Pia Schwarz Lausten

Pia Schwarz Lausten

Associate Professor

I am currently involved in different research projects:

Pinocchio International (edited volume organized by Università per stranieri di Perugia, UNISER Pistoia and Fondazione nazionale Carlo Collodi to celebrate 140 years of Pinocchio) to which I have contributed with an article on the reception of Pinocchio in Denmark analyzing three different translations.

Revival of traumatic pasts: Transnational Histories of Colonization and right-wing dictatorships in Contemporary German and Italian literature.  A research project invented in collaboration with my colleagues Jessica Ortner and Georg Wink on postcolonial literature in Italian and German Literature. We have applied for a grant at the Danish Research Council (DFF).

 Images of Islam and the Turks in Early Modern Italian Literature 1453-1571 - a book manuscript (c. 450 pages) in which I investigate representations of Islam and the Turks in four different literary genres: Travel literature, Short stories, Ottava rima, and epic poems. 

Primary fields of research

Primary fields of research

My two core research fields are:

Contemporary Italian Narrative

  • mainly focusing on migration literature and postcolonialism for the time being but also Elena Ferrante

14th-16th Century Italian Literature

  • focusing on the representations of Islam, Arabs and especially Turks in Italian Literature (historiographical, narrative, epic literature) and on the influence of Arabic narrative tradition on Early Modern Italian literature (Dante, Boccaccio)


Current research

Currently, I am working on a book project with the working title: Image of Islam and Turks in Early Modern Italian Literature (15th-16th c.) containing analyses of works within romance epic, novelle, historiographical works, ottava rima, sonnets and tragedies.


I participate in research groups within both of two abovementioned fields:

I am a member of the collective research project Islam in European Literature (funded by Danish Research Council, PI Peter Madsen, IKK) since 2007.

I am participating with papers and publications in the ENGEROM research group on Literary Topology (PI Carsten Meiner) since 2016.

I am applying for funding to realize a research project on Migrant Children in Contemporary Italian Media and Narrative (2018).

Research related activities

Conference papers at international conferences on Contemporary Italian Literature and on Renaissance Literature; invited speaker at Ohio State University (on Tabucchi); ; main organizer of numerous national and international seminars on Italian Literature; numerous invited talks to Italian Gymnasium Teachers and ‘Folkeuniversitet’ in Copenhagen, Aarhus, Odense and Aalborg about issues within Contemporary Italian Literature; invited talks on Elena Ferrante e.g. at Informations Forlag and ‘Folkeuniversitetet’; Danish correspondent for Bibliografia generale di lingua e letteratura italiana (BIGLLI), Salerno Editrice, Roma, regarding literature.



At BA-level I teach courses on Italian Literature from all periods 14th-21th c. as well as more thematic courses on e.g. Primo Levi, Elena Ferrante, Amara Lakhous, Leonardo Sciascia applying different theoretical approaches and concepts. I also coordinate and teach specific courses on the Italian Renaissance and on European Renaissance in relation to the Islamic world.


At MA-level I teach courses on authors and themes such as Islam in Dante and Boccaccio, Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron, Antonio Tabucchi’s works, Sicilian Literature, Contemporary Italian Crime Fiction (e.g. Lucarelli, Carlotto, Carofiglio, Verasani), Migration Literature and Postcolonialism (e.g. Pap Khouma, Amara Lakhous, Igiaba Scego, Laila Wadia), Elena Ferrante’s L’amica geniale.



I supervise BA theses, MA dissertations and PhD dissertations within all aspects of Italian literature including literary theories, and broader issues within Italian culture and society.

Office hours: Monday 14:30-15:30

ID: 9163