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Arianna Dagnino

Arianna Dagnino

Photo: Arianna Dagnino

I am the author of the post-apartheid novel The Afrikaner (Guernica Editions, April 2019), inspired by the five years I spent in the southern African region as an international reporter. The story is an on-the-road adventure that covers the terrain of love, race and science under the African sky.  Also in audiobook format

In everyday life I am an academic lecturer, independent writer and literary translator. I change hats frequently and this suits me well: I never get bored.

In the last twenty-five years I have built a diversified cultural and professional experience across many borders and five continents. I was born and raised in Liguria, Italy by the sea; later on, I lived in London (1983), Moscow (1984-1985), Boston (1986-1987), Johannesburg (1997-2000), Melbourne (2009) and Adelaide (2010-2013). I travelled across China, along the Silk Route, and in the Middle East. In 2013 I moved to Vancouver and became a proud citizen of Canada. World literature, transcultural practices (in particular, translation), and global mobility are my main areas of interest and research, but I have always kept alive my true passions: creative writing and creative reading.

I have published several books on the socio-cultural impact of globalization and digital technologies. Among them: I nuovi nomadi (New Nomads, 1996): a contribution to the definition of the concept of neonomadism in existential and socio-cultural terms; Uoma. La fine dei sessi (Wo/Man Machine. The End of Genders, 2000): an exploration of the social and ethical implications of the hybridization of gender roles and  the growing interdependence between humans and machines; and Jesus Christ Cyberstar. At the Origins of the Internet (2009): a pamphlet on the birth of the World Wide Web and its emerging (but, eventually, disavowed) values of equality, transparency and fairness.

After having obtained a PhD in Comparative Literature (with a focus on Creative Writing and World Literature) at the University of South Australia, in 2013 I relocated with my husband and children to Vancouver.

I am a sessional lecturer in Italian Studies and Film Adaptation at the University of British Columbia (Department of French, Hispanic and Italian Studies) and have been a SSHCR postdoctoral recipient at the University of Ottawa (School of Translation and Interpretation), where I conducted research on bilingual writers who self-translate from romance languages (I'm fluent in French and can speak and read Spanish) into English and vice versa.

My book Transcultural Writers and Novels in the Age of Global Mobility (Purdue UP, 2015) consists of a creative nonfiction piece, which I self-translated from Italian into English, and a critical exegesis on transnational flows, transcultural writing, identity and cultural translation.

Seaborn Eyes is my collections of poems dedicated to sealovers and lovesick seafarers.



The Afrikaner. A Novel. Guernica Editions, 2019
Jesus Christ Cyberstar. Ipoc, 2009
Uoma. La fine dei sessi. Mursia, 2000
Transcultural Writers and Novels in the Age of Global Mobility. Purdue University Press, 2015


SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2017-2019
High Degree Research-Australian Postgraduate Award , 2010-2014
Vice Chancellor & President’s Scholarship-University of South Australia, 2010-2014
Eligible for National Public Readings Program:


Presentation Description

Arianna teaches Creative Writing at the University of British Coloumbia. She is available across Canada for public readings of her writing, and she is willing to talk about the writing process, work-in-progress and (self-)translation process. She welcomes opportunities to meet with elementary, secondary, college and university students. She especially enjoys meeting with writing groups and bookclub groups. Check her website here:

Participatory presentations and workshops include topics such as:

  • The Art of Storytelling: Key points and tips to make your story compelling and your characters realistic in novels, graphic novels and film scripts.


  •  Finding Your Voice: Whether you want to write the story of your family, a memoir, a short story, a novel, an essay or an op-ed, the most important thing is to find your voice, that is, to move the focus of your writing from “aspiration” to “inspiration”.

• Food and Travel Writing:
The key subjects covered include:
• Researching your subject (secrets and skills)
• Developing your writing style and how to make your story different
• Selecting the best subject matter for publication 
• Keeping a food or travel journal/the power of observation
• Travel writing for the internet and how to blog profitably

Writing Creative Nonfiction:
The key subjects covered include:
• What is creative nonfiction? What is not?
• Where to start? How to structure a writing project
• Working on a sample and pitching yourwork

• Bilingual writing and self-translation
The key subjects covered include:
• Using bilingualism as a creative tool
• The beauty of “stereoscopic” vision
• Why, when and how to self-translate 

Presentation Length:
60 minutes
Adult fiction, nonfiction (creative nonfiction, travel writing, essay writing, journalism)
Audience Size: