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About Dr Chiara Alfano

Dr Chiara Alfano is an Associate Professor in English and Education and the Director of Undergraduate Studies. She has a BA from the University of Oxford, and a MA and PhD from the University of Sussex. She was an IASH postdoctoral fellow at the University of Edinburgh and a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at Kingston University London. She joined Northeastern University London in 2019.


PhD in Critical Theory, University of Sussex
MA in Critical Theory (Merit), University of Sussex
MA in English and Modern Languages (Italian) (Distinction), University of Oxford


Dr Chiara Alfano's Research

Chiara is a theorist and comparatist specialising in the intersections between literature, philosophy, and psychoanalysis. She is particularly interested in 20th and 21st-century literature, Shakespeare, Ordinary Language Philosophy, deconstruction, feminism, and in the British Independent Group of psychoanalysts. Her work has tackled themes including the relationship between literature and philosophy, the role of sound and music in philosophical thinking, and the significance of narratives around infancy, early childhood, and instruction in contemporary thought.

Chiara is passionate about HE education with a special focus on teaching writing, interdisciplinary and experiential approaches to education (for example applying design thinking to writing), and instructional and assessment design. Chiara enjoys few things more than talking teaching and assessments with her colleagues. In both her own teaching practice and her work as Director of Undergraduate Studies, Chiara continually draws on her research expertise to consider the moment of teaching and learning holistically.


Derrida Reads Shakespeare. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2020.
Desire in Ashes: Deconstruction, Psychoanalysis and Philosophy. Eds. Simon Morgan Wortham and Chiara Alfano. London: Bloomsbury, 2015.


“No less poetry than thought – on Werner Hamacher’s ‘Philology’,” Angelaki. 23.5 (September 2018): 60-76

“Towards an Ordinary Language Psychoanalysis: On Skepticism and Infancy,” New Literary History. 49.1 (April 2018): 23-45.

“A Scarred Tympanum,” Conversations: The Journal of Cavellian Studies.1.1 (December 2013): 19-38.

“Strange Frequencies: Reading Hamlet with Derrida and Nancy,” Derrida Today, Special Issue: Where Ghosts Live 5.2 (November 2012): 214-231.

“Porpentine,” The Oxford Literary Review, 34.1 (July 2012): 109–122.

“Freud’s Cadence: Taking Chances with Julius Caesar,” Mosaic, Freud After Derrida Special Issue (Part II), 44.4 (2011): 63-78.

Book Chapters

“The King is Dead. Long Live the King.” Desire in Ashes: Deconstruction, Psychoanalysis and Philosophy. Eds. Simon Morgan Wortham and Chiara Alfano. London: Bloomsbury (2015):161-98.

“Parenthesising Cracks into the Ground of Philosophy: The Textuality of Stanley Cavell’s Philosophical Writing.” Philosophy and Literature and the Crisis of Metaphysics. Ed. Sebastian Hüsch. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann (2011): 256-70.

Dr Chiara Alfano's Teaching

Chiara designed “First-Year Writing Studio” and “Global Writers Studio.” In the past, she taught on critical and cultural theory, Shakespeare, 20th and 21st Century literature, as well as on Kingston’s MA in Literature and Philosophy.