My expertise ranges across modern and contemporary Italian culture. Current research (funded by an AHRC Leadership Fellowship) addresses Naples and the role it plays in the Italian cultural imaginary. It explores how cultural products centred on Naples represent the city and its relationship with Italy, and asks what the view from Naples - a city often marginalised in discussion of 'national' culture but central to state-of-the-nation discourses - reveals about the nation-state, its workings and its discourses. Publications on Naples include articles on the gendering of city and nation in cultural representations of the Allied Occupation in 1943-44; on critical theory engagements with Naples, from the 1920s to the present; and on contemporary literature (Ferrante's Neapolitan novels) and film (Camorra comedies).
Previous research was dedicated to cultural representations of Italy’s experience of political violence and terrorism in the 1970s and '80s. My monograph, Women, Terrorism and Trauma (2013), pioneers the application of a trauma studies approach to cultural constructions of women's participation in terrorist violence. Associated publications include two co-edited volumes: Terrorism, Italian Style (with G. Lombardi and A O'Leary, 2012) and Remembering Aldo Moro (with G. Lombardi, 2012). Earlier work addressed postmodernist literature and culture and produced the monograph Contesting the Monument: The Anti-Illusionist Historical Novel (2003).