I am currently Full Professor and chair of Media, Gender and Postcolonial Studies at the Department of Media and Culture Studies/Graduate Gender Programme(UU).
My expertise is gender and postcolonial critique from a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective. My research areas include postcolonial studies, transnational feminist theories, comparative literature, Italian colonial history, European migration studies, visual culture, postcolonial cinema, media and conflict studies. I studied English and Commonwealth Studies at the University of Bologna (Italy) and University of Sussex (UK) and received my Ph.D., in Comparative Literature and Gender Studies at Utrecht University. I was visiting scholar at the University of California, Riverside (2004), visiting Professor at the University of California Los Angeles Women's Studies Program (2016), Gemma Scholar at Rutgers University (2014). In (2017-2018) I was Visiting Professor at Columbia University, department of English and Comparative Literature and Visiting Scholar at the New York University, NYU Steinhardt, Department of Media, Culture and Communication (MCC) and en senior visiting fellow LSE (London School of Economics), 2020-2022.
Currently I am project leider of the NWO Project “Virtual Reality as Empathy Machine: Media, Migration and the Humanitarian Predicament” which makes an intervention into the field of VR for humanitarian communication by evaluating the potentialities and pitfalls of immersion and empathy through technological innovation.This project critically investigates the role of VR for humanitarian appeals by asking how and to what extent humanitarian VR can function as an empathy machine, bridging the distance between viewers and mediated others. It researches the impact of VR for humanitarian appeals, in particular concerning issues around migration and refugees.
I am also PI of the MSCA project Euterpe: European Literatures and Gender from a Transnational Perspective (funded under Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions) led by CEU with the package on Transnational women intellectuals, multilingualism and decolonising European pedagogies in colleboration with the University of Coventry, and co-led with Birgit Kaiser, Auxiliadora Castillo Soto as PhD.
I have been PI of the ERC consolidator project CONNECTINGEUROPE 'Digital Crossings in Europe. Gender, Diaspora and Belonging.' The project aims to investigate the relation between migration and digital technologies, in particular the way in which the ‘connected migrant’ contributes to new forms of European integration and cosmopolitan citizenship. The project explores digital diasporas in relation to issues of gender, ethnicity and affective belonging, focusing on how new technologies enhance new forms of connectivity between the homeland and destination countries, bus also across diasporas. The project pioneers a new interdisciplinary method that combines media studies, postcolonial theories, digital humanities and gender studies, drawing from the humanities and social science.
I have been project leader of the NWO Internationalization in the Humanities project "Postcolonial Intellectuals and their European Publics" (PIN) which brings together an international and interdisciplinary network of scholars to investigate the role of postcolonial public intellectuals as crucial actors in renewing the function of the humanities and of democratic participation in Europe. The project asks: Who are the postcolonial intellectuals, which of them are currently the most influential and how do they contribute to a new idea of “Europe”? This international network challenges the traditional definition of the “intellectual” by emphasizing the role of migrants, artists, activists and social movements.
Since 2010 I am founder and director of the Postcolonial Studies Initiative (PCI), an international platform that stimulates the research in the field of postcolonial studies through the organization of lectures, conferences, masterclasses and film screenings and the publication of a regular newsletter and the presence of a website and FB page.