School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

Chiara Pellegrini

Chiara Pellegrini

PhD student in Literature


Supervisors: Dr Stacy Gillis, Dr Lars Iyer

Research Project

Transforming Trans Forms: Gender-variant Subjectivity and First-person Narration

My thesis argues for the ‘gender-variant’ narrator as a key figure in contemporary literature. I examine first-person narratives from the past five decades in a range of genres (memoir, autofiction, literary fiction, science fiction) that explore gender identities that are other than binary or fixed. The purposes and impacts of these narratives varies according to their different engagement with feminist, queer and trans theory and activism. These differences can be ultimately read in the formal choices (uses of temporality, pronouns, metaphors, focalisation, etc.) of the texts representing gender-variant narrators. Throughout the thesis, I aim to establish a methodology at the intersection of studies of narrative form and studies of trans and non-binary gender identity.

Research Interests

Contemporary literature and culture, film and television studies, narrative theory, queer theory, trans studies, continental philosophy, psychoanalysis.

Research Activities


Pellegrini, Chiara. ‘The I in Trans Genre: An interview with Juliet Jacques’. Transgender Studies Quarterly (forthcoming 2020)
--- ‘Adaptation as Queer Touching in The Safety of Objects: between Absence and Presence, between Texts’, Queer/Adaptation, edited by Pamela Demory. Palgrave, 2019.
---. ‘Posttranssexual Temporalities: Negotiating Canonical Memoir Narratives in Kate Bornstein’s Gender Outlaw and Juliet Jacques’ Trans’, a/b: Auto/Biography Studies, vol. 34, no.1, 2019, pp.45-65.


  • July 2019 ‘Concealed Knowledges, Controlled Exposures: Fictionalizing Intersex Narration in Jeffrey Eugenides’ Middlesex and Wesley Stace’s Misfortune’, Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Intersex, University of Lincoln
  • July 2019 ‘“You Treat All of Mankind as your Woman”: Human Masculinities and Alien Non-binary Genders in Feminist Science Fiction of the 1970s and 80s’, Historicising Masculinities, Newcastle University
  • Oct 2018 ‘Time for a Change: Radical Challenges to Narrative Form in Contemporary Gender-variant Life Writing’, Imagine Queer: The Radical Potential of Queerness Now, Newcastle University
  • Jun 2018 ‘Time for a Change: Embodied Social Temporalities and Trans Life Narratives’, The Social Life of Time: Power, Discrimination and Transformation, University of Edinburgh
  • Mar 2017 ‘Reading Gender-Variant First Person Narrators and the Ethics of Authorship’, Storying the Self: a Symposium, University of Brighton
  • Nov 2016 ‘Creating a Narratological Framework for Gender-Fluid Narrators’, Centre for the Study of Women and Gender, Warwick University


April 2020 Feminist, Queer, Trans: New Directions for the Study of Narrative - Newcastle University

Sept 2017 Anonymity Unmasked: Identity, Agency, Responsibility (co-organiser) - Newcastle University

Other Activities

Co-chair Postgraduate Culture Group (2018/19 and 2019/20)
Chair SELLL Postgraduate Student/Staff Committee (2019/20)

Academic Background

MA in Philosophy and Contemporary Critical Theory - Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy (Kingston University). Thesis: ‘Reading between Application and Implication: Lacan, Derrida and Literature.’

BA in English Literature with Linguistics - University of Westminster