Valerio Amoretti

Valerio Amoretti is a literary scholar who studies how reading and writing affect our mind and brain. In particular, Valerio draws from contemporary object-relations psychoanalysis to understand the role that literature and narrative play in enabling long-term psychic change and creativity. As a Presidential Scholar, Valerio explores the neural basis for these processes.

Valerio’s background includes training in both science and the humanities. After studying chemistry and training in a molecular neuroscience lab at UCL, Valerio worked for the UK’s National Health Service in clinical research and outreach. He holds graduate degrees in psychoanalytic psychology from the Anna Freud Centre and in literary studies from the University of York. Valerio received his PhD in 2019 from Columbia University's Department of English and Comparative Literature, with his dissertation focusing on the psychic work involved in reading modernist fiction.

Project Title:

The Creative Self: Autofiction, Psychoanalysis, and Neuroscience

Rita Charon
Professor and Chair of Medical Humanities and Ethics, Professor of Medicine, Columbia University

Stathis Gourgouris
Professor of Classics, Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University

Kevin Ochsner
Professor and Chair of Psychology, Columbia University

Michael Shadlen
Professor of Neuroscience, Columbia University