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Elisa Walker


Supervisors: Prof Derek Duncan, Dr Emma Bond

Education and experience

I gained my MA in Italian and German from the University of St Andrews in 2013, before going on to complete an Erasmus Mundus MLitt in the programme ‘Crossways in Cultural Narratives’. This multilingual and interdisciplinary Masters brought me to universities in Italy, Canada and France over two years. The main topics were on comparative literature, modern languages, art history and philosophy and I completed a dissertation entitled “Fortress Europe’s criminalisation of the migrant: an incurable symptom of Italy’s postcolonial condition?” The dissertation compared the representation of migrants in films by Italian directors to the literature written by diasporic authors in Italy, examining how migrant criminality is more often taken for granted in works by Italians while this is ironised by the growing generation of migrant writers. I have returned to St Andrews for my PhD because of the focus on Italian migration literature here.

My academic interests include migration literature and cinema, Italian and German women writers and European myth and fairy tales. At the University of Guelph I worked as a Professor’s research assistant in the German department, where I analysed satirical works from the Weimar Republic era. I am in the first year of my PhD and am researching the role of the female Bildungsroman in contemporary transnational and postcolonial Italophone literature.

Teaching experience

  • Teaching assistant for first year French reading course at University of Guelph (Autumn 2014)
  • Teaching assistant for first year Classical Studies at University of Guelph (Spring 2014)
  • British Council English Language Assistant in Germany (2010-2011)


  • AHRC funded PhD
  • Holder of the full Erasmus Mundus scholarship.
  • St Andrews Deans’ list 2012/2013
  • St Andrews Deans’ list 2011/2012

Conference papers

  • Artemisia, the phoenix: re-imagining the role of the woman artist. Dialogues of Power Conference, University of St Andrews.
  • The othering of the Bildungsroman in contemporary Italophone literature – “Charting Deviation” SIS Colloquium, University of Leeds.