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Judith Woolf's main academic research areas are twentieth century Italian-Jewish writers, especially Primo Levi and Natalia Ginzburg; life writing, especially in relation to the Holocaust; the relationship between photography and Victorian and Edwardian fiction; and narrative patterns in European literature.
Her academic publications include Henry James: The Major Novels (Cambridge University Press, 1991), The Memory of the Offence: Primo Levi's 'If This Is a Man' (Troubador, 2001) Writing About Literature: Essay and translation skills for university students of English and foreign literature (Routledge, 2005) and translations of Giacomo Debenedetti, The Sixteenth of October 1943 and Other Wartime Essays (Troubador, 1996), Natalia Ginzburg, The things we used to say (Carcanet, 1997: highly commended by the judges for the John Florio translation prize), Primo Levi and Leonardo De Benedetti, Auschwitz Report (Verso, 2006) and Francesca Duranti, The Little Girl (Troubador, 2010).
My major research interest during the last fifteen years has been in twentieth-century Italian-Jewish writing, concentrating on autobiography, fiction and documentary accounts relating to the period from the rise of Fascism to the end of the Second World War. I also have research interests in three other areas: life writing; Victorian and early twentieth-century photography and fiction; and narrative patterns in European literature. I am particularly interested in how women are represented and represent themselves, which has led to an on-going research project on the influence of the camera on the creation and projection of public and private images of women from the mid-nineteenth century to the 1940s.
In addition to academic writing, my publications include novels, translations from Italian and a book of poems and photographs. I have also written libretti for music by Roger Marsh and Marian Ingoldsby as well as a great deal of performance verse.
I am currently working on a monograph looking at in theme of persecution and survival in twentieth century Jewish-Italian writing.