Federica G Pedriali

Professor of Literary Metatheory and Modern Italian Studies | Research Affiliate Edinburgh Futures Institute

  • Italian Section
  • Department of European Languages and Cultures
  • School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures

Contact details



Room 3.26
50 George Square

Post code


  • Office Hours by Teams Appointment only – M 5:15-6pm; F 3:15-4pm
    On Research Leave 1 July 2023 / 15 January 2024


Federica G. Pedriali is Professor of Literary Metatheory and Modern Italian Studies at the University of Edinburgh and Research Affiliate at the Edinburgh Futures Institute. She is Head of Italian Studies (2020-; 2009-2014), Director of Research of the Department of European Languages and Cultures (2020-), Director and General Editor of the Edinburgh Journal of Gadda Studies (2000-), Chair of the Edinburgh Gadda Prize (2010-), and Director of the Italo-Scottish Research Cluster (2012-). 

Federica’s approach to academic work combines a marked theoretical drive and a highly collaborative research ethos. Her work intersects Biopolitics, Cognitive Narratology, Continental Philosophy, Decolonial Studies, Migration and Diaspora Studies, the Environmental Humanities, Performance Studies, and Political Theory. She is currently working on biopower, dissonant heritages, and the future of change, having worked, among other things, on the spatialities of war, totalitarian Europe, and the digital humanities also through a number of public engagement projects. She is the author or editor of 24 volumes (monographs; regular and special issues; single and joint-edited volumes; reference and encyclopaedic works). Her recent books include: (ed), “Roberto Esposito’s Italian Thought” (Edinburgh University Press, 2025); (co-ed), “Mobilizing Cultural Identities in the First World War” (Palgrave MacMillan, 2020); (ed), “Gadda: interpreti a confronto” (Cesati, 2020). She has recently secured an MHRA Research Associateship (2023-2024) to complete the print edition of the Gadda Encyclopaedia (Fabrizio Serra, 2025 – pilot online editions 2002, 2004, 2008, 2014).

Federica was awarded the 2018 Runner-up Marcel Proust Prize for “Nella lettera della Storia: per un approccio biopolitico alla guerra di Gadda” (2017) and was Visiting Professor at Harvard (2000-2001, 2014-2016) and Pavia (2012). She was elected to the Italian Ambassador’s Scientific Council, London (2022), and appointed to the UKRI Talent Panel College, UK Research and Innovation (2022). She has served as International Jurer on the Strega Prize (2022), and is Chair of Europe and World, UNA Futura, UNA Europa, Brussels (2023-2025). In February 2024 she received a Knighthood (Order of the Star of Italy) for her achievements as a scholar and for building up relations between Italy and the UK.  

Responsibilities & affiliations

Professional Roles

  • Professor and Chair of Literary Metatheory and Modern Italian Studies
  • Director of Research – Department of European Languages and Cultures
  • UNA Europa School Representative – UNA Europa Alliance, Edinburgh and Brussels Teams
  • Academic Promotions School Representative – College Promotions Committee
  • Departmental Representative – Modern Languages Catalyst Plus, Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities, Glasgow
  • Head of Italian Studies (2020-; 2009-2014)


  • Research Affiliate – Edinburgh Futures Institute
  • Partner – Environmental Humanities Hub, ILCS, School of Advanced Study, University of London


  • Visiting Professor, Internationalisation Faculty Award, Messina University, 2023 (S1)
  • UKRI Talent Panel College, UK Research and Innovation, 2022-
  • Full Professor Promotions Committee, Pisa University, 2022-2023
  • Visiting Professor, Harvard University, 2014-2016
  • Visiting Professor, Pavia University, 2012
  • Promotion to a Personal Chair (Full Professor equivalent), Edinburgh University, 2008
  • Visiting Fellow, Harvard University, 2005 (S2)
  • Promotion to a Readership (Associate Professor equivalent), Edinburgh University, 2004
  • Visiting Professor, Harvard University, 2000-2001


  • Election to the Scientific Council of the Italian Embassy, London, 2022-

Title of Honour

  • Knighthood, Order of the Star of Italy, 2024

External Examiner Appointments

  • Oxford University, 2022, Viva, PhD Programme
  • Oxford University, 2021, Viva, PhD Programme
  • Siena, 2020, Viva, Masters Programme
  • IULM, 2019, Viva, PhD Programme
  • Oxford University, 2018-, UG Programme
  • Trieste University, 2018, Viva, PhD Programme
  • Harvard University, 2017, Viva, PhD Programme
  • Florence University, 2017, Viva, PhD Programme
  • Scuola Normale Superiore Pisa, 2016, Viva, PhD Programme
  • National University Ireland Galway, 2014-2017, UG & PG Programmes
  • Ghent University, 2014, Viva, PhD Programme
  • St Andrews University, 2014, Viva, PhD Programme
  • Scuola Normale Superiore Pisa, 2012, Viva, PhD Programme
  • Durham University, 2009-2013, UG & PG Programmes

