Dr Maria Morelli is a scholar on women’s writing. She is a member of the Interdisciplinary Gender and Sexuality Research Cluster based at the De Montfort University, Leicester, and acts as Expert Evaluator for the European Commission. From 2018 to 2021 she was Marie Curie Research Fellow in Modern Italian Studies at the University of Milan, where she taught classes on women’s theatre and feminist philosophy. She has taught Italian literature and language at the University of Kent and the University of Leicester, and at Wheaton College (USA). Her research interests are in gender, sexuality and embodiment in modern and contemporary Italian literature and theatre, on which she has published several articles and book chapters. She has co-edited the volume Women and the Public Sphere (Troubador, 2017) and published the edited collection Il teatro cambia genere (Mimesis, 2019). Her monograph, Queer(ing) Gender in Italian Women’s Writing (2021) was the winner of the Peter Lang Competition in Italian Studies 2017 and is featured in the Italian Modernities book series of Peter Lang Oxford Publishing. During her stay at ILCS, she will focus on the post-colonial literatures of Italy and Portugal. By applying interdisciplinary and gender focus perspectives, her research project will engage with a comparative textual analysis around three thematic streams that in turn encompass key realms in women's postcolonial writings in dealing with issues of: home/homelessness and relationally; gender and racial identity; self-narratives of bodily and/or spatial exile. Taking into account the inextricability of the gender/race nexus, the project returns cultural agency to the postcolonial female writing subject, acknowledging the latter's role in actively shaping the literary and cultural norm in a way that challenges monolithic notions of gendered identity, Europe and Europeanness.