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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages


Professor Robert S. C. Gordon

Robert Gordon photo
Serena Professor of Italian
Faculty of Modern & Medieval Languages
Contact details: 
Telephone number: 
+44 (0)1223 335426 (College)
+44 (0)1223 337711 (Faculty)

Gonville & Caius College
Trinity Street


Robert Gordon works primarily on modern Italian literature, cinema and cultural history. He is the author or editor over a dozen volumes, including a major study of the writer and filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini (Pasolini. Forms of Subjectivity) and several books on the work of Primo Levi (e.g. Primo Levi's Ordinary Virtues, Auschwitz Report, The Cambridge Companion to Primo Levi). He has also published on the wider field of postwar cultural responses to the Holocaust, in the book The Holocaust in Italian Culture, 1944-2010, the co-edited collection Holocaust Intersections and a special issue of the journal Quest. He is co-editor of Culture, Censorship and the State in 20th-Century Italy and his work on cinema includes the book on Pasolini, the BFI Film Classics volume Bicycle Thieves, DVD and Blu-ray audio commentaries, and articles and essays on Holocaust cinema, early film and literature, 'Hollywood on the Tiber', and censorship. He is also the author of a general account of modern Italian literature, A Difficult Modernity: An Introduction to Twentieth-Century Italian Literature. He has taught at Oxford and Cambridge Universities and was elected Fellow of the British Academy in 2015.

Published works: 

Principal Publications:

2013 & A. Bangert, L. Saxton (eds). Holocaust Intersections. Genocide and Visual Culture at the New Millennium. Oxford: Legenda

2012 The Holocaust in Italian Culture, 1944-2010. Stanford: Stanford University Press

2010 ‘Sfacciata fortuna’. La Shoah e il caso / ‘Outrageous Fortune’. Luck and the Holocaust. Turin: Einaudi

2008 Bicycle Thieves. London: Palgrave / BFI Film Classics

2007 (ed.). Cambridge Companion to Primo Levi. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

2006 (ed.). Leonardo De Benedetti & Primo Levi, Auschwitz Report. London: Verso

2005 A Difficult Modernity: An Introduction to Twentieth-Century Italian Literature. London: Duckworth

2005 & G. Bonsaver (eds). Culture, Censorship and the State in Twenthieth-Century Italy. Oxford: Legenda

2001 Primo Levi’s Ordinary Virtues: From Testimony to Ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press

2000 & M. Belpoliti (eds). Primo Levi, The Voice of Memory. Interviews 1961-1987. New York: New Press

1996. Pasolini. Forms of Subjectivity. Oxford: Oxford University Press