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Nicoletta Asciuto



Nicoletta Asciuto is a Lecturer in Modern Literature and has been part of York’s English department since 2016. She is a Comparative Modernist scholar and a passionate linguist with knowledge of eight languages.

During her time at York, Nicoletta has been a guest lecturer on Modernism at Masaryk University in Brno (Czech Republic), co-organized a workshop on technology and imagination at the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology (University of Toronto), as well as convened the CModS research strand “Modernist Peripheries: Fringes and Frontiers” with Dr Hannah Roche (2018-19). In 2019-20, Nicoletta was the Co-Investigator of a new project on modernism, technology, and translation, “Radio Pioneers and Forgotten Voices, 1924-1939”, with Professor Emilie Morin and funded by a British Academy Small Grant. She is currently at work on a new project entitled "Cities of Modernism", with Professor Nan Zhang (Fudan University) and funded by a British Academy UK-China Seed Funding Grant.  

Prior to York, Nicoletta was the recipient of a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (University of Edinburgh) in 2015-16. She has also tutored and lectured extensively at Durham University for both the English and Italian departments, as well as for the MA in Translation Studies. She completed her PhD in English Literature also at Durham University in 2015 with a thesis on T. S. Eliot’s use of light and dark imagery in his poetry and drama. In the summer of 2014, she was a Visiting Fellow at Harvard University.

Nicoletta is committed to excellence in teaching. She holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice from Durham University and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She is a member of the University-wide Standing Committee on Assessment.



Nicoletta is an active member of York’s Modern School. She is currently working on her first monograph, Brilliant Modernism: Lighting Technologies and Modernist Poetics. The book discusses the impact of new lighting technologies on the birth of new avant-garde and modernist poetics, which took place in the period of technological transition from gaslight to electric light. This will be the the first monograph to consider the impact of this technological change on a range of British, American, and European poets. Nicoletta is particularly interested in the reception of new technologies and how this has shaped late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century imagination. At York she teaches her own Advanced Option module on the topic, “Modernism and Technology”. Nicoletta has published extensively on T. S. Eliot and on modernist poetry. She has recently been co-editing an interdisciplinary special issue (“Above. Degrees of Elevation”) for journal Space & Culture with Dr Nina Engelhardt and Dr Susanne Schregel (Universität zu Köln).

Nicoletta’s other major teaching and research interest is translation theory and practice. At York she has organized various events on literature in translation for “Writers at York” and teaches a new Advanced Option module on the practice of literary translation, “Found in Translation: The Practice of Translating Literature”. Her next planned research project will involve the role of translation work in modernism, especially in the modernist “little” magazines.  

Nicoletta would welcome enquiries from prospective postgraduate students interested in one or more of the following research areas: Poetry and Poetics; Modernism; History of Technology; Translation Studies; History of Cinema.

Contact details

Dr Nicoletta Asciuto
Department of English and Related Literature
University of York
YO10 5DD

Tel: +44 (0)1904 323341