Proposed edited volume and call for essays: Cinematic Journeys of Italian Women Directors

The project outlined in the following announcement does not form part of the “A New Italian Political Cinema?” initiative, but we are pleased to publicize it within this blog.



The publication of Off Screen Women and Film in Italy, edited by Giuliana Bruno and Maria Nadotti (Routledge, 1988); The Women’s Companion to International Film, edited by Annette Kuhn and Susannah Radstone (Virago Press, 1990); and Dizionario delle registe. L’altra metà  del cinema, by Tiziano Sossi (Gremese Editore, 2000), marks the beginning of international academic interest in Italian women filmmakers.  Following these works, articles and chapters have appeared in journals and edited volumes, and monographic books on the most prominent women directors have been published, thus recognizing the contribution of these artists to the history of Italian cinema.

Contemporary feature, documentary, short, and art films represent several trajectories of cinema, whose lines at times become more and more permeable. Such blurred boundaries inspire new aesthetic styles and more engaging stories. The recurrent hybridization of narratives and perspectives leads Italian women directors to pioneer unchartered territories, and to be at the forefront of efforts to produce militant national and trans-national cinema.  Their art is no longer ‘un cinema altro,’ as viewed in the Seventies and Eighties, but it expresses a uniquely creative and dynamic ‘alterità’ within the Italian cinema industry.  Italian women filmmakers set their narratives in a milieu of national and diasporic identities, post-national contexts, and trans-cultural transformations.  They also weave together private spheres and public events, revisit historical wounds, explore contemporary realities, and assemble these elements as the tiles of a socio-political and inter-cultural mosaic, while creating a montage of artistic document s and testimonies.

This announcement seeks written contributions on Italian women directors with expertise in different cinematic forms: feature, documentary, short, and art films.  The editor welcomes essays with a theoretical, critical, and textual analysis of thematic and stylistic features in individual directors. Proposals should focus on one director’s body of work. The editor seeks contributions on a wide range of filmmakers and in particular on Francesca Archibugi, Wilma Labate, and Giovanna Gagliardo.

Interested contributors should contact Flavia Laviosa in the first instance, to ascertain whether potential proposals on specific directors are compatible with the aims of the project and with the proposals already received;

Subsequently, a 500-word abstract (in English), with filmography and bibliography, as well as a 200-word bio should be submitted to Flavia Laviosa:

Only proposals from faculty, from colleagues who have demonstrated conspicuous excellence in publishing on cinema, and specifically on Italian cinema, will be considered.  Proposals of essays already accepted / published (partially or completely) in other collections or academic journals, should not be submitted as they will not be considered.  Contributions will be reviewed by external readers, and publication of the edited volume will be pursued with a major publisher.

Flavia Laviosa is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Italian Studies at Wellesley College. Her research interests are in Italian cinema and specifically Italian women directors. She is the editor of Visions of Struggle in Women’s Filmmaking in the Mediterranean (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010).

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