Gabriele Lazzari

Lecturer in Contemporary Literature, University of Surrey


I am a Lecturer in Contemporary Literature at the University of Surrey, with a PhD in Comparative Literature from Rutgers University.

Working at the intersection of comparative literature and novel theory, my research focuses on how contemporary literature engages with transnational migrations and the legacies of colonial and racial modernity.

My book, New Global Realism: Thinking Totality in the Contemporary Novel (forthcoming with Bloomsbury Academic) explores the current resurgence of literary realism through a comparative study of contemporary novels written in English, Italian, Kannada, and Spanish. The book employs a formalist and comparative approach to expand the focus of literary studies beyond Anglophone writing. It contends that contemporary realism, as a truth-driven mode of aesthetic apprehension, offers a self-conscious and serious representation of social, economic and racial inequalities while actively envisioning new social and political configurations.

My work traverses and draws together my scholarly research, my engagement in the public humanities, and my commitment to social justice and educational equity within and beyond academia.

On peripheral realism and the bildungsroman in the context of postcoloniality, I have published an article in Research in African Literatures. Another article on the semi-peripheral novel has appeared in The Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry.

My other interests include mobility, migration, and colonial histories in the Italian context, particularly how Blackness and Afro-Italianness can help us rethink dynamics of cultural and linguistic belonging. On these topics, I have written two public-facing pieces for Public Books (1 and 2), as well as an article for Comparative Literature and an open access chapter on methodologies of Blackness.

At Surrey, I supervise undergraduate dissertations and PhD projects in my areas of expertise. I am part of the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee, and co-convenor of the Mobilities Research Centre.

During my graduate studies, I worked as a digital coordinator for my program, I was a Public Fellow at the Newark Public Library, and I attended the Humanities Without Walls Workshop in Chicago.

My research and public humanities work have been supported by the Mellon Foundation, the Rutgers Bevier Dissertation Completion Fellowship, and the New Jersey Council for the Humanities.

© 2023 Gabriele Lazzari

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