Prof Daniela Caselli

Professor of Modern Literature

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Research interests

My research is in modern literature and culture, especially literary modernism, critical theory, comparative literature, and gender and sexuality. 
Samuel Beckett has been and remains one of my main research interests. My book on Beckett and Dante - Beckett's Dantes. Intertextuality in the Fiction and Criticism (2005; paperbak 2009) - traces Dante's presence in Beckett's prose and argues that the Beckett/Dante case study makes us rethink the relation between authority and intertextuality in modern literature.
I have also worked on Beckett's late theatre, the role of manuscripts  and the archiveBeckett's reception in ItalyBeckett and Italian literatureBeckett and Leopardi. I have edited the collected volume Beckett and Nothing: Trying to Understand Beckett (2010) and I am curently President of the Beckett Society (2017–2020). I am in the eary stages of writing a short monograph on gender and sexuality in Beckett.  
My second  book, Improper Modernism: Djuna Barnes's Bewildering Corpus (2009; paperback 2016), analyses the entire Barnes oeuvre for the first time, drawing extensively on unpublished manuscript material and correspondence and considering her visual art. It also looks at the complex ways in which the work resists normalising critical practices by contrarily claiming that it did 'not fall into oblivion, but was pre-destined to it from the start'. 
I am currently working on two projects: the British Academy funded the first stage of my project on Dante in Modernism, for which I recently received additional funding from the John Rylands Research Institute. Although Dante is, in Seamus Heaney's words, 'the aquiline patron of international modernism', scholarship still lacks an integrated analysis of Dante's presence in English-speaking cultures. My project wants to fill this gap. I have written on Dante in Dorothy Richardson (Comparative Literature, 2017) and on Djuna Barnes and the Purgatorio (in Elizabeth Pender and Cathryn Setz eds, Shattered Objects: Djuna Barnes's Modernism, 2019). 
My second project – The Modernist Child – focuses on the figure of the child in modernist literature and theory. My work has received the financial support of the Wellcome Trust and appeared in Feminist Theory and in the Cambridge Companion to American Gay and Lesbian Literature. My most recent article on this topic, 'Attack of the Easter Bunnies: Walter Benjmain's Youth Hour' is availbale in open access in Parallax.


Research and projects

No current projects are available for public display