Description : This is the first comprehensive study of the remarkably rich tradition of women’s writing that flourished in Italy between the fifteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Virginia Cox documents this tradition and both explains its character and scope and offers a new hypothesis on the reasons for its emergence and decline. Cox combines fresh scholarship with a revisionist argument that overturns existing historical paradigms for the chronology of early modern Italian women’s writing and questions the historiographical commonplace that the tradition was brought to an end by the Counter Reformation. Using a comparative analysis of women's activities as artists, musicians, composers, and actresses, Cox locates women's writing in its broader contexts and considers how gender reflects and reinvents conventional narratives of literary change.
Description : Despite the range and high quality of their work, Italian women writers have received scant attention from critics, in Italy or elsewhere. All too often, their contributions have gone unrecognized. This collection demonstrates the importance of these writers to the literary world and seeks to bring them the critical attention they deserve. Twelve scholars and literary critics examine some of the best prose produced in recent years by Italian women in a variety of genres, including fiction, journalism, and biography.
Description : Women's writing in Italy from Unification to the present day, examining the lives and works of women writers within the context of Italian history, culture and politics. The changing face of Italian social and political life since Unification has greatly affected the position of women in Italy. This work explores the relation between the changing role of women over this period, then struggle for social and political emancipation and equality, and the search by women writers to a personal and authentic literary voice.
Description : "This important work, effectively presenting a wealth of new material, is suitable for all Italian literature and women's studies collections." ARBA
Description : This volume investigates the ways in which Italian women writers, filmmakers, and performers have represented female identity across genres from the immediate post-World War II period to the turn of the twenty-first century. Considering genres such as prose, poetry, drama, and film, these essays examine the vision of female agency and self-actualization arising from women artists’ critique of female identity. This dual approach reveals unique interpretations of womanhood in Italy spanning more than fifty years, while also providing a deep investigation of the manipulation of canvases historically centered on the male subject. With its unique coupling of generic and thematic concerns, the volume contributes to the ever expanding female artistic legacy, and to our understanding of postwar Italian women’s evolving relationship to the narration of history, gender roles, and these artists’ use and revision of generic convention to communicate their vision.
Description : A collection of stories by Italian women authors once widely read then lost to view in Italy under fascist rule during the 1920s and 30s
Description : Post-Unification Italy saw an unprecedented rise of the middle classes, an expansion in the production of print culture, and increased access to education and professions for women, particularly in urban areas. Although there was still widespread illiteracy, especially among women in both rural and urban areas, there emerged a generation of women writers whose domestic fiction and journalism addressed a growing female readership. This study looks at the work of three of the most significant women writers of the period: La Marchesa Colombi, Neera, and Matilde Serao. These writers, whose works had been largely forgotten for much of the last century, only to be rediscovered by the Italian feminist movement of the 1970s, were widely read and received considerable critical acclaim in their day. In their realist fiction and journalism, these professional women writers documented and brought to light the ways in which women participated in everyday life in the newly independent Italy, and how their experiences differed profoundly from those of men. Katharine Mitchell shows how these three authors, while hardly radical emancipationists, offered late-nineteenth-century readers an implicit feminist intervention and a legitimate means of approaching and engaging with the burning social and political issues of the day regarding “the woman question” – women’s access to education and the professions, legal rights, and suffrage. Through close examinations of these authors and a selection of their works – and with reference to their broader artistic, socio-historical, and geo-political contexts – Mitchell not only draws attention to their authentic representations of contemporary social and historical realities, but also considers their important role as a cultural medium and catalyst for social change.
Description : During the Italian Renaissance, dozens of early modern writers published collections of private correspondence, using them as vehicles for self-presentation, self-promotion, social critique, and religious dissent. Writing Gender in Women's Letter Collections of the Italian Renaissance examines the letter collections of women writers, arguing that these works were a studied performance of pervasive ideas about gender as well as genre, a form of self-fashioning that variously reflected, manipulated, and subverted cultural and literary conventions regarding femininity and masculinity. Meredith K. Ray presents letter collections from authors of diverse backgrounds, including a noblewoman, a courtesan, an actress, a nun, and a male writer who composed letters under female pseudonyms. Ray's study includes extensive new archival research and highlights a widespread interest in women's letter collections during the Italian Renaissance that suggests a deep curiosity about the female experience and a surprising openness to women's participation in this kind of literary production.