer review panel or committee

  2. AAIS Annual Convention

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

  3. Italian Women Writers and Journalists in Post-Unification Italy

    Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

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Katharine Mitchell

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