Dr Paolo Gervasi

Marie Curie Research Fellow

Location Graduate Center 6.07

Email: p.gervasi@qmul.ac.uk

I work as a Marie Curie Fellow on the project Misshaping by Words. Literary Caricature Between Texts, Images and Mental Models, addressing the meaning of caricature in literary texts from both an historical and cognitive perspective. I graduated and obtained my Phd in Italian Literature at the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, where I also was a Research Fellow at the CTL Lab, working on the ERC project Looking at Words Through Images.


My current research builds on two transdisciplinary axes: the relationships  between literary texts and visual arts, and the convergence between neurocognitive studies and literary representations of the human beeing. Previously, I was involved in a digital humanities project analysing the interactions between texts and images in the Renaissance illustrated book, while my Phd thesis addressed the hybridisation of literature and criticism within the tradition of the essay, particularly focusing on the 20th Century Italian context.


My main research interests concern:

  • history of literary criticism in relation with publishing and book history
  • relationships between the transformation of the media system and literary forms
  • Cognitive poetics and the study of literature through the insights of mind sciences
  • Digital humanities, with a particular focus on the representation of the interrelations between visual and literary cultures


  • La forma dell’eresia. Giacomo Debenedetti 1922-1934: storia di un inizio (Ets, 2012)
  • “La cognizione di Priapo. Procedimenti caricaturali in Eros e Priapo di Carlo Emilio Gadda”Chi ride ultimo. Parodia satira umorismi, Eds. E. Abignente, F. Cattani, F. de Cristofaro, G. Maffei, U.M. Olivieri, Between, VI.12 (2016)
  • “Plot of Meanings. Ludovico Ariosto’s Orlando furioso as a Case Study on Narrativity and Cognition”, Reti Saperi Linguaggi. Italian Journal of Cognitive Sciences, 8.4, 2 (2015)

Editorial Positions 

I am member of the editorial board of the publishing house Mediaevo – luca sossella editore

Appearances in the media

I collaborate with the online magazine Doppiozero, mainly writing about the cultural impact of neurosciences.