Davide Messina

Professor of Italian and Comparative Studies


After my PhD in Philosophy at the University of Bologna, Italy, I was Visiting Fellow at the Italian Department and the Center for Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia University, New York. I joined the University of Edinburgh in 2007, as a Lecturer in Italian Studies. I was Director of the MSc in Comparative and General Literature (2008-11) and Head of Italian (2011-12, 2014-20). In 2019, I was appointed to the Chair of Italian and Comparative Studies.

Undergraduate teaching

  • Italian by Heart: Love Songs from Dante to De André
  • Performing Europa in Modern and Contemporary Italy
  • Sicily from Sonnet to Cinema
  • The Italian Baroque: Literature, Science, and the Arts
  • Hannibal Lectures: Pasolini and the Cannibal Writers
  • Lampedusa and Stendhal: Prose Fiction in Comparative Perspective
  • Machiavelli: Prince and Prejudice
  • The Firefly Effect: Sciascia, Majorana, and the Moro Affair
  • Metrics Revolutions: Poetry and Society in Italy 1963-1993
  • The Leopard: History, Novel, and Film
  • Italian Styles: Dal ‘500 alla 500

Postgraduate teaching

  • What is Comparative Literature?’ (MSc Comparative and General Literature)
  • Writing (and) History: Holocaust Literature (MSc Comparative and General Literature)
  • Comparative Semiotics: From Sign to Text (MSc Comparative and General Literature)
  • Visual Semiotics: Image, Meaning, Movement (MSc Intermediality)
  • European Intellectuals: Antonio Gramsci (MSc European Studies)
  • Portfolio of Literary Translation (MSc Literary Translation)

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

  • Modern and Contemporary Italian Studies
  • Comparative Literature and Arts
  • Philosophy and Semiotics

Research summary

My research interests span a wide range of authors and topics from early-modern to contemporary Italian studies, engaging literary history and theory with cultural studies and the arts. Main research areas include modern and contemporary Italian studies, comparative literature and arts, cultural studies, philosophy and semiotics.

View all 40 publications on Research Explorer