Posts under tag: queerness
On Thursday Nov. 16th Prof. Renga (Chair of Italian and French at Ohio State University) will give a lecture on the forced exile of several homosexual inmates during fascism as represented and memorialized in a number of Italian documentaries and fiction films.
Nov. 16th (5pm)
In 2003, multi-term ex-prime minister of Italy Silvio Berlusconi stated: ‘I understand the difficulties of teaching democracy to a people who for nearly forty years have known only dictatorship.’ Interviewer Nicholas Farrell prompted: ‘Like Italy at the fall of Fascism.’ To this, Berlusconi infamously declared ‘That was a much more benign dictatorship; Mussolini did not murder anyone. Mussolini sent people on holidays to confine them to banishment to small islands such as Ponza or Maddalena which are now exclusive resorts.’ The promotion of internal exile (‘confino’) as holiday is particularly interesting when considering the experience of men sent to the islands for suspicion of ‘pederasty’ (as it was referred to at the time). As this talk discusses, gay men found a certain amount of freedom on an island prison where conditions were grim, barracks were overcrowded, illness was rampant, jobs were unavailable, and the average stipend was only four lire per day. At the same time, the experience of gay men sent into internal exile is cloaked in silence. The lecture interrogates this silence by looking at two feature films, three documentaries, and a graphic novel that treat, to different degrees, the experiences of gay men sent into internal exile.
Prof. Sergio Rigoletto has published an essay titled ‘Against the Telelological Preseumption: Notes on Queer Visibility in Contemporary Italian Film’ in The Italianist 37: 2, 2017. The essay is concerned with some of the problems involved in the task of narrating the queer self. At a time in which positive queer representations have become increasingly common in Italian cinema and other media, it is worth asking what conditions underpin the present regime of queer visibility and what alternative queer experiences have been either obscured or marginalized. The first half of the essay explores the recent popularity of the coming out narrative in the Italian context. The essay asks what epistemological assumptions underlie the metaphor of coming out and how such assumptions have come to affect the terms under which queerness appears now visible in Italian cinema and other media. The second section of the essay focuses on several recent Italian documentaries including La bocca del lupo (Marcello: 2009), Felice chi è diverso (Amelio: 2013) and Le coccinelle. Sceneggiata transessuale (Pirelli: 2011). The essay shows the complex ways in which these films deploy their dissident strategies of queer self-revelation and configurations of social legibility.
Le coccinelle. Transsexual Melodrama (Pirelli: 2011)
Kevin Regan-Maglione wins CAS fellowship to research collection of Reinaldo Arenas Papers at Princeton University Library
Kevin Regan-Maglione, a 4th-year doctoral candidate in Italian and Spanish in the Department of Romance Languages, received the Charles A. Reed Fellowship from UO College of Arts and Sciences to do archival research for his dissertation, which focuses on queer subjectivities and prison testimonies.
This fellowship will fund his research during the Spring 2018 term at the Princeton University Library, where its Manuscript Division holds the Reinaldo Arenas Papers, a collection that consists of typescripts and manuscripts of novels and novellas, short stories, plays and screenplays, poetry, nonfiction, correspondence, and miscellaneous material, produced by the Cuban author.
Kevin is also interested in the author’s 135 letters to Jorge and Margarita Camacho, also held there. Kevin expects these materials will provide invaluable insight into Arenas’ conceptualization of his autobiographical testimonial writing. The second chapter of Kevin’s dissertation deconstructs the testimonial drive and show how queerness operates within and against normative testimonial prison writing.