Chiara Mengozzi: Research & CV

Animal Matters: Challenging the Anthropological Difference and Literary Norms

Research Area 2: Norms & Transgressions


Mengozzi - photoThe general goal of the project is to investigate the political, ethical and aesthetic questions that arise, when 20th and 21st-century literature try to represent non-human animals and to address them by adopting an approach that is both comparative (I will analyse selected works from French, English, Italian and Czech literature) and interdisciplinary (it will be necessary to draw from the recent debates about the Animal question in different fields of study, ranging from philosophy to bioethics, from law studies to sociology, from cultural anthropology to ethology).

I do not intend to compile an additional contemporary bestiary, i.e. to appraise the animal symbolism in various authors’ poetics, but rather to address a different issue: how literature (the realm of discourse, of narratives, of words) questions itself when it faces animals, their silence and their irreducible and uncanny alterity? More precisely, I will inquire how the irruption of animals into the writing subverts or undermines: a) the norms of discourse (how to represent their peculiar being-in-the-world?); b) the ethics of writing (how to speak on behalf of someone who cannot?); c) the idea of human (where to draw the line between human and non-human?).



2011 (April 21): PhD in Literary Theory and Comparative Literature/ Doctoral School in Humanities / University of Trieste/ Prof. Sergia Adamo (supervisor)/ Starting date:  January 2008. Title: Narrazioni contese. Pratiche e dispositivi di (auto)rappresentazione nelle scritture italiane della migrazione.

 2009 (September 22): Diploma in Archive Research, Paleography and Diplomatics at the State Archives of Trieste (Italy). Two years school. Final grade: 150/150.

2005 (October 25): Master’s degree in Modern Literature/ Faculty of Arts and Philosophy/ University of Trieste. Title: Animalità e scrittura. Animali non-umani e figure dell’alterità. Final grade: summa cum laude.


2017-: researcher and teacher at the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures (French section)/ Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague.

 2019-: Co-president of the international network OFFRES (Organisation Francophone pour la Formation et la Recherche en Sciences Sociales)

2017-: Associate researcher at CEFRES in Prague (Centre Français de Recherche en Sciences Sociales)/ CNRS


2014-2016: assistant professor of French literature at the Faculty of Education, University of Hradec Králové, Czech Republic


Italian: mother tongue
French: perfect knowledge (C2)
English: proficient (C1)
Czech: proficient (C1)
Latin: professional knowledge


2016-2017: two years fellowship at CEFRES in Prague. Title of the project: “Animal Matters: Challenging the Anthropological Difference and Literary Norms.”

2015: (April-May): Visiting Professor at Hosei University-Tokyo, Japan/ Program “Europhilosophie”–Erasmus Mundus.

2007: one year fellowship at Lumière University Lyon 2 to participate in the CICLIM’s activities and LIMAG project (database on the literature of the Maghreb), under the direction of Prof. Charles Bonn.

2006: Degree award/ best graduate of Trieste’s Faculty of Arts (all exams passed with honors).


2013-2015: Co-director with prof. Ondřej Švec of interdisciplinary seminars at the OFFRES’ summer schools at the Universities of Trnava (July 2013) on “The struggle for recognition between literature and philosophy,” Brussels (July 2014) on “the narrative of the sick body between objectification and metaphor,” and Warsaw (September 2015) on “Antigone’s posthumous life.”

2014-2016: “Modern and Contemporary French Literature” at the University of Hradec Králové, Department of Education (courses in French).

2017-: Director of the PhD seminar “Literary Theory and Research Methodology,” at Charles University, Department of Romance languages and literatures (course in English and Czech, see above).

2017-2019: “Inverted Canons. Italian Literature in the Era of Transnational Migrations” at Charles University (course in Italian)

2017-2019: “Introduction to Postcolonial Theories and Literatures,” Charles University (course in French, held with a PhD student, Vojtěch Šarše).

2018-2020: course “Literary Theory and Textual Analysis” (course in Italian)

2020-: course “New Approaches to Literary Theory and Comparative Literature” (course in French)


2020/2019/2018: Review panel member/ PhD and post-doc entrance examination at CEFRES

2020/2019: Scientific Evaluation /PhD entrance examination at Charles University

2021-: Advisory Board of Romanica olomucensia (Olomouc, CZ)

2017-: Editorial Board of Meta. Research in Hermeneutics, Phenomenology, and Practical Philosophy (Romania)

2015-: Reviewing Board of Études romanes de Brno (Masaryk University, Brno)

2011-: Copyeditor of Between. Journal of the Italian Association for the Theory and Comparative History of Literature(COMPALIT-Italy)

Occasional reviewer for the following journals: Narrativa. Nuova serie (Paris X-Nanterre), Quaderns d’Italià (Autonomous University of Barcelona), Écho des études romanes (University of South Boemia), Socio. La nouvelle revue des sciences sociales (Maison des sciences de l’homme, Paris), Scritture migranti (University of Bologna), MediAzioni. Rivista online Rivista online di studi interdisciplinari su lingue e culture (University of Bologna), Griselda online (literary blog, Italy), Poznańskie Studia Slawistyczne (Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland).


