Alberto Tondello

Marie Sklodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow (UKRI Funded)

Contact details



Room 3.02
21 Buccleuch Place

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Originally from Italy, Alberto moved to London in 2011 to study English Literature at Queen Mary University of London. He received his MA from the University of Oxford in 2014 and his PhD from University College London in 2021. Alberto joined the department in 2024 as a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow (UKRI Funded) with a project titled 'Inhospitable Modernism: The Ecological Value of Modernist Alienation'. His research interests include modernist literature, literary theory, and ecocriticism.


PhD, English Literature, University College London (2021)

MA, Modern Languages, University of Oxford (2014)

BA, English Literature, Queen Mary University of London (2013)

Research summary

Alberto's main research interest include modernist literature, literary theory, and the environmental humanities. 

His PhD research focused on inanimate matter in James Joyce's fiction. As it considered Joyce's oeuvre through the lens of new materialist and ecocritical theories, his project argued that material entities - parsed under the categories of symbols, banal objects, waste, and the substance of art - are essential in Joyce's articulation of aesthetic ideas, theories of perception, and practices of representation. 

His current project analyses the depiction of inhospitable environments in the works of James Joyce, Jean Rhys, Nella Larsen, and Djuna Barnes. At the intersection of literary modernism, literary theory, philosophy, and the environmental humanities, his research links modernist alienation with the concept of inhospitality as both social exclusion and environmental hostility. The project claims that literary modernism's unique archive of feelings (i.e. frustration, disaffection, hesitation...) is essential in uncovering the estrangement of certain categories of individuals from social contexts and broader environments. 

Current project grants

Marie Sklodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship (UKRI Funded)

Past project grants

London Arts and Humanities Partnerships (LAHP) PhD Studentship

Invited speaker

Guest Lecture: “Facing Waste in Literary Studies: Encounters with useless objects in Virginia Woolf’s ‘Solid Objects’ and Franz Kafka’s ‘The Cares of a Family Man’”, University of Bern, November 2023.

Guest Lecture: “Affective Hospitality in James Joyce’s ‘The Dead’”, James Joyce Dublin Summer School, July 2023.

Guest Lecture: “‘Proteus’ and the Hybridity of Decaying Matter”, University of Geneva, December 2021.


“Ecological (In)Hospitality in the 20th and 21st century”. Seminar at the American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA) Annual Meeting. Montreal, 14-17 March 2024.

“Synaesthesia”. Annual UCL English Graduate Conference, London, 14 June 2019.


“Logic and Modern Literature”. University of Lausanne, 14-15 September 2023. 

“Transmission(s)”. 62nd Congrès de la SAES, Rennes Université, 1-3 June 2023.

“Making Modernism”. Modernist Studies Association Annual Conference, Portland, 27-30 October 2022.

“Care”. NeMLA 53rd Convention, Baltimore, 10-13 March 2022.

“Omniscientific Joyce”. XXVII International James Joyce Symposium, Trieste University/Online, 14- 18 June 2021.

“Beckett & Italy. ‘Old Chestnuts’ New Occasions”. Samuel Beckett Society Conference, Sapienza Università di Roma/Online, 24-26 May 2021.

“Language and Languages in Joyce’s Fiction”, XII Italian James Joyce Foundation Conference, Roma Tre University, 31 January-2 February 2019. 

“The Art of James Joyce”, XXVI International James Joyce Symposium, Antwerp University, 11-16 June 2018.

Papers delivered

“The Deviant Logic of the clinamen in Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities”.

“Djuna Barnes’s Contagious Transmissions”.

“Temporal Oddities and Spatial Enmeshment in Djuna Barnes’s Nightwood”.

“Resilience as Coping Mechanism and Critique in Djuna Barnes’s Nightwood”.

“The Artistic Science of ‘Ithaca’: Latourian Networks in Ulysses”.

“Weakness and pietas in Gianni Vattimo’s weak thought and Samuel Beckett’s ‘Dante and the Lobster’”.

“Material Language and Situated Cognition in James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man”.

“James Joyce and the Epiphanic Inscription”.