Federico PICERNI

Docente a contratto
Sito web
www.unive.it/persone/federico.picerni (scheda personale)
Dipartimento di Studi sull'Asia e sull'Africa Mediterranea
Sito web struttura: https://www.unive.it/dsaam
Sede: Palazzo Vendramin


  • 2018-22 Ph.D. in Asian and Transcultural Studies, Ca' Foscari University of Venice and Heidelberg University.
  • 2015-18 M.A. in History and Asian Studies, University of Bologna.
  • 2010-13 B.A. in Asian Languages, Markets and Cultures, University of Bologna.

_Research abroad and additional training_

  • 2021 (November-December) Visiting scholar, Leiden University.
  • 2019-20 (September-January) Senior visiting student, Peking University.
  • 2019 (July) Summer school in "Modern Asian Literatures and Cultures", Palacký University Olomouc.
  • 2017 (November-December) Fieldwork at Peking University on contemporary Chinese urban literature.
  • 2017 (May-October) Chinese-Italian literary translation workshop, Confucius Institute of the University of Milan & Civica Scuola Interpreti e Traduttori "Altiero Spinelli".
  • 2014-15 (September-June) 1-year advanced Chinese language course, Xi'an Jiaotong University.

_Scholarships and awards_

  • 1-semester Joint Research Ph.D. Fellowship, Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters (May 2019).
  • 3-year PhD full scholarship, Italian Ministry of University/Ca' Foscari University of Venice (September 2018).
  • Grant to conduct M.A. thesis-related fieldwork at Peking University, School of Humanities of the University of Bologna (June 2017).
  • Second prize, 15th Hanyuqiao/Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition, Italy-San Marino (April 2016).
  • Hanban scholarship for a full academic year in China (June 2014).

_Academic research and teaching experience_

  • 2023- Adjunct professor of Chinese language and literature (B.A. and M.A.), Ca' Foscari University of Venice.
  • 2022- Adjunct professor of Chinese language and literature (M.A.), University of Bologna.
  • 2021- Educational assistant for the "Global Asian Studies" Minor, Ca' Foscari International College.
  • 2022-23 Postdoctoral research fellow in Chinese literature, Ca' Foscari University of Venice.
  • 2022-23 Senior teaching assistant of Contemporary Chinese Society (B.A. and M.A.), Ca' Foscari University of Venice. 
  • 2020-22 Teaching assistant of Chinese Language 3.1 (B.A.), Ca' Foscari University of Venice.
  • 2019-23 Teaching assistant of Translation Methods and Text Typologies for Chinese Translation (formerly Chinese Language and Translation) and Chinese Translation for Publishing (M.A.), Ca' Foscari University of Venice.

_Academic activities_

  • 2020-21 Steering committee member, Research Colloquium on Transcultural Eurasian Studies, Ca' Foscari University of Venice.
  • 2018-20 Student representative of the PhD Programme in Asian and African Studies, Ca' Foscari University of Venice.