2012-2014 (January-September)
January 2012: moving for personal reasons to the Czech Republic and starting of intensive Czech language course, 5 days a week, 5 hours a day, at UJOP, Institute of Czech for Foreigners, Charles University in Prague. End of the course: July 2013. Diploma C1.
September 2013-July 2014: lecturer in French at the high school “Božena Němcová” in Hradec Králové (Comenius teaching fellow)

2016 (August-January): maternity leave


  • Ch. Mengozzi, Narrazioni contese. Vent’anni di scritture italiane della migrazione, Roma, Carocci, 2013, 214 pp.


  • Ch. Mengozzi, Raccontare la Grande Guerra. Lettura di un epistolario di San Vito al Torre, vol. XIII, Mariano del Friuli, 2007, 243 pp.
Articles in peer-reviewed journals 

Under review 

  • Mengozzi, C., “Metabiography, or the evasive character of real life: from modernism to post-truth” (under review: Modern Fiction Studies).
  • Mengozzi, C. – Wacquez, J. “Re-searching Fiction. Interspecies Assemblages between Science and Fiction in the Anthropocene”  (under review: Critical Inquiry).


  • Mengozzi, C. – Wacquez, J. “La défamiliarisation du monde. Trois exemples de fiction climatique française,” Modern Language Notes, vol. 135, n. 4, 2020, pp. 936-965.
  • Mengozzi, C. “Le diable est dans les périphéries (du texte). Karel Čapek et la destitution du centre”, Revue de Littérature comparée, n. 1, janvier-mars 2020, pp. 17-37.
  • Mengozzi, C. “La letteratura italiana all’epoca del riscaldamento climatico”, Narrativa. Nuova serie, 41 (2019), pp. 23-39.
  • Ch. Mengozzi, “La guerra di Flaiano, o l’etica della farsa”, Italia Studies, 74.1 (2018), pp. 57-70
  •  Ch. Mengozzi, “Aux frontières de l’humanité: (in)efficaticé de l’empathie et de l’expérience esthétique”, Romanistika Pragensia, n. 1, vol. XXII, 2018, pp. 165-78
  • Ch. Mengozzi, “Les marges de l’homme en jeu aux limbes du Pacifique”, Revue romane. International Journal of Romance Languages and Literatures, 52.2 (2017), pp. 260-281
  • Ch. Mengozzi, “Le leggi del mercato e le preferenze dei lettori. Ipotesi sulla circolazione e il successo della narrative italiana ultra-contemporanea in Repubblica ceca”, Narrativa. Nuova serie, Presses Universitaires de Paris Ouest, 38 (2017), pp. 101-113
  • Ch. Mengozzi, “Pinocchio, ragazzo di strada. Il teatro di Baliani nelle bidonville di Nairobi, Arabeschi, 10 (2017), Online journal:
  • Ch. Mengozzi, “Lo sguardo e la colpa: Tempo di uccidere di Ennio Flaiano e la dialettica servo-signore alla prova del colonialismo”, Modern Language Notes – Italian issue – John Hopkins University Press, 31.1 (2016), pp. 175-195
  • Ch. Mengozzi, “Pinocchio migrant et postcolonial. Parcours de subjectivation entre Europe centrale, Italie et Afrique”, Jeunesse: Young People, Texts, Cultures, 8.2 (2016), pp. 36-61
  • Ch. Mengozzi, “De L’utilité et de l’inconvénient du concept de World Literature”, Revue de littérature comparée, 3 (2016), pp. 335-349
  • Ch. Mengozzi, “Scrivere la storia significa incasinare la geografia: mappe postcoloniali”, Etudes romanes de Brno, 37. 2 (2016), pp. 31-44
  • Ch. Mengozzi, “What little I know of the world I assume. Cornici nazionali e mondiali per le scritture migranti e postcoloniali“, Modernità letteraria, 8 (2015), pp. 27-42
  • Ch. Mengozzi, “Minor is beautiful. Il concetto di letteratura minore come strategia di (auto)legittimazione per le scritture migrant”, Studi culturali, IX.1 (2012), pp. 28-48
  • Ch. Mengozzi, “Scena interlocutoria e paradigma giudiziario nelle scritture italiane della migrazione”, Between, II.3 (2012), online journal
  • Ch. Mengozzi, “Strategie e forme di rappresentazione di sé nella “letteratura italiana della migrazione”, Italies. Littérature. Civilisation. Société, 14 (2010), pp. 381-399
  • Ch. Mengozzi – E. Pizzinat, “Mito infranto. Il miraggio italiano e la prospettiva coloniale nel romanzo di una scrittrice etiopica”, Zapruder. Storie in movimento, 23 (2010), pp. 116-123.
  • Ch. Mengozzi – R. Kirchmayr, “Sartre e le retoriche dell’oppressione. Dall’Orfeo Negro alla Prefazione ai Dannati della terra di Fanon”, aut aut, 339 (2008), pp. 104-120
