Dr. Allison Neal


Allison arrives at Utrecht from the University of Cambridge, where she was a (postdoctoral) Junior Research Fellow at Trinity College. In spring 2022, she was also a Wallace Fellow at I Tatti, the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies. She received her PhD in English Literature from the University of California, Berkeley in 2019. Her work centers on twentieth-century American literature, poetry and poetics, and the relation of literature to the other arts.


Her first book manuscript, Mass Vernacular: American Poetic Voice in the Era of Global Broadcast, is under contract with Oxford University Press. Situating the poetry of Marianne Moore, W.H. Auden, Frank O’Hara, and Adrienne Rich in a broad institutional and technological soundscape, it reveals how poetry intersects with both specific sound technologies, like the phonograph, the radio, the telephone, and the tape recorder, and a variety of vocal practices and institutions, including elocution instruction, live poetry readings, and radio-based forms of cultural diplomacy. Routing their poetry through modern circuits of communication, it argues that twentieth-century poets created a paradoxically intimate and global “mass vernacular,” as they envisioned lyric voices circulating in ways similar to other official and mass voices.
She is currently at work on a new book project entitled Florentine Modernism: The American Avant-Garde, Renaissance Art, and the History of the Aesthetic. Focusing on the work of Gertrude Stein, Mina Loy, and Mabel Dodge Luhan, the project recovers the importance of Florence, as both a twentieth-century metropole and an emblem of the Renaissance past, to American literary modernism.