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Murray Edwards College
University of Cambridge
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    Dr Elena Sottilotta

    Murray Edwards College
    Murray Edwards College
    Huntingdon Road
    CB3 0DF

    Early Career Research Fellow in Italian

    Modern and Medieval Languages



    PhD, University of Cambridge

    Research Interests:    

    • Women’s and gender studies
    • Folklore and fairy-tale studies
    • Children’s literature 
    • Comparative literature
    • Mediterranean studies
    • Island studies
    • Film and adaptation studies
    • Language pedagogy


    Dr Elena Sottilotta is a Research Fellow at Murray Edwards College. She obtained her PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2022 with a research project in women’s studies, folklore and fairy-tale studies, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Vice-Chancellor’s Award. Before joining Murray Edwards College, she was an AHRC Postdoctoral Fellow in the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics at the University of Cambridge and a Visiting PhD researcher at Alma Mater Studiorum – Università di Bologna. She is an alumna of the Fulbright Program and of the EU-funded Joint MA Programme Crossways in Cultural Narratives.

    Her research seeks to unearth non-canonical figures and narratives in the European fairy-tale tradition, with a focus on neglected women writers, collectors and storytellers. She also has a keen interest in the poetics and politics of adaptation of traditional folk and fairy-tale narratives in contemporary media. She received several scholarships, prizes and awards for her research, including the Women’s Studies Caucus Award (American Association for Italian Studies) and the St. Catharine’s College Prize for Distinction in Research (St. Catharine’s College, University of Cambridge). She is the founder of the Cambridge Research Network for Fairy-Tale Studies.

    Key publications:    

    • Sottilotta, E. E. (2023). “(Re)Collections of a ‘Piccola Streghina’ from the Heart of the Mediterranean: Gender and Class Consciousness in Grazia Deledda’s Folkloric Writings”, I.S. MED. – Interdisciplinary Studies on the Mediterranean, 1, 109-129.
    • “‘Le scritture rimangono’: Intervista a Michela Murgia”, Chronica Mundi, Themed Issue Women in Sardinia: Creativity and Self-Expression, 2022-2023, 16-17, edited by Sara Delmedico and Elena Sottilotta, 277-288 [301 pp.].
    • Sottilotta, E. E. (2022). “Maria Savi-Lopez: The Portrait of a Neglected Woman Writer and Folklorist in Post-Unification Italy”, P.R.I.S.M.I. Revue d’études italiennes, Nouvelle série n° 3, 149-163.
    • Sottilotta, E. E. (2021). “From Avalon to Southern Italy: The Afterlife of Fata Morgana in Laura Gonzenbach’s Sicilianische Märchen (1870)”, Women Language Literature in Italy / Donne Lingua Letteratura in Italia (Pisa and Rome: Fabrizio Serra), 3, 103-121. 
    • Sottilotta, E. E. (2019). “Six Memos for Teaching Italian as FL: Creativity, Storytelling and Visual Imagination in the Language Classroom”, E-JournALL: EuroAmerican Journal of Applied Linguistics and Languages (Texas A&M University, United States), 6.1, 37-55. 
    • Sottilotta, E. E. (2018). “Maps, Razors, Monocles, Diamonds: Reading H. R. Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines through the lenses of Victorian Material Culture”, Revista Interdisciplinar de Humanidades “estrema” (Centro de Estudos Comparatistas, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal), 11, 107-128. 
    • Sottilotta, E. E. (2017). “Re-imagining the Gothic in Contemporary Serialised Media: An Intertextual and Intermedial Study of Neo-Victorian Monstrous Afterlives”, Crossways Journal (University of Guelph, Canada), 1.1, 1-31. 
    • Sottilotta, E. E. (2015). “Diabolical Crossings: Generic Transitions Between the Gothic and the Sensational in Dacre and Alcott”, The Irish Journal of Gothic and Horror Studies (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland), 14, 81-99.