_Presented papers_

  • (21-23 September 2023) Veicoli della realtà: il (para)realismo politico-letterario dell’"ultra-irrealismo" di Ning Ken - 19th Conference of the Italian Association of Chinese Studies, Sapienza University of Rome.
  • (17 July 2023) Realism, un-reality, and pararealism: Ning Ken and his fiction - The Makers of Modern Chinese Literature, Ca' Foscari University of Venice.
  • (28-30 June 2023) The (un)reality of labour: worker writer Wan Huashan's 'avant-gardist' narrative - 1st OBERT Conference: Narrating Labour: Posture and Positionality, Aix-Marseille Université.
    (27 March 2023) Quanto è "cinese" questa letteratura? La poesia operaia cinese e le opportunità metodologiche di un approccio globale agli studi letterari - Sfide e criticità nelle ricerche sulla Cina: metodologie, fonti e approcci teorici, online (AISC).
  • (22-26 August 2022) Recognitions and misrecognitions of Chinese migrant workers’ poetry: the case of the Picun Literature Group - Generation Asia: 2022 Nordic NIAS Council Conference, University of Iceland.
  • (18-20 November 2021) L'arte come pratica sociale nella migrazione cinese in Italia: il caso di WUXU - 18th Conference of the Italian Association of Chinese Studies, University of Turin.
  • (14-15 October 2021) Urban queer mobility in China and Mu Cao's poetry of abjection - FRINGE/ALUS Symposium: Urban (Im)mobilities and Borderland Narratives, University of Alcalá.
  • (24-28 August 2021) Worker: silent as a riddle. Gongren identity in Chinese worker poetry - 23rd Biennial Conference of the European Association for Chinese Studies, Leipzig University.
  • (11-14 May 2021) Tame the hooligan: LGBTQ representations in China's pink capitalism - Queer Representations: Pasts, Presents, Futures, University of Edinburgh.
  • (16-17 April 2021) From the margins of city and literature. The representation of Beijing in the Picun literature group's ouevre and the right to recognition(s) - China from the Margins: New Narratives of Past and Present, Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University.
  • (17-19 March 2021) "La mano verso il sole, il piede nella fabbrica": poetica dei lavoratori migranti e politica culturale in Cina" - Vulnerabilità e resilienza: Voci e pratiche dai margini, Joint Graduate Conference, University of Milan.
  • (20-21 November 2020) Whose voices, again? Issues around migrant-worker poetry as a medium for subaltern voices - 14th Annual Conference on Asian Studies: Voiced and Voiceless in Asia, Palacký University Olomouc.
  • (9-10 November 2020) Yours the slogans, yours the praise. (Self-)narratives in China during the epidemic - 13th CCVA Annual Conference: The World, Two Metres Away, Birmingham City University.
  • (21 August 2020) The great absentee. Centre, periphery and gentrification in Beijing through migrant-worker literature - Representing Urban Change: Gentrification and Displacement in Literature and other Media, Uppsala University.
  • (21-22 June 2019) Writing the country and meaning the city. Rural space, city and identity of authors in contemporary Chinese migrant-worker literature - Transcultural Connections: Migration in Asia, Europe and the Americas, Heidelberg University.
  • (18-19 June 2019) Migrant-worker writing in the social space of China's contemporary city - 11th Asian Dynamics Initiative Conference - PhD Workshop "The Asian City", University of Copenhagen.
  • (20-21 February 2019) Strangers in a familiar city? The urban space of Beijing seen and written by Picun migrant poets - The Transcultural Production of the Urban Space in Eurasia, Ca' Foscari University of Venice.
  • (15-16 November 2018) Family restructuring, marital crises and left-behind children and wives in Fan Yusu and Xu Zechen's stories - The invisible within: actors, relationships and activities in Chinese migrant families, University of Central Lancashire.
  • (29 June 2018) Gendered migration. City, countryside and gender in Xu Zechen's migrant fiction - 9th International Symposium for Young Researchers in Translation, Interpreting, Intercultural Studies and East Asian Studies, Universitat Autonòma de Barcelona.


  • (10 March 2023) "Lavoro e lotta di classe nella Cina post-maoista" (Labour and Class Struggle in Post-Maoist China), Course in Sociology of Asian Countries, University of Bologna.
  • (13 December 2021) "Il passato al servizio del presente: riletture di storia e pensiero cinese durante la campagna contro Lin Biao e Confucio (1974)" (The Past Serving the Present: Reassesments of Chinese History and Thought during the Criticise Lin Biao, Criticise Confucius Campaign (1974)), L'Orientale University of Naples.
  • (29 November 2021) "Chinese Workers' Literature between the Old and the New", China's New Workers and the Politics of Culture (M.A. Seminar), Leiden University.
  • (13 October 2021) "Margins and Recognition(s) in the Practice of the Picun 'New Workers' Literature Group", China Seminar, Leiden University.
  • (24 May 2021) "La letteratura operaia in Cina fra adesione e dissenso: matrimoni e divorzi con il potere" (China's Worker Literature Between Participation and Dissidence: Marriages and Divorces with Power), Course in Modern and Contemporary Chinese Literature, Ca' Foscari University of Venice.
  • (3 November 2020) "Esperimenti di autogestione culturale a Pechino" (Experiments for cultural self-management in Beijing), Course in Sociology of Asian Countries, University of Bologna.
  • (9 October 2020) "La Cina scritta dal basso. Scrittori e poeti operai nella Cina di oggi" (China written from below. Worker writers and poets in China today", Convitto Nazionale Cicognini (Prato).
  • (3 December 2019) "Picun's writers in the literary field of Beijing; Beijing in the literary works of Picun's writers", University of Chicago Center in Beijing.
  • (7-8 November 2018) "Contrordine compagni! Il linguaggio omosessuale in Cina" (Pull back, comrades! Homosexual language in China), Course in Chinese Language, University of Bologna.


_Research groups and networks_

_Additional relevant professional experience_

  • Since 2013 I have been working as a freelance translator and interpreter (Chinese, English, Italian), collecting experience in a number of sectors, including cultural events, film festivals, and the judiciary. In this respect, I have worked with the Confucius Institute, the China Children’s Press & Publication Group and European Union bodies, among others. Starting from 2015 I have also worked as a teacher of English and Chinese at private and public schools. I am currently responsible for the China Focus section of Ennesimo Film Festival.