Ewch i’r prif gynnwys
Dr Elizabeth Wren-Owens

Dr Elizabeth Wren-Owens

Deon Addysg Ôl-raddedig Coleg y Celfyddydau, y Dyniaethau a'r Gwyddorau Cymdeithasol, Darllenydd mewn Astudiaethau Eidaleg a Chyfieithu

+44 (0)29 2087 6438
2.12, 66a Plas y Parc, Cathays, Caerdydd, CF10 3AS
Ar gael fel goruchwyliwr ôl-raddedig


My research interests include:

  • Antonio Tabucchi in European contexts
  • Twentieth Century Italian Narrative
  • Socio-political engagement in literature and links between culture and citizenship
  • Travel writing
  • Detective fiction
  • Italian diasporic and migrant writing
  • Italians in Wales: comparative perspectives
  • Translating cultures


I graduated from the University of Warwick in 2001 with a first class honours degree in French and Italian, then completed a Masters degree in Italian at Bristol (2002) and a PhD in Italian Studies at Warwick (2006), focusing on socio-political engagement in the works of Antonio Tabucchi and Leonardo Sciascia. I joined Cardiff in 2007, having taught previously at the Universities of Warwick, Bristol and Bath.

Anrhydeddau a Dyfarniadau

  • 2010: BA overseas conference grant
  • 2009: Awarded Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy
  • 2005: Doctoral Fellowship awarded by the Warwick Humanities Research Centre to host an interdisciplinary conference, ‘Dialogue with Tradition: Contemporary Writers and Literary Heritage’
  • 2002-2005: AHRC doctoral award for PhD research
  • 2000: Bursary from the University of Milan to study at their Gargagno centre

Aelodaethau proffesiynol

I am a member of the Society for Italian Studies, the Association for the Study of Modern Italy and the American Association of Italian Studies. I peer review scholarly articles for a number of journals, and also review books.

I am external examiner for the Italian programme at UEA.

Ymrwymiadau siarad cyhoeddus

  • July 2012: ‘Translating cultures: Italian identity in Triple Languages in Wales and Canada’, at the SIS interim conference, Transnational Italy: National Identity and the World Atlas, at the University of Reading, UK
  • April 2008: ‘Constructing Italian Identity: The (Native) American Contact Zone’, at RMMEC inaugural event, Cardiff
  • Jan 2006: ‘Tabucchi’s Pessoa: A Legacy Repaid?’, at ‘Fictional Representations of Fernando Pessoa’, University of Leeds
  • Dec 2006: ‘Racism and the Other in Sandro Onofri’s Writing’, at the Birmingham-Warwick seminar series
  • July 2011: ‘The emergence of Welsh Italian narrative, or the commodification of nostalgia’, at SIS biennial conference, St Andrews
  • May 2011: ‘Integrated or repressed Identity? Welsh Italian narrative in international contexts’, at ‘Within and Without: Representing Diasporas in Europe (Cardiff, UK)
  • April 2010: ‘Introducing, Authenticating, Authorizing: The Role of the Introductory Voice in Migrant Writing by Italians and Migrants into Italy’, at AAIS annual conference, Michigan
  • May 2008: ‘Between Far Right and Traditional Left: Sandro Onofri as Engaged Intellectual’, at AAIS annual conference, Taormina (Sicily)
  • March 2006: ‘From Powerless to Power Brokers: The Shifting Representation of the popolo in Antonio Tabucchi’s Piazza d’Italia (1975) and Il piccolo naviglio (1978), presented at the University of Salford, UK
  • Dec. 2005: ‘Portuguese Empire as Hybrid Host: Antonio Tabucchi’s Postcolonial Writings’,   presented at ‘Scontro/Incontro: The Hybrid Experience of Italy and its Colonies’, presented at The Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies, London.
  • July 2005: ‘The Shifting Constructs of Sciascia’s Sicily’, presented at the Society for Italian Studies Biennial conference, University of Salford, UK
  • Feb. 2005: ‘Dialogue with the Past and the Self in the Works of Antonio Tabucchi’, presented at the ‘Dialogue with Tradition: Contemporary Writers and Literary Heritage’ Conference at the University of Warwick, UK.
  • Oct 2004: ‘A Microscopic Change? Microhistory and Conceptual Historical Space in Sciascia’s Later Historical Texts’ presented at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
  • May 2004: ‘Geographical and Psychological Space in Sciascia’s Work’ presented at the University of Warwick Italian Department Postgraduate Forum.
  • April 2004: ‘Ghostly and Real Bodies in Tabucchi: From Dissatisfaction to Resolution’ presented at the Society for Italian Studies Conference in London.
  • March 2004: ‘The Tools of the Detective: Leonardo Sciascia’s Approach to Literature in the Mid to Late 1970s’ presented at the University of Utrecht, Holland.
  • May 2003: ‘Engagement through Geographical and Border Spaces in Tabucchi’s Work’ presented at the Society for Italian Studies Postgraduate Colloquium at Edinburgh University.














At Cardiff I teach modules on Italian migration, detective fiction memories of fascism, Innovations in European fiction, translation and study skills. I am also involved in language teaching for Erasmus students. At postgraduate level I am involved with the MA in Translation Studies and supervise PhD students.I am the School co-ordinator for incoming Erasmus students.

I am able to supervise postgraduate research in the following areas:

  • Twentieth Century Italian narrative
  • Migrant identities and narrative
  • Concepts of socio-political engagement in literature
  • Italian travel writing
  • Italian detective fiction

My current research project focuses on reading the Italian writer Antonio Tabucchi in European contexts, focusing on issues of translation, remembering Fascism and the significance of Lisbon for European writers. I also research the Italian community in Wales, in particular the way in which this diasporic narrative has developed in relation to other Italian migrant narratives. I have recently published on Italian Welsh narrative and café culture, on first-wave Italian American and African Italian autobiographies, on Sandro Onofri and the Italian Left’s response to racial violence in Italy, and on Tabucchi’s response to Pessoa. Previous publications have addressed socio-political engagement in Italian literature, particularly in the work of Sciascia and Tabucchi, representations of empire in Tabucchi, Italian detective fiction and the usefulness of Lacan’s notion of the real in understanding Tabucchi’s texts.

I am one of the general editors of the New Readings journal and co-director of the Representing Migration and Mobility in European Culture (RMMEC) research network at Cardiff.