I am a scholar, writer, and public speaker with expertise in contemporary literature and culture. Below you can read more about me and find a short CV.

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Dr Diletta De Cristofaro

A picture of Dr Diletta De Cristofaro

I am a scholar, based between Northumbria University in the UK and Politecnico di Milano in Italy, and a culture writer.

I write cultural criticism, both scholarly and for a general audience. I’m particularly interested in fiction, non-fiction, film, TV, and digital culture responding to twenty-first-century anxieties and crises. My research considers what stories about real or perceived crises tell us about our society, our sense of self, and of time. My essays and criticism have appeared in publications ranging from SalonThe Week, RTÉ, The Conversation, and Post45 Contemporaries, to ParallaxASAP/JCritique, and boundary 2 online.

I am also a public speaker and contribute to literary and science festivals, such as Durham Book Festival, the European Researchers Night, and the Being Human Festival. 

I am an expert in the apocalyptic imagination. My book on the topic, The Contemporary Post-Apocalyptic Novel: Critical Temporalities and the End Times, is out with Bloomsbury. In this book, reviewed as “a landmark study of 21st century fiction” and “a theoretical tour de force”, I offer a critical model for our cultural obsession with the end by focussing on the significance of time in the 21st-century post-apocalyptic novel. 

Currently, I am the Principal Investigator of “Writing the Sleep Crisis”, a research project funded by the Wellcome Trust and the European Commission. In this project, which I am developing into a book, I explore representations of sleep in contemporary culture and the so-called sleep crisis, namely, today’s presumed widespread sleep deprivation. 

My research has been supported by the Wellcome Trust (Research Fellowship in Humanities and Social Science and Research Enrichment – Public Engagement), the European Commission (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship and Erasmus Mundus), the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin (Alfred A. and Blanche W. Knopf Research Fellowship in the Humanities), and a Vice-Chancellor’s Research Excellence EU Scholarship at the University of Nottingham. I have held research and teaching positions at a number of universities in the UK and Italy – see the list of my academic appointments below.

I co-founded Contemporary Studies Network and, since 2018, I have been part of the Executive Committee of the British Association for Contemporary Literary Studies – at present, I serve as the Association’s communications and website administrator. 

I am available to speak and write about my areas of expertise.

Dr Diletta De Cristofaro




FHEA (Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, UK)


PhD in American Studies

University of Nottingham, UK


Laurea Magistrale (MPhil) in Philosophy

Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy, with an Erasmus year at Paris IV Sorbonne, France


Laurea Triennale (BA Hons) in Philosophy

Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy

Academic Appointments

7/2020 – present

Wellcome Trust Research Fellow

Department of Humanities, Northumbria University, UK

9/2021 – present (on leave since 9/2022)

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellow

META (Social Sciences and Humanities for Science and Technology), Politecnico di Milano, Italy

9/2017 – 6/2020

Teaching Fellow in Contemporary Literature

School of English, Drama and Creative Studies, University of Birmingham, UK

1/2017 – 8/2017

Lecturer in English

School of Humanities, De Montfort University Leicester, UK

8/2016 – 12/2016

Teaching Fellow in British Studies

Harlaxton College, UK (the British Campus of the University of Evansville)

1/2016 – 6/2016

Associate Lecturer

School of English and Journalism, University of Lincoln, UK

1/2014 – 6/2016

Teaching Affiliate

Department of American and Canadian Studies, University of Nottingham, UK

Visiting Positions


Research Fellow

Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin, USA


Visiting Research Fellow

Centre for the Humanities, Utrecht University, the Netherlands