Tag Archives: gender

Women and violence in Italian literature

The journal Spunti e Ricerche has published Women and Violence in Italian Literature (2018, vol.33), a special issue edited by Gregoria Manzin and Barbara Pezzotti. The nine contributions draw on examples mainly from 20th century novelists (Maraini, Albinati, Patti) but include discussions of a play (Dacia Maraini’s Passi affrettati) and poetry (the works of Margherita Guidacci). Also addressed is the place of gender violence in Federico De Roberto’s novels (I Viceré, L’imperio, Ermanno Raeli)  the portrayal of violence in religious schools in colonial Somalia by postcolonial Italo-Somali authors (Scego, Ali Farah), and  the representation of female characters in the crime fiction series by Scerbanenco, Lucarelli, and Verasani. Although the contributors don’t neglect the socio-political context of the works they analyse, their primary emphasis is mostly on the texts themselves – the narrative strategies employed, the embedding of violence in the relations between male and female protagonists, the ways in which the representations of particular acts – the delitto del Circeo, the bombing of Bologna railway station – depict the general role violence plays in everyday life. Overall, the discussions contain valuable insights into the descriptive and often deceptive powers of Italian fiction; they also push us to understand the implications – and perhaps the consequences – of literary treatments of violence better than we have been able to grasp so far.

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The new deadline for the submission of paper proposals to the international Interdisciplinary conference, INDELIBLE / INDELEBILE  – Representation in the arts of (in)visible violence against women and their resistance, supported by ACIS on 23-25 October 2019 at Flinders University in Adelaide (South Australia), is 30 March 2019 (details for submissions below). Our interdisciplinary conference aims to contribute to the ‘glocal’ conversation on the topic of gendered violence and at the same time raise awareness of the global extent of the problem by analysing ways in which both such violence and resistance to it are represented in the arts. While a key strand of the conference will concern the arts in contemporary Italy, its scope will be broad, encouraging comparison with other societies across space and time. Keynote speakers will be Dacia Maraini (accompanied by a performance of her Passi affrettati) and Sarah Wendt. We welcome papers engaging with any of the following (and associated) topics, in relation to poetry, literature, theatre, opera, music, cinema or other visual arts: Continue reading

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Italian women in Australian science

212b490a-cd51-472c-b505-0d0674ee04ddIn Italy and Australia women comprise a significant percentage of PhD graduates and early career researchers in science. However the presence of women in senior positions in universities and research institutes is low: less than 20% in Australia and less than 10% in Italy despite the fact that approximately 30% of researchers there are women. Clearly gender equality in the sciences, especially among its senior managers, is a considerable way off. On Thursday March 9 at 6.00 pm the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Sydney, Level 4, 125 York St.  will host a free event, Italian Women of Science,  at which Australian scientists of Italian origin will share their research interests and offer some insights into the career paths that they have pursued from Italy to Australia. Continue reading

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Ministro o ministra? Sindaco o sindaca?

bg_articolo_standard-1The 2016 issue of Gender/sexuality/Italy, an annual peer-reviewed journal which publishes research on gendered identities and the ways they intersect with and produce Italian politics, culture and society, is devoted to the question of language and gender. The editor, Nicoletta Marini-Maio, sets in a historical and linguistic context the issues raised by how to address the minister Maria Elena Boschi and the mayor of Rome Virginia Raggi. Other contributions include an analysis of the ways violence against women is presented in the media, the importance of gender, age and immediate context in determining variations between male and female language use, and a review of Over the Rainbow City. Towards a New LGBT Citizenship in Italy (2015) edited by Fabio Corbisiero.

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Italian Cinema: special issue of FULGOR

7fbb78_783f57d50c2240d4b0f23be547a41fbeA special issue on Italian cinema (vol. 5, issue 1, April 2016) has just been published by FULGOR, the Flinders University Languages Group Online Review. The issue, guest-edited by Luciana d’Arcangeli with support from Laura Lori and Stefano Bona, covers a wide range of topics: trends in contemporary Italian cinema (Vito Zagarrio), including the treatment of gender and socio-sexual identity (Luciana d’Arcangeli); the presence of Italians in the early history of the Australian film industry (Gino Moliterno); a comparison of the texts and sub-texts of the films made by Italian directors in China between 1957 and 2012 (Stefano Bona); an analysis of the encounters between migrant Italians and indigenous Australians in Diego Cienetiempo’s Far Away is Home. La Storia di Clely (2012) (Matteo Dutto); and an interpretation of Costanza Quatriglio’s film of Vincenzo Rabito’s autobiography Terra matta (David Moss). FULGOR is a peer-reviewed journal affiliated with the Department of Languages and Applied Linguistics, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia. Back issues can be found here.

