Staff Profile


Dr Stefania Ciocia

Head of School of Humanities & Education Studies

School: School of Humanities & Educational Studies

Campus: Canterbury Main Campus

Tel: 01227 922338

Profile summary

Stefania is a Reader in Modern and Contemporary Literature.

She is the author of Vietnam and Beyond: Tim O’Brien and the Power of Storytelling (Liverpool UP, 2012; paperback 2014) and the co-editor of The Invention of Illusions: International Perspectives on Paul Auster (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011).

She is currently working on contemporary American short-story cycles; see 'Psychopathologies Psychopathologies of the Island: Curses, Love and Trauma in Julia Alvarez’s How the García Girls Lost Their Accents and Junot Díaz’s This is How You Lose Her', Journal of Modern Literature, 41:2, 2018, 129-46.

Stefania has curated Louise May Alcott's Little Women (2021) and Kate Chopin's The Awakening and Selected Stories (2015) for Wordsworth Classics. The latter edition is the first paperback to bring out in one volume Chopin's extraordinary novella The Awakening (1899), along with the complete text of her two collections of short stories, Bayou Folk (1894) and A Night in Acadie (1897), and twelve uncollected tales. 

Further research interests include minority and migrant literatures (esp. in the American context), and women writers of noir. Her essay on Vera Caspary’s Laura and Otto Preminger’s eponymous cinematic adaptation appears in Domestic Noir, Laura Joyce and Henry Sutton Eds., Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.

Other publications include essays on the novels of Sarah Waters, Derek Walcott’s Omeros, and crossover literature, such as Mark Haddon's popular The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. For a taster of Stefania's reading of Curious Incident and its relationship with detective fiction, see the short article featured as a learning resource on the National Theatre website:  

Stefania would be interested in supervising research in any of the above-mentioned areas.

Research and knowledge exchange

Stefania is currently supervising a doctorate on Victoria Holt. Recent projects supervised to completion include a Ph.D. on sport in contemporary American fiction, and an MA by Research on post-9/11 representations of terrorism.

Teaching and subject expertise

Stefania has taught a range of modules at undergraduate and postgraduate level, including specialist options on women in American literature, contemporary ethnic American literature, and the first-year introduction to literary theory module.

She has been the Programme Director for English Literature Combined Honours for three years (2011-2014).

External activities

Selected conference papers

Keynote lecture at the ‘Paul Auster and Literature in the Twenty-First Century’ conference, University of Copenhagen, 23-25 August 2017.

‘Mapping Invisible Countries: Familial Rhetoric in Julia Alvarez’s Diasporic Storytelling’, at ‘The Cartographic Imagination: Art, Literature and Mapping in the U.S.’, Paris, 18-19 May 2018.

Coordinator and speaker at the panel ‘Female agency and identity negotiations in contemporary narratives of border crossings’ at EBAAS, London,  4-8 April 2018.

“‘The Violation at the Center of my Art’: Collective Traumas and Individual Agency in Julia Alvarez’s Dominican American Short-Story Cycles”, Society for the Study of American Women Writers conference, Université Bordeaux Montaigne, 5-8 July 2017.

‘Lost in Cinematic Translation: The Gender Politics of The Blank Wall and its Big-Screen Adaptations’, “Retold, Resold, Transformed: Crime Fiction in the Modern Era”, University of Leeds, 17-18 Sept. 2013.


Blog entries

Regular guest blogger for Wordsworth Editions, with several entries on Little Women and its TV and film adaptations, reviews of theatrical productions at Shakespeare’s Globe, the National Theatre and the Brdge Theatre and, more recently, a personal sideways look at dante on the 700th anniversary of his death: Stefania Ciocia takes a sideways look at Dante (

'The Lady Vanishes: American Women Writers and the Noir Canon',

Folkestone Book Festival

‘Celebrate the Sisterhood: 150 Years of Little Women’, part of the America Day at Folkestone Book Festival, 25 November 2018.

‘Down the Rabbit Hole’, conversation with Vanessa Tait, writer and Alice Liddell’s great-granddaughter, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland, Folkestone Book Festival, 28 November 2015.

Publications and research outputs


Vietnam and Beyond: Tim O’Brien and the Power of Storytelling, Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2012, 248 pp.. Pbk edition published in 2014.

Collection of essays

The Invention of Illusions: International Perspectives on Paul Auster, co-edited with Jesús González, Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011, 296 pp....

Selected articles in refereed journals

'"The World Loves an Underdog', or the Continuing Appeal of the Adolescent Narrative: A Comparative Reading of Vernon God Little, The Catcher in the Rye, and Huckleberry Finn", Children's Literature in Education, first published online in July 2016 and forthcoming in print.

‘Lost in Cinematic Translation: The “Soft-Boiled” Housewife in The Blank Wall and American Gender Politics after WWII’, in Literature/Film Quarterly, 43:3, 2015, 170-185.

‘The Career and Critical Reception of Paul Auster’, Literature Compass, 9:10, 2012, 642-53.

‘Postmodern Investigations: The Case of Christopher Boone in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time’, Children’s Literature in Education, 40:4, 2009, 320-32. 

‘“Queer and Verdant”: The Textual Politics of Sarah Waters’s Neo-Victorian Novels’, Literary London Journal, 5:2, 2007,

'To Hell and Back: The Katabasis and the Impossibility of Epic in Derek Walcott's Omeros', Journal of Commonwealth Literature, 35:2, 2000, 87-103.

Book chapters

The Things They Carried in the Short-Story Cycle Tradition’, Critical Insights: Tim O’Brien, Robert C. Evans (Ed.), Amenia (NY): Salem Press, 2015, 82-102.

‘Rules Are Meant to Be Broken: 20th and 21st Century Crime Writing’, Introduction to Popular Fiction, Christine Berberich (Ed.), London: Bloomsbury, 2015, 108-28.

‘The Last of the Romantics? The Accidental Investigator in Postmodern Detective Fiction’, Legacies of Romanticism: Literature, Aesthetics, Landscape, Carmen Casaliggi and Paul March-Russell (Eds.), London: Routledge, 2012, 198-210.

 ‘Vernon God Little: A Future Crossover Classic?’, Brave New Worlds. Old and New Classics of Children’s Literature, Elena Paruolo (Ed.), Frankfurt-am-Main: Peter Lang, 2011, 105-20.


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Last edited: 13/12/2018 21:16:00