Undergraduate teaching

Edinburgh University

  • Biopower: Troubling Power from Foucault to Agamben – DELC Common Course, Honours and Masters Levels, Full Semester Option
  • Cleaning up the “Mess” (Gadda: A Test for Theory) – Italian 4 Honours, Full Semester Option
  • Decolonisation Impossible: Europe, Italy, Rome – Italian 2 Module
  • (Dys)topian Posthuman City – DELC Common, Y4 Module
  • Guarded Sea: Biopolitics of Immunity and Exoneration – DELC Common, Y2 Module 
  • Italy by Design: Materiality, Intermediality and Commodification from Leonardo to the MAXXI – DELC Common, Honours and Masters Levels, Full Semester Option
  • Migration Diaspora Exile: The Politics of Representation – DELC Common, Y2 Full Semester Course
  • The World’s Laboratory: Italian Biopolitics from Giordano Bruno to Roberto Esposito – Italian 4 Honours, Full Semester Option

UNA Europa Alliance – European Commission, Brussels

  • BA European Studies – Decolonial Studies, Core Course Module (Core Course: European Culture and Society)

Harvard University

  • Deconstructing Rome – Italian 132, Full Semester Option
  • Italy The Seven Deadly Sins – Italian 133, Full Semester Option
  • Situated Minds. Total Toxicity & Other Modernist Embodiment – Italian 134, Full Semester Option

Postgraduate teaching

Edinburgh University

  • MSc Comparative Literature, Theory and Methods – Agamben, Biopolitics, and the Holocaust, Core Course Module
  • MSc Comparative Literature – Situated Mind Theory, Core Course Module
  • MSc European Studies – From Freud to Foucault. Scientific Knowledge and Social Constraint, Core Course Module
  • MSc Intermediality – Designing for Dissonant Heritage (What to Do with Fascist Architecture), Core Course Module
  • MSc Autonomy of Performance – Gadda Goes to War. Politics of Performance, Core  Course Module

Harvard University

  • Gadda Goes To War. Provocations around the State-Stage – Italian 240, Full Semester Option
  • Locating Utopos. From Thomas More to Veronica Roth – Italian 242, Full Semester Option
  • Italian Biopolitics from Giordano Bruno to Roberto Esposito – Italian 244, Full Semester Option
  • Postgraduate Research Supervision – Italian 320, Full Year

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

Federica welcomes research proposals intersecting Biopolitics, Cognitive Narratology, Continental Philosophy, Decoloniality and Decolonial Studies, Migration and Diaspora Studies, the Environmental Humanities, Modern and Contemporary Italian Culture, Performance Studies and Political Theory.

Research summary

Federica has published extensively on the contemporary Italian canon and its margins, with applications from Continental Philosophy, in particular French Theory, and more recently Biopolitics, Ecocriticism and Decoloniality. Her work, including her teaching and postgraduate supervision, intersects the following research areas:

  • Biopolitics
  • Cognitive Narratology
  • Continental Philosophy
  • Decoloniality and Decolonial Studies
  • French and Italian Theory
  • Migration and Diaspora Studies
  • Environmental Humanities and Ecocriticism
  • Modern and Contemporary Italian Culture
  • Performance Studies
  • Political Theory

Knowledge exchange

Research activities

View all 107 activities on Research Explorer

View all 63 publications on Research Explorer

Nomination 1

Absolutely fantastic course. I have never participated in such a well-run, well-organised, thought through course, it is absolutely genius. This is definitely the most valuable semester of learning I have had during my time at Edinburgh. Federica is so enthusiastic and clearly intelligent, we have fascinating discussions, she goes above and beyond to provide interesting materials to engage with and provoke debate. Really really amazing.

Nomination 2

Federica, on top of being the Head of Italian, has done the most amazing job creating two interesting, cross-curricular and worthwhile senior courses. They have been politically relevant, reflective, and Federica is always keen to foster a personal take on the subjects at hand. But most impressive is the amount of work Federica does behind the scenes to make sure that the course runs smoothly, that there is sufficient available material for us to investigate, and provide us with amazing experiences such as ALG week-long takeovers and amazing guest lecturers. 

Nomination 3

I am submitting this nomination because it is so very clear how much thought, dedication and time has gone into the planning of our lessons. Having three lessons a week, each an hour long, and managing to keep us all engaged and entertained is no mean feat. I look forward to our classes together and feel inspired to do well and make an effort. Something which I have really enjoyed is having guest speakers once a week. It is this innovative teaching, and working with the tools we have, which is behind my nomination.

Nomination 4

The course that Professor Pedriali has built and delivered this term has been by far the most innovative course I have done at the University of Edinburgh. The resources, organisation and general working of the course are extremely thorough. Additionally of course, the content and discussions that have been provoked have been the highlight. With incredibly interesting guest lecturers speaking to us from all over world, the course is an example of thinking outside the box. 

Nomination 5

Exceptional teaching and encouragement, availability and enthusiasm as well as exceptional effort to engage with students on a personal level and the organisation of innovative and stimulating courses.

Nomination 6

Exceptional classes, great capacity in creating a wonderful environment in class, full of knowledge, she is always encouraging us to push ourselves and excel. Federica is the best teacher I have ever had!