Female Cultural Production in Modern Italy: Literature, Art and Intellectual History (Palgrave MacMillan, 2023).
AUR's Professor Cathy Ramsey-Portolano has released a rich new publication featuring 26 essays by scholars from the US, Canada, the UK, and Europe.
In addition to editing the volume, together with art historian Sharon Hecker, Portolano co-wrote the chapter “New Perspectives on the Roles of Women in Italy’s Modern Intellectual History.”
This book is the first critical interdisciplinary examination in English of Italian women’s contributions to intellectual, artistic, and cultural production in modern Italy. Examining commonalities and diversities from the country’s Unification to today, the volume provides insight into the challenges that Italian women engaged in cultural production have faced, and the strategies they have deployed in order to achieve their objectives.
The essays address a range of issues, from women’s self-identification and public ownership of their professional roles as laborers in the intellectual and cultural realm, to questions about motherhood and financial remuneration, to the role of creative foreign women in Italy. Through critical analysis and direct testimony from new and typically marginalized voices, including an Arab-Italian writer, an Italian-Dominican filmmaker, and a transgender activist, new forms of ongoing struggle emerge that redefine the culturally diverse landscape of female intellectual and creative production in Italy today. The volume rethinks a solely national “Made in Italy” reading of the subject of female intellectual labor, demonstrating instead the wide network of influences and relationships that have existed for Italian women in their professional aspirations.
Catherine Ramsey-Portolano is Associate Professor and Director of the Italian Studies Program at The American University of Rome, Italy. Her publications include Nineteenth-Century Italian Women Writers and the Woman Question (2020), Performing Bodies: Female Illness in Italian Literature and Cinema (2017), The Future of Italian Teaching: Media, New Technologies and Multi-Disciplinary Perspectives (2015), and The Italianist special issue Rethinking Neera (2010), co-edited with Katharine Mitchell.
Sharon Hecker is an Independent Art Historian and Curator specializing in modern and contemporary Italian art. Her publications include A Moment’s Monument: Medardo Rosso and the International Origins of Modern Sculpture (2017), Postwar Italian Art History: Untying ‘The Knot’ (2018), and Curating Fascism: Exhibitions and Memory from the Fall of Mussolini to Today (2022). She is Editor of the Visual Cultures and Italian Contexts Series for Bloomsbury Visual Arts.
Female Cultural Production in Modern Italy: Literature, Art and Intellectual History is available in hardback and ebook format from Palgrave MacMillan.