Dr Letizia Alterno

Title: Lecturer in English (sessional)
Phone: (+44) 01782 733141
Email: m.l.alterno@keele.ac.uk
Location: CBB2.039
Role: Module convenor
Contacting me:

Before teaching at Keele, I taught a variety of English undergraduate modules at the University of Manchester and the University of Central Lancashire. My PhD project at the University of Manchester focused on positioning Raja Rao's production within Postcolonial Studies. I authored Rao's obituary article published by The Guardian in 2006 as well as an article on the legacy of Rao's work in The Times of India (2010). From 2006 to 2014 I was associated with "The Raja Rao Publication Project" and functioned as its Editor-in-Chief. I have also translated some of Rao's works into Italian and am currently co-editing a forthcoming critical volume with Prof. Rumina Sethi (Routledge India).

My impact profile includes work (through her research-led teaching) in non-selective High Schools in the North West to help widen access to highly-selective universities for pupils from under-represented groups.

I am the author of Raja Rao: An Introduction (2011), published in the Contemporary Indian Writers Series by Cambridge University Press India. Reviews of the volume have praised it as "a detailed, incisive and eminently readable introduction" and "a rigourous examination of the diverse, and complex, Raja Rao canon, including some of his lesser known short-fiction."

At the University of Manchester, I was the lead initiator of the Postcolonial Atelier research-led programme which promotes interdisciplinary conversations between world leading academics, postgraduate scholars and early career researchers, and was a steering committee member of the Postcolonial Reading Group until 2015.

Currently, I also lead and design a series of Core Methodology and Core Interdisciplinary postgraduate workshops for the ArtsMethods Programme at The University of Manchester, offering PhD students academic training in research methodology and theory promoting and facilitating methodological excellence, expertise, dialogue, innovation and inter-disciplinarity. 

Linking in with my postcolonial formation, my current research interests focus on the cultural and ideological theorization of the refugee as a key-figure for understanding the liminality of this “border-concept” in our global political context. Primary concerns of this research investigate how current legal, cultural and political practices on immigration, with a particular focus on sea-journeys through the Mediterranean (and to Lampedusa specifically), enable growing instances of dehumanization and social injustice, often resulting in numerous unnecessary deaths. 

I am the founder of The Lampedusa Migration Network and have recently organised the Symposium "Asylum, Migration and Detention in Lampedusa: Discussing Research, Policies and Narratives," held at The University of Manchester on 1st  July 2016. The symposium was designed as a discussion-led event which engaged both academia, the general public and refugee participants in a conversation about the disquieting and extremely pressing issues of detention, migration and asylum in the context of Lampedusa.

Letizia Alterno, Raja Rao: An Introduction, CIWE series, New Delhi: CUP India, 2011.

_____. and Rajeshwar Mittapalli, eds. Indian Masculinities and Post-colonial Fiction in English, Atlantic, New Delhi, 2009. 

_____. and Rumina Sethi, eds. of Raja Rao: Postcolonial Readings in the Transnational Era, (Routlegde: January 2018).

_____. “EU Borderland Migration: Lampedusa and the Radical Crisis of the Human Right to Refuge,” (forthcoming).

_____. “Deconstructing History and Memory: Transnational Pasts and Futures in Amitav Ghosh’s The Hungry Tide and Sea of Poppies,” Dialog 25 (Spring 2014).

_____. “Interjecting Modernity and Western Historiography through Subalterity: Raja Rao’s Early Novels Against the Grain,” (forthcoming).

_____. “Proleptic Post-colonialism: Repositioning Raja Rao’s Later Production,” (forthcoming).

_____. “‘The Adventure of Difference:’ Resistance in Alterity and Raja Rao’s Anti/Post-colonial Response to British Rule”, Raja Rao’s Birth Centenary: A Collection, ed. Harish Trivedi, (New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi, forthcoming).

_____. “Shreds of Indianness:” Identity and Representation in Manju Kapur’s The Immigrant, Global Reception of Post-liberalization Indian Novels in English, ed. Aysha Iqbal Viswamohan, (London: Anthem-Wimbledon, 2013).

_____. “Problems of Representation in Raja Rao’s The Great Indian Way: A Life of Mahatma Gandhi,” Changing Nations/Changing Words: The Concept of Nation in the Transnational Era, eds., Joel Kuortti and O. P. Dwivedi, (New Delhi: Rawat, 2011).

_____. “Mulk Raj Anand,” “Raja Rao,” “Kamala Markandaya,” “Salvatore Quasimodo,” “Attia Hosain,” “Kamala Das,” “Amitav Ghosh,” “Arundathi Roy,” in The Little Black Book of Books: A Century of the Greatest Books, Writers, Characters, Passages and Events that Rocked the Literary World, London: Cassell Illustrated, 2007. 

_____.  “Raja Rao: The Writer of a Century,” Muse India 8.1 (Sept. 2006), http://www.museindia.com/cissue8.asp 

_____. “A Forgotten Raja,” The Times of India, 08 May 2010, http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/A-forgotten-Raja-/articleshow/5906330.cms 

_____. “Raja Rao: An Indian Writer Using Mysticism to Explore the Spiritual Unity between East and West,” Guardian 17 July 2006, http://www.books.guardian.co.uk/obituaries/story/0,,1822076,00.html

Convenor of Level 6 Post-colonial and World Literature module - ENG-30056 (2016-1017, 2017-2018).