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The Visible and the Invisible in Italian Culture

Vuw-logoThe History and Italian Programmes at Victoria University of Wellington invite papers for a two-day workshop, ‘The Visible and Invisible in Italian Culture, to be held on 8-9 July 2016.  John Foot (University of Bristol) will be the keynote speaker. The meeting aims to investigate how Italy has dealt with the ambiguities, anomalies and contradictions of its social and political life since Unification, and with how it has engaged, or failed to engage, the people at its margins. The organisers, Sally Hill and Giacomo Lichtner, welcome papers and/or panel submissions from a variety of disciplines and viewpoints, including comparative and transnational perspectives.

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Egypt, Jerusalem, Libya: Departure and Desire in Italian Women’s Writing

7e691395-4ce5-4204-a0b8-a994f7053800Patrizia Sambuco (Monash) will give a talk in English on ‘Egypt, Jerusalem, Libya: Journey through Italian Women’s Writing, 1890-1930’ at the Italian Cultural Institute, 233 Domain Road, South Yarra on Thursday 14 May at 6.30pm (admission free but reservation essential). The talk will tell the story of two Italian women writers, Matilde Serao and Pina Ballario, and the record of their encounters with people and places in the Middle East. At the beginning of the 1890s Matilde Serao was a solo traveller to Egypt and Jerusalem and published a travel book of her journey, Nel Paese di Gesù, which enjoyed extraordinary popularity. Pina Ballario, during the fascist period, wrote a successful novel, Fortuna sotto vento, set in colonial Libya. Both books represent the spirit of their time (pilgrimage and the Orient for Serao, and fascist ideology for Ballario) but have now almost faded into obscurity. Continue reading

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Italian Modernities: recent contributions

431820_cover430961_coverTwo volumes have just been published in the Italian Modernities series (Peter Lang). Eccentricity and Sameness by Charlotte Ross contests the view that female same-sex desire is virtually absent from Italian literature and cultural production in the modern era.  Focusing on texts published between 1860 and 1939, she analyses the evolution of discourses on female same-sex desire in and across a wide variety of genres: bestsellers, texts with limited distribution and subject to censorship, and translations from other languages. Her wide-ranging discussion, incoporating scientists who condemned the degenerate nature of «Sapphic» desire, erotic publications that revelled in the pleasures of female same-sex intimacy, and portrayals of homoerotic desire by female writers, opens up new approaches to the discourses of sexuality in modern Italy. The second volume, Destination Italy, edited by Emma Bond, Guido Bonsaver and Federico Falloppa, is the product of a two-year interdisciplinary research project into representations of migration to Italy which brings together contributions from migration studies, linguistics, media, literature and film studies as well as essays by practitioners and activists. The discussions of how media, literature and cinema contribute to the public perception of migrants also provide a snapshot of the ways different representations of immigration capture, and fail to capture, migrant experiences.

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Il Paroliere: Italian Word of the Week-50

22397‘Accademitudine’: neologismo di origine incerta e di significato plurimo. Si sospetta che il coniatore fosse un professore di provincia, noto come EB, che in seguito ad un ennesimo intervento stranoioso di un collega al consiglio di facoltà l’inventò per riassumere quello che lui chiamava ‘toute l’amertume de l’existence académique’. Altri lo usano in senso positivo per indicare, ad esempio, lo stato d’anima sempre giocondo di chi ogni lunedì mattina riceve un modulo di venti pagine da riempire e restituire in giornata alla segretaria del dipartimento. L’invenzione è sicuramente successiva al 1987: Concetta ci spiega il perché….

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Disfunctional Female Detectives: the Exception or the Norm?

Barbara Pezzotti   ACIS

I have recently been watching the Danish/Swedish TV series “The Bridge” which, like many other hundreds of thousands of people in the world, I am enjoying very much. However, I can’t help but being a little annoyed by the female protagonist, who, like many other fictional female detectives nowadays, is disfunctional. Actually, in “The Bridge” case, very, very disfunctional. The Swedish detective Saga, who shows an extreme lack of empathy towards colleagues, witnesses, victims and whoever is involved in her investigations and life, is in good company.

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