DWF 99 Confini (in)valicabili – Abstract

Public and private in women’s autobiographical writings – Francesca Bernardini

Any archive, especially when his/her author has carefully preserved and ordered it as a whole or partially, is the projection of the author’s image and the construction of an identity. It also guarantees the survival of the author’s in time and leaves to posterity his/her work. The strict distinction between intellectual / professional and personal life is a characteristic of men’s archives, in which typically private emerges indirectly and marginally, mainly in family correspondence, as happens for Enrico Falqui, Gherardo Marone, Vito Riviello. On the contrary, in women’s archives the link between intellectual activity and private story is generally very narrow, so that this two dimensions come together and are complementary one to the other. If in the archives of Enrico Falqui, Carlo Bernari, Vito Riviello, Giuliano Manacorda, notebooks are used for preparatory notes or drafts of essays or creative works, or bibliographies, in women’s archives – for instance in the ones of Gianna Manzini and Paola Masino – notebooks contain materials of various kinds, linked to professional and private, even intimate, life.

Persephone’s Daughters Edvige Giunta

Blending personal and scholarly narratives, this essay explores how Italian-American women authors use the myth of Persephone in their contemporary narratives. These authors use the myth not to make educated allusions, but to reflect on issues of class and gender, cultural robbery, and cultural reclamation in immigrant culture. These authors both reclaim and transgressively rewrite the myth of Persephone to articulate experiences that, while rooted in history, sink into the depth of a dormant yet powerful ancestral memory.

Border videos: crossings between reality, visions and visualizations – Domitilla Olivieri

The article explores borders from two points of view: as geo-political, material places, and as metaphorical and critical spaces. Taking Europlex, a video-essay by Ursula Biemann, as a starting point and deploying an interdisciplinary analysis through the lenses of visual studies, postcolonial and gender studies, the paper articulates how these liminal spaces are constructed by and inscribed on the bodies of those who traverse them. Additionally, the relations between geo-political and performative, symbolic and material, subjectivity and technology are addressed; thus pointing at the complexities as well as at the feminist potential of thinking through borders.

Processes of normativitation of bodies and sexual policy: white privilege, assimilation and borders regime – Tiziana Mancinelli

Through the lens of homonationalism, this paper sketches out tensions in the evolution of European identity over the past decade. This period has seen the emergence of starkly contrasting discourses and practices in the realms of gay rights and gender equality as a symbol of Western civilisation and modernity; and the simultaneous rise of Islamophobic and anti-immigration sentiment and policