PhD project: How do inter-firm circulation agreements affect authors’ reception in the publishing field? The Einaudi-Mondadori agreements of 1957 and 1967 

Funding: SWW-DTP

Supervisors: Professor Daniela La Penna, Dr Sophie Heywood (University of Reading), Professor Ruth S. Glynn (University of Bristol) 

Cristina’s PhD project aims to analyse the business factors that affect authors’ migration processes from one publisher to the other and the consequences of this for the literary field. Her case study relies on two commercial agreements between two leading Italian publishers, the sophisticated and politically committed Einaudi and mainstream Mondadori, sealed in 1957 and 1967. Her aim is to clarify the relevance of commercial and economic agreements between publishers and their effect on the circulation and therefore reception of specific works, while contributing to a new methodological approach to the evaluation of reception of literature. The agreements are indeed an excellent case study to evaluate how the very same authors’ works and public image are subjected to different marketing strategies by two very different firms in the same years, also due to their cultural context.  In a politically polarised literary field such as the Italian one in the second post-war period, the public perception of a specific author was also influenced by the cultural operators with which they aligned. Cristina intends to highlight the relevance of the cultural brokers (literary agents, free-lance consultants and series editors) who worked at both firms and who played a crucial role in the drafting of the two agreements and in the negotiation strategies adopted by both publishers.  

Prior to undertaking the PhD SWW DTP programme funded by the AHRC, she earned a BA in languages, with major in translation, and a MA in Modern Philology, with major in publishing, at the University for Foreigners in Siena. She has also worked for the marketing department of Mondadori. Her main research interests lie in publishing history, comparative literature, and sociology of literature.