  • Ch. Mengozzi, “Se focaliser sur les animaux. Une lecture de En attendant les barbares de J. M. Coetzee”, Le bateau fantôme, 7 (2008), pp. 69-91
Book chapters
  • Mengozzi, C. “Au seuil d’un autre monde. Réchauffement climatique et formes littéraires,” dans Humain, Posthumain, sous la dir. de Cristina Alvares, Ana Lucia Curado, Sergio Guimaraes de Sousa, éditions Le Manuscrit Savoirs, Exotopies, 2020, pp. 51-78.
  • Mengozzi, C. “On Recognition, Iterability and Self-Creativity in Colonial Contexts”. In Perspectives on the Self. Reflexivity in the Humanities, eds. Vojtěch Kolman and Tereza Matějčková, Berlin, De Gruyter (forthcoming – 2021).
  • Mengozzi, C. “Ways out of the Anthropological Machine, or How and Why Venturing into (De)familiarization,” Outside the Anthropological Machine. Crossing the Human-Animal Divide and Other Exit Strategies, London-New York, Routledge, 2020, pp. 1-23.
  • Mengozzi, C. “The Blind Spot of the Plot. Thinking Beyond Human with Karel Čapek,” Outside the Anthropological Machine. Crossing the Human-Animal Divide and Other Exit Strategies, London-New York, Routledge, 2020, pp.  114-128.
  • Mengozzi, C. “Il romanzo degli altri. Trent’anni di narrativa italiana postcoloniale e della migranza”, Storia del romanzo in Italia, eds. G. Alfano, F. De Cristofaro, Roma, Carocci, vol. IV, 2018, pp. 435-47.
  • Mengozzi, C. “Griot Fulêr. L’émigration/immigration à l’épreuve d’une (im)possible traduction”, Récits de migration. En quête de nouveaux regards, J. Ghidina, N. Violle (eds.), Clermont-Ferrand, Presses Universitaires Blaise Pascal, 2014, pp.257-272.
  • Mengozzi, C. “Archivio, mercato e strategie del vissuto. Su alcune scritture collaborative degli anni Duemila”, Transkurturelle italophone Literatur / Letteratura italofona transculturale, M. Kleinhans – R. Schwaderer (eds.), Würzburg, Königshausen & Neumann, 2013, pp. 37-55.
  • Mengozzi, C. “Paris est un livre toujours ouvert. Les Nuits de Paris di Rétif de la Bretonne: flâneries e narrazioni”, Metropolis, A. Masecchia, (ed.),  Quaderni di Synapsis, vol. IX, Firenze, Le Monnier, 2010, pp. 75-87.
  • Mengozzi, C. “Città e modernità. Nuovi scenari urbani nell’immaginario della “letteratura italiana della migrazione“, Moderno e modernità: la letteratura italiana, C. Gurreri et al. (eds.),  Roma, 2008, online
Editorial works
  • Mengozzi, C. – Comberiati, D. Non solo letteratura migrante. Nuovi percorsi di analisi e approfondimento sulle migrazioni nel panorama culturale italiano, Roma, Carocci, 2021.
  • Mengozzi, C.  (ed.), Outside the Anthropological Machine. Crossing the Human-Animal Divide and Other Exit Strategies, London-New York, Routledge, 2020.
  • Mengozzi, P. Vurm (eds.), (E)migrations, transferts : métissages et dynamiques de la ville / Dinamiche urbane : migrazioni, dislocazioni, creolizzazioni”, special issue Études romanes de Brno, vol. 37, n° 2, 2016.
  • Mengozzi, G. Zanfabro (eds.) “Davanti alla legge. Tra letteratura e diritto”, special issue Between, II. 3 (2012).
Translations of my articles
  • Ch. Mengozzi, “A World Literature fogalmának hasznáról és káráról az irodalomtudományban”, Helikon: Transnational Perspectives in Literary Studies, n. 2, 2015, pp. 157-173 (translated from French to Hungarian by Berkovits Balázs)
  • Ch. Mengozzi, “Le roman des autres: trente ans de littérature italienne de la migration”, Du Colonial au mondial. Anthologie théorique transculturelle, Silvia Contarini – Claire Joubert – Jean-Marc Moura (eds.), Mimesis France, 2019 (translated from Italian to French by Ramona Onnis – being published)
  • Ch. Mengozzi, “Paolo Vignola, La lingua animale. Deleuze attraverso la letteratura”, Between, I, 2, 2011,
  • Ch. Mengozzi, Review of “Scuola e Laboratorio di Cultura delle Donne” (Duino, 25 giugno-1 luglio 2011), Archivi dei sentimenti e culture pubbliche. Un percorso di lettura,
  • Ch. Mengozzi, “Riccardo Bonavita, Spettri dell’altro. Letteratura e razzismo nell’Italia contemporanea”, Between, I, 1, 2011,
  • Ch. Mengozzi, “Franca Sinopoli, Silvia Tatti (eds.), I confini della scrittura. Il dispatrio nei testi letterari”, Semicerchio. Rivista di poesia comparata, 40 (2009),