Dr Franco Manai

Laurea (Univ. di Pisa) , MA and PhD (Brown Univ.)


Franco Manai has a laurea in Foreign Languages and Literature from the University of Pisa and a PhD in Italian Studies from Brown University. He has taught at various American colleges such as Vassar, Wellesley and Smith. He joined the Department in 1993 after teaching for two years at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.

He has published on many Italian authors, including Francesco Petrarca, Pietro Bembo, Niccolò Machiavelli, Carlo Goldoni, Pierpaolo Pasolini, Leonardo Sciascia. He has written a book entitled Capuana e la letteratura campagnola (Pisa: Etp, 1997) where he studies the contribution of Luigi Capuana to  the representation of rural life in Italian fiction till the 1910s. In 2006 he published a book entitled Cosa succede a Fraus? Sardegna e mondo nel racconto di Giulio Angioni (Cagliari: Cuec) where he studies the fiction of contemporary fiction writer and anthropologist Giulio Angioni. In 2015 he co-edited a book on Italian postcolonial media production, Memoria storica e postcolonialismo. Il caso italiano.

He is currently working on a book focusing on the representation of Italian colonialism in Italian literature.

 Franco also has a strong interest in Italian popular culture, from detective novels to comic books and cinema. In these fields he has published on well known authors such as Fruttero & Lucentini, Loriano Macchiavelli, Andrea Camilleri, Carlo Collodi and Roberto Benigni.

Research | Current

  • Italian literature from Middle Ages to contemporary
  • Italian popular culture, film, comic books, genre literature
  • Postcolonial and cultural studies

Franco's main field of research is Italian language and culture with a comparative approach. He is a generalist, that is, a scholar who has shown himself, through publications, to be well versed in all periods and in different genres of Italian culture. The subject matter of his work is broad, including Medieval and Early Modern authors through to prominent figures in contemporary culture (from Niccolò Machiavelli and Carlo Goldoni to Witi Ihimaera and Pier Paolo Pasolini).

Contemporary Italian culture: regional literature, postcolonial studies, popular culture, Italian film studies

Regularly participates in international conferences around the world in order to verify the value of his research and keep updated on other colleagues’ output. 

Dr Franco Manai's Research

Teaching | Current

ITALIAN 302 Dante’s Divina Commedia

ITALIAN 333 Italian Popular Culture

ITALIAN 711 Dante

ITALIAN 713 Italian Popular Culture

Postgraduate supervision

Primary supervisor for PhD thesis:

  1. Eleanor Hamlyn, Reading the genre codes in Scerbanenco’s hybridised romanzi rosa: A reception-based analysis of genre-blending in selected novels from 1945-1963. Completed in 2014.
  2. Chalin Zanon Severo, Italian Colonialism and its Aftermath in Italian Culture: A study of Postcolonial Italian Fiction by recent immigrant writers from former Italian colonies. Started in 2014.
  3. Sandra-Mina Ewen, Postcolonial Readings of Emilio Salgari’s "Il Ciclo di Sandokan". Started in 2014.
  4. Alberto Cauli, Italian Pioneers: Colonial propaganda and geographical explorations. Started in 2015

Sole supervisor for  MA theses:

  1. Jovan Cavor, "Ex-Yugoslav Migrant Literature: The Returns of Imperialism". Completed in 2013 with First Class Honours.
  2. Sandra-Mina Ewen, "Scottish-Italian Post-War Literature, Post-Colonial Theory and the Scottish Risorgimento". Completed in 2010 with First Class Honours.
  3. Diana Johnston, "Le donne gialle: La rappresentazione delle donne nei romanzi di Montalbano e Bustianu". Completed in 2010 First Class Honours.
  4. Ljubica Vojinovic, "Writing Home. Yugoslavia: A Country and a War as Reflected in the Literature of its Migrants". Completed in 2009 with First Class Honours.
  5. Jelena Romic, "La tutela delle lingue minoritarie: Il caso Sardo". Completed in 2006 with First Class Honours.
  6. Amelia Funaki, "War and Race: A discussion of the reality of war and ethnic identity in Patricia Grace’s Tu and Emilio Lussu’s Sardinian Brigade". Completed in 2006 with First Class Honours.

