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Dr Vera Castiglione

I am Deputy Language Director for Italian. I design, shape and coordinate language units on both the BA and the UWLP programmes.

I am also Engagement Opportunities Champion for the School of Modern Languages, leading on a number of extracurricular and community initiatives with an emphasis on intercultural communication and global citizenship.

As a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy I am a committed member of the teaching and learning scholarly community and I carry out research on intercultural projects, student engagement and critical pedagogy.

Finally, I am passionate about promoting equality and inclusion at all levels and contribute actively to the Widening Participation strategy.

Biography/ About

I was born in Trapani, Sicily, went on to study French and Spanish at the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and completed my education at the University of Bristol with a PhD in French Studies.

Whilst working on my PhD I lectured at the University of Bristol, the University of the West of England and the University of Wales Aberystwyth. I taught modules in Italian and French language as well as in Modern Italian Literature and in Nineteenth-Century French novel. After completing my PhD, I carried out academic work in the field of Comparative Literature for the University of Warwick (External examiner, Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies), the University of the West of England (Internal examiner, MA in Translation) and the academic publication 452ºF Journal of Literary Theory and Comparative Literature as Member of Advisory board. My publications in the field of Comparative Literature explored issues of Genre Theory as well as of Franco-Italian relationships in Futurism. Both strands of my research stemmed from my monograph Emilie Verhaeren. Modernisme et identité générique dans l'oeuvre poétique (L’Harmattan, Paris: 2011).

For a number of years I pursued my research in Comparative Literature alongside my passion for language teaching and taught Italian language extensively at all levels. In 2012 I was appointed Deputy Language Director in Italian at BristoI, sharing responsibility for the BA language programme and the UWLP modules of Italian.  I further developed my passion for teaching and learning scholarship and in 2016 I became Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. My main areas of interest are: student engagement, intercultural awareness and community building. Over the past five years I have led on a number of School-wide projects and in 2017 I was made Professional and Community Engagement (PACE) Champion (now Engagement Opportunity Champion) for the School of Modern Languages.


Teaching and teaching-related duties

  • Teaching Italian language to all year groups from 1st to 4th year
  • Director of Erasmus outgoing and ingoing Study programmes
  • Member of the Language Teaching Committee
  • Member of the Multimedia Centre Committee
  • Director of the Year Abroad on Stage



I carry out research in the field of student engagement, global citizenship and intercultural communication. I promote good practice and foster collaboration amongst different institutions. I co-organise the GW4-Lang colloquium, an annual conference on language teaching innovatio n in Higher Education encouraging cross-language collaboration amongst language teachers from the universities of Bristol, Bath, Cardiff and Exeter.  

In service to the wider international language teaching community, in 2017 I became honorary member of the scientific committee of XVIII Congreso internacional de la Sociedad Española de la Lengua y la Literatura.

My scholarly activity is informed by a firm belief in an evidence-based approach to teaching, self-reflection and insights from critical pedagogy.