Dr Di Martino holds a PhD in Italian Studies from the University of Warwick. After being a Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies at the same university, she joined the Centre for Contemporary Women’s Writing (CCWW) at the Institute of Languages, Cultures and Societies (ILCS), School of Advanced Studies, University of London and the University of Leeds being a 2023 Jeffs Postdoctoral Fellow.

Her academic interests span popular culture and comics, children’s and young adults’ literature, girlhood, transnationalism, intermediality, representations of women, mothers and wet-nurses in 20th-century and contemporary literature, family novels, and she also worked on late 18th- and early 19th-century Italian poetry and the Gothic. She loves interdisciplinary research and cross-faculty collaborations.

At CBCP Dr Di Martino will lay the groundwork for a postdoctoral project entitled Girls’ Empowerment in British and Italian Popular Culture: Magazines, Comics and Strips from the 1950s to Today that investigates the making of girlhood through popular culture in a transnational perspective. By analysing a set of primary sources held at the University of Reading’s Archives and Special Collections, she intends to assess the impact that heroines and female role models (e.g. schoolgirls, nurses, witches) from comic strips and magazines, played on the making of British and Italian girls’ identities from the 1950s until today, from a comparative perspective.

Her CBCP research follows her CCWW project, Charming Witches: Role Models for Girls in Children’s Literature and Teen Comics in Contemporary Italy, which explores the ways in which magic girls, and particularly witches, represented generations of young girls in Italian literature, being the main characters of children’s books as well as comic heroines.

It also follows her research at the Brotherton Special Collection in Leeds, Exploring Transnational Girlhood in Mary Cowden Clark’s Children and Young Adults Literary Production, where she assessed the ways in which the Anglo-Italian author Mary Cowden Clark constructs exemplary characters that act as role models for children and young girls, drawing from her transnational upbringing, being of Italian origin but having grown up in England.

Visit her personal website to view her projects and works and her Academia profile to view an extended list of all her publications.

On Twitter @SimoDiMa1