Sole supervisor for BA (Hons) dissertations:

  1. Eleanor Hamlyn, “The role of the mass market in shaping Giorgio Scerbanenco's Arthur Jelling and Duca Lamberti series". Completed in 2010 with First Class Honours.
  2. Jovan Cavor, "Yugoslavia in the eyes of its migrant writers: The story of what we had, what we got; and what could have been, only if…". Completed in 2010 with First Class Honours.
  3. Rebecca Coutts, "Annotated translation and commentary of three Short Stories by Silvana Ballestra" Completed in 2010 with Second Class Honours First Division.
  4. Rosemarie Jephcoate, "Annotated translation of  and introduction to Debra Libanos by Luciano Marrocu". Completed in 2010 First Class Honours.
  5. Jelena Romic,"La lirica italiana delle origini: Giacomo da Lentini e Guittone d'Arezzo" Completed in 2006 with First Class Honours.


Postgraduate Adviser

PhD Adviser

Areas of expertise

Italian literature from Middle Ages to Contemporary

Italian Popular culture, Film, Comic Books, Genre literature

Postcolonial and Cultural Studies

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Romoeuf, M. B., & Manai, F. C. (2015). Memoria Storica e Postcolonialismo. Brussels: Peter Lang. Pages: 355.
  • Manai, F. (2015). Dal Monte Ventoso a Point Lenana: La sfida di Wu Ming al postmoderno [From Monte Ventoso to Point Lenana: The challenge of Wu Ming to Postmodernism]. In S. Magni, M. Palombi (Eds.) La réécriture de l'histoire dans les romans de la postmodernité [The rewriting of history in the novels of postmodernity] (pp. 211-221). Aix-en-Provence, France: Presses Universitaires de Provence.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/31741
  • Manai, F. (2014). La rappresentazione dei semplici nel Vangelo secondo Matteo [The representation of the simple in Gospel according to Matthew]. In L. El Ghaoui, F. Tummillo (Eds.) Le tradizioni popolari nelle opera di Pier Paolo Pasolini e Dario Fo [Popular tradition in the works of Pier Paolo Pasolini and Dario Fo] (pp. 113-121). Pisa, Italy: Fabrizio Serra Editore.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/31740
  • Manai, F. C. (2012). Mario Domenichelli Lugemalé: Heart of Darkness revisited in Post-colonial Italy. Arcadia, 47 (1), 173-188. 10.1515/arcadia-2012-0009
  • Manai, F. C. (2010). L’Affaire Moro, trente ans plus tard. Les Lettres Romanes, 64 (3-4), 387-404. 10.1484/J.LLR.1.102072
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/12808
  • Manai, F. C. (2009). The Movie Pinocchio by Roberto Benigni and its Reception in the United States. Studies in European Cinema, 6 (2&3), 153-163. 10.1386/seci.6.2&3.153/1
  • Manai, F. C. (2008). Language Policies and their Implementation Regarding Regional and Minority Languages in the European Union: the Case of the Sardinian Languages. In D. Mayes (Ed.) The Varieties of Linguistic, Religious, and Geographical Identities in Europe: Essays on the Problem of European Unification (pp. 155-168). Lewiston/ New York: The Edwin Mellen Press.
  • Manai, F. C. (2008). La donna della domenica and the Italian Detective Novel of the 1970s. In M. Cicioni, N. D. Ciolla (Eds.) Differences, Deceits and Desires: Murder and Mayhem in Italian Crime Fiction (pp. 83-97). Newark: The University of Delaware Press.
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/15651


Contact details

Office hours

Semester One 2016: Monday 12-1pm or by appointment

Primary office location

Level 5, Room 517
New Zealand

Web links