Elena Agazzi graduated in Philosophy in 1985 at the University of Pavia and in Foreign Languages and Literatures in 1989 at the same University. In 1992 she started her teaching activity as Associate Professor of German Studies at the University of Bergamo. Since 2002 she is Full Professor at the University of Bergamo. She was Visiting Professor at the University of Mannheim (Germany) and she periodically gave lectures at the University of Göttingen (Germany). She was awarded research scholarships by DAAD in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Berlin (1988-1989), by the Schiller-Archiv in Marbach (1990), by the Herzog August-Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel (1997). Since 1996 she is Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung; thanks to the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung she obtained research scholarships at the University of Würzburg (six months in 1996; three months in 1998) and in Berlin (two three-monthly research stays in 2000, 2002, and 2009).
Between 2006 and 2007 she coordinated a research Unity of Bergamo University for the European Thematic Network ACUME (General research Director Prof. Vita Fortunati, University of Bologna) on the following topic: Cultural Memory in European Conuntries. Since 2008 she is coordinator of a research Unity of Bergamo University for the European Thematic Network ACUME2 (General research Director Prof. Vita Fortunati, University of Bologna) on the topic Interfacing Science, Literature and the Humanities, focusing on the "Paradigm of Light in the European Literatures, Visual Culture, and Sciences". Since march 2008 she coordinates with Prof. Dr. Erhard Schütz (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) the "Vigoni Projekt" - two-year research program financed by MIUR (Italian Ministry of Research), DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst and the "Ateneo Italo-Tedesco" - on the topic 1945-1961. Kultur im Wiederaufbau-Wiederaufbau der Kultur in fiktionaler Literatur, Sachbuch und Film. Member oft he scientific committee of the Società Italiana di Studi per il secolo XVIII and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für die Erforschung des 18. Jahrhundert. Member of Mitgliederversammlung of Villa Vigoni. Italian-German Center of Loveno di Menaggio. Member of the Winckelmann- and Broch-Gesellschaft. Member of the Italian Humboldt Kolleg italiano and the Società Italiana di Germanistica (AIG). Member of the Schiller-Gesellschaft (Marbacher Archiv). Member of the scientific committee of the reviews Germanistik, Comparative, Neoclassico, and Dintorni.
Her research interests include classical-romantic and contemporary German literature as well literature relationship with figurative arts and science from XVIII to XX century. She translated works by Fr. Schlegel, Goethe, Döblin, Benn, Aichinger. Her publications include Il prisma di Goethe. Letteratura e scienza nell'età classico-romantica (Neaples: Guida, 1996), Il corpo conteso. Rito e gestualità nella Germania del Settecento (Milano: Jaca Book, 2000), La memoria ritrovata. Tre generazioni di scrittori tedeschi e la coscienza inquieta di fine Novecento (Milan: Bruno Mondadori, 2003) which was also published in Germany by Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht in 2005. She edited with Eva Kocziszky Der fragile Körper. Zwischen Fragmentierung und Ganzheitsanspruch (Göttingen, V&R Unipress, 2005) and with Vita Fortunati Memoria e saperi. Percorsi transdisciplinari (Rome: Meltemi, 2007). Her last published book are La grammatica del silenzio di W.G. Sebald (Rome: Artemide, 2007) and W.G. Sebald: in difesa dell'uomo (Florence: Le Lettere, 2012).