Charles Burdett is the Principal Investigator on the large grant, 'Transnationalizing Modern Languages: Mobility. Identity and Translation in Modern Italian Cultures' that is a beacon project for the AHRC's 'Translating Cultures' theme. The project runs from 2014 to 2017 and explores a series of critical instances of linguistic and cultural translation with a specific focus on modern Italy and the experiences of mobility that are embedded in its recent history. The project uses the Italian case as a template from which to develop a renewed model for the work of Modern Languages and its applications in the 21st century.
The principal areas of his research are Italian culture under Fascism; the representation of colonialism; travel writing, and theories of inter-cultural contact. His most recent book, Journeys through Fascism: Italian Travel Writing between the Wars (2007, paperback 2010) sought to determine how the inhabitants and cultures of other countries appeared to Italian writers and journalists of the 1920s and 1930s. Using a range of theoretical perspectives, it examined representations of Libya and Italian East Africa, Spain during the Civil War, Nazi Germany, Russia and the United States. As a development from his work on travel in the inter-war period, he has published recently on the significance of Mussolini’s journey to Libya in 1937 and on the eschatological elements of Fascist colonial discourse. His work also attempts to place Italian representations of the reality of Fascism in a transnational perspective, and he has edited collections on European memories of the Second World War (1999) and on European travel writing of the 1930s (2003). He is currently working on a study of Italian representations of the Islamic world from the period of Fascist rule to the present. He is engaged in collaborative projects with colleagues in the UK and in Italy.
He is on the editorial board of Italian Studies and he was a member of the AHRC Peer Review College from 2008-2015. From was from 2007-2010 he held the research portfolio for the Society for Italian Studies and was Chair of the subject association from 2010-2015.
Charles Burdett studied Modern Languages (French and Italian) at Oxford University (BA 1989) where he also studied as a postgraduate, writing his doctoral thesis (awarded 1994) on Italian literary culture between the wars. He taught at Cardiff University (1993-97) and has worked at Bristol since 1997 as Lecturer, Senior Lecturer (2002), and Reader in Modern Italian Studies (2009).
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