Tommaso Pepe

Tommaso Pepe

I am a literary scholar working on the intersections that cross literature, memory, trauma and intercultural dialogue. My research explores how individuals and communities voice experiences of suffering and violence and how such narratives interact in a transnational network of collective memories.

Originally trained as specialist in Italian literary history (Laurea magistrale, University of Pavia, PhD, Brown University), my studies have focused on the impact of the Holocaust in Italian postwar culture. Counter-memories, Autofiction, Antipoetry: Remembering and Forgetting the Holocaust in Italian Literature is the title of my current book project. I'm also interested about the relevance of Holocaust memory in a global age marked by continuous resurgences of ethnic hatred, state-sanctioned violence, religious and political persecutions.

I've written extensively on Italian contemporary literature (particularly on Primo Levi, Curzio Malaparte, Giorgio Bassani) with a scholarly approach that blends close analytical readings, philological inquiry and archival research. In the field of early modern studies I'm fascinated by medieval travel narratives. Recently I have initiated a digital humanities research project set out to map in a GIS digital platform the literary geographies of Marco Polo's Divisament dou Monde, one the masterpieces of European geographical literature in the Middle Ages.

Before joining the Society of Fellows at SUSTech I have studied and worked in various institutions across Europe and North America (University of Pavia, Trinity College Dublin, University of Cambridge, Florida State University, Brown University, Hamburg Universität).

Digital Projects


Edited Volumes

  • T. Pepe and A. Sartori (eds), Perspectives on Italian Difference, Italian Differences in Perspectives. Selected Papers of Chiasmi, Harvard-Brown Graduate Conference in Italian Studies, Providence: Brown University Center for Digital Scholarship, 2018.

Peer Reviewed Articles and Book Chapters

  • “«Uno carnefice, l’altro vittima». Abstention from Existence and De-/Articulations of the Victim-Perpetrator Symmetry in The Novel of Ferrara by Giorgio Bassani”, Horizonte. Italianistische Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaft und Gegenwartsliteratur, 5, 2020, 112-139.
  • “Holocaust autofiction? Il Kaputt/כפרות di Curzio Malaparte” ['Holocaust autofiction? Curzio Malaparte’s Kaputt/כפרות], in Elena Pirvu (ed.) Lingua e letteratura italiana nel presente e nella storia, Florence: Franco Cesati, 2020, 498-508.
  • “Le «città proibite» di Curzio Malaparte e Alceo Valcini: narrazioni, diffrazioni e rinegoziazioni letterarie del ghetto di Varsavia in due scrittori italiani del dopoguerra [Curzio Malaparte and Alceo Valcini’s “Forbidden Cities”: Narratives, Diffractions and Literary Re-Negotations of the Warsaw Ghetto in Two Italian Postwar Writers], Laboratoire Italien, 24, 2020 (online).
  • “Quasimodo and the Spiritualization of Cruelty, Saba’s Uncanny «Shortcuts», Montale’s Grotesque Imaginary: The Multiple Genealogies of Italian Poetry on the Jewish Genocide”, Enthymema. International Journal of Literary Criticism, XXIII, 2019, 139-156.
  • “Difference in Perspectives/Hybrid Perspectives. An Introduction”, in Perspectives on Italian Difference, Italian Differences in Perspectives. Providence: Brown University Center for Digital Scholarship, 2018, 1-10 (co-authored with Andrea Sartori).
  • “«The Persecution Continues»: Giacomo Debenedetti, Giorgio Bassani and a Counter-Memory of the Shoah in Postwar Italy”, Horizonte. Italienische Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaft und Gegenwartsliteratur, 3, 2018, 78-114.
  • “Impossible Visions: Transpositions of Holocaust Cinema in Hotel Rwanda and S-21, the Khmer Rouge Killing Machine” in Yves-Antoine Clemmen, Margit Grieb, Will Lehman (eds.), Essays in World Languages and Literature: Stereotypes and the Challenges of Representation, Boca Raton, FL: Brown Walker Press, 2017, 13-26.
  • “La doppia traccia: itinerari della rappresentazione del genocidio ebraico nella poesia italiana del Novecento (Quasimodo, Sereni, Levi, Bruck)” [The Double Trace: Itineraries of Representation of the Jewish Genocide in Italian Twentieth Century Poetry (Quasimodo, Sereni, Levi, Bruck), in Sibilla Destefani (ed.), Da Primo Levi ai figli dei salvati. Incursioni critiche nella letteratura della Shoah, Florence: La Giuntina, 2017, 207-227.
  • “Genesi di Se questo è un uomo e autoriscritture leviane del Lager' [Genesis of If This is Man and Levi’s Multiple Narrations of the Lager], Misure Critiche, 2016, 2, 199-231.
  • 'Una complessa chiarezza: gli ipertesti di Primo Levi' [A Complex Clarity: Primo Levi’s Hypertexts], Ticontre. Teoria Testo Traduzione, 6, 2016, 23-43.
  • “Su una riscrittura della Tregua: La prova di Marco Belpoliti” [A Re-writing of La tregua: Marco Belpoliti’s La prova], Italianistica, I, 2016, 181-204.
  • “Realism of the Testimony, Symbologies and Memory: Phases and Perspectives in the Plurilingual Experimentation of Primo Levi”, in Contemporary Approaches to World Languages, Boca Raton, FL: Brown Walker Press, 2015, pp. 155-170.
  • “Sopra un oceano dipinto di parole: fasi e prospettive della sperimentazione plurilingue in Primo Levi” [Upon an Ocean Made of Words: Phases and Perspectives in Primo Levi’s Plurilingual Experimentation], Carte italiane, 10, 2015, 61-87.
  • “Anabasi, speculazione e caduta: i volti della poesia incerta di Primo Levi” [Anabasis, Speculation, Fall: The Perspectives of Primo Levi’s Uncertain Poetry], Testo, XXIV, 68, December 2014, 91-109.
  • “La ricezione di Montale nel mondo anglosassone. Con alcune osservazioni variantistiche a margine di una antologia di traduzioni” [Montale’s Reception in the Anglo-Saxon World: With some Philological Observations on an Anthology of Translations], Il confronto letterario, 61(2), July 2014, 81-110.


  • The Holocaust in the Age of Global Memory: Trauma, History, and Ethics of Intercultural Remembrance
  • (In)Visibile Past: Cinema and Collective Memory in Postwar Europe
  • Monks, Jesters, Merchants, Hermits: Life and History in the European Middle Ages


Other Middle Ages: Marco Polo, Ibn Battuta and the Circulation of Knowledge in Premodern Afro-Eurasia

  • Tommaso Pepe
  • May 20, 2021 16:00 ~ 17:30
  • Room 109, Building C, School of Humanities and Social Sciences
4 on 4 Salons