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Andrea Carboni

Research Postgraduate

Research Postgraduate in the Department of English Studies


I am a PhD candidate in English literature, working on coming-of-age fiction, ecocriticism, and queer studies, under the supervision of Prof Barry Sheils and Dr Joshua Pugh. My research is funded by AHRC through the Northern Bridge Consortium.

Current Research

My doctoral project focusses on the queering effects of eco-melancholia in post-45 and contemporary coming-of-age literature in America. Particularly, I am interested in literary representations of lives shaped by the interrelated forces of heteronormative oppression and resource exploitation.

My dissertation considers depictions of youthful rebellion and human growth when the environment has become a space of irretrievable expenditure and loss. I ask how grief might help us imagine alternatives to narratives of growth and adulthood. Drawing together strands of queer theory and the environmental humanities that focus on the melancholic refusal to accept ecological degradation, my project reconceptualises coming-of-age literature, addressing it to problems of political resistance and adolescent mental health.

About Me

Originally from Bologna, I earned a BA and an MA (both cum laude) in Classics and English from Ca’ Foscari University of Venice.

During my MA, I spent nine months as a visiting research student at Sorbonne-Nouvelle University of Paris. I then decided to prolong my stay in Paris and completed an MRes (with distinction) in Critical Theory and American Literature at the same institution. I also attended Harvard Summer School and the Summer Institute of Psychoanalysis and Politics (Northwestern/Sorbonne-Nouvelle Universities).

My Venetian dissertations explored J.D. Salinger’s usage of classical imagery and the representation of natural spaces in American and European literature, whereas my MRes dissertation focussed on the evolution of the coming-of-age genre in American literature.

Prior to my doctoral studies, I worked as a researcher in publishing and as a teaching assistant at the Sorbonne, where I taught English literature, critical theory, and cinema. Additionally, I produced a radio programme on J.D. Salinger and a podcast about queer literature.

At Durham, I am also one of the convenors of the Centre for Culture and Ecology Reading Group.


I welcome any enquiries about my research or the CCE Reading Group.

Research interests

  • Coming-of-age literature
  • Post-45 and contemporary American fiction
  • Eco-criticism
  • Queer theory
  • Degrowth and post-growth
  • Medical-environmental humanities
  • Psychoanalysis