Laura TOSI

Full Professor
Ca' Foscari E.R.C. Board member (DSLCC)
Member of the Ca' Foscari ERC Board
041 234 7825
041 234 7850
Scientific sector (SSD)
Website (personal record)
Department of Linguistics and Comparative Cultural Studies
Where: Palazzo Cosulich

Laura Tosi graduated from the University of Venice and after graduation, she  taught Italian Language and Culture in British Universities. She holds a Ph.D. in English Literature, which was awarded in 1995 by the Universities of Pisa and Florence. She has taught English Language, Literature and Culture at the University of Venice-Ca' Foscari since 1996. Her current position is Full Professor of English Literature. Her research interests and areas of specialization follow two main lines of development: 1) Elizabethan, Jacobean and Caroline Literature (her publications in this field include a book on Ben Jonson, Comunicazione e aggressione Strategie di violenza e stati di contesa nelle commedie di Ben Jonson, Milano 1998,  and a study of John Webster, La memoria del testo. Un'analisi macrotestuale delle tragedie di John Webster, Pisa, 2001); 2) Children’s Literature

In the last few years she has taught courses and conducted research on British children's literature, especially rewriting practices and adaptation, and the history of the literary fairy tale (for both child and adult addressees) in its socio-historical context, in England and the English-speaking world. She is interested in questioning and challenging (in the light of growing feminist concern with children's literature) the social values and role models supported by the fairy tales of the canon, as historical documents and vehicles of dominant cultural patterns. In 2000 in Venice she organized an international conference on children's literature, proceedings of which were published in Venice in 2001 (Hearts of Lightness: the Magic of Children's Literature, Cafoscarina)  an international conference in 2013, entitled "Adventures in Wonder Worlds. ThePower of Literary Fantasy",and in November 2016 an international conference on comparative children's literature “When Alice Meets Pinocchio: An International One-Day Conference on Anglo-Italian Relations in Children’s Literature”

In this area, she has edited and translated a collection of Victorian fairy tales (Draghi e Principesse. Fiabe impertinenti dell'Ottocento Inglese, Venezia, Marsilio, 2003) and has published a volume  on the history of the literary fairy tale in England (La fiaba letteraria inglese. Metamorfosi di un genere, Venezia, Marsilio, 2007, second edition 2018). She is a member of the editorial board of the website (Children's Literature in Italy. A Website devoted to the study of Children's Books and Literature in Italy). She has edited (with A. Petrina) and contributed to, a history of children’s literature in England: Dall’ABC a Harry Potter. Storia della Letteratura inglese per l’infanzia e la gioventù (Bologna, Bononia University Press, 2011).

In the area of Early Modern studies, she has worked on representations of female rulers and authority in seventeenth-century drama. She has edited, with A. Petrina, a collection of essays on Elizabeth I:  Representations of Elizabeth in Early Modern Culture, Palgrave Macmillan 2011. On Shakespeare’s “Venetian plays” she has edited, with S. Bassi, Visions of Venice in Shakespeare (Ashgate, 2011).

In 2010 she was invited to deliver the Fourth Sybille Pantazzi Lecture (on Fairy Tales and Pinocchio) at the Osborne Collection of Early Children’s Books in Toronto and in March 2013 she was awarded an International Teaching Excellence Bursary by UCL (University College, London) and was visiting lecturer at the Department of English Language and Literature.

She was a member of the Executive Board of  IASEMS (Italian Association of Shakespearean and Early Modern Studies) from 2012  to 2018 (secretary of the association since 2015).

Her current research is focussed on Victorian and contemporary  adaptations of Shakespeare's plays for children – on these topics she has been invited to give lectures in  various conferences in Italy and abroad and has published several articles in international journals. In this area she has published the volume Raccontare Shakespeare ai bambini, Adattamenti, riscritture, riduzioni dall’800 a oggi (Francoangeli 2014). Her own adaptation of The Merchant of Venice for Italian young readers was published in 2015 (Lapis, Rome). An English version of her adaptation was staged at the Globe Theatre, London in July 2016 ("A Literary Festival for Families: Shakespeare's Telling Tales") and again in February 2017.

She is currently working on a comparative analysis of nineteenth-century children's fantasy traditions in Italy and England. Her latest monograph study (McFarland, 2018, with Peter Hunt) is entitled The Fabulous Journeys of Alice and Pinocchio:  the Parallel Worlds of National and Transnational Classic Fantasies.

A more light-hearted volume on the cultural differences between the English and Italians, entitled As Fit as a Fish. The English and Italians Revealed, written with Peter Hunt, was published by Patrician Press in 2015: 

2018-2021 She was a member of the  Commissione Abilitazione Scientifica Nazionale S.C. 10/ L1 . (The National Scientific Habilitation Committee examines candidates who intend to apply for the positions of Associate Professor and Full Professor in Italian universities and awards Habilitations for both positions).   

Supervisor of  Marie Curie fellowships:

1)  European Fellowship, Horizon 2020, Call 2018. Fellow Dr Anna Gasperini.  Title of the Project: FED: Feeding, Educating, Dieting: A Transnational Approach to Nutrition Discourses in Children’s Narratives (Britain and Italy, 1850-1900)

2) Global Fellowship (partner university: Brown, USA) Horizon 2020, Call 2020. Fellow Dr Alessandro Cabiati. Title of the Project: MADLAND: Madness in Fairy Land. (Re) Imagining Deviance in the Age of Psychiatry 1820-1900.

February 2020 - The volume The Fabulous Journeys of Alice and Pinocchio (McFarland, 2018, with Peter Hunt), is awarded the international prize "Elisa Frauenfelder" (University Suor Orsola Benincasa, Naples), for the area "Culture and innovation":

May 2020 - the volume The Fabulous Journeys of Alice and Pinocchio is also awarded The AIA Book Prize 2020 (Senior category) by the English Association of Italy (AIA - Associazione Italiana Anglisti).

November 2021 - Her book on Macbeth is published (Carocci, Rome).  

In October 2020 she was appointed deputy head of the Department of Linguistics and Comparative Cultural Studies.

2021 The website Children's Literature in Italy moves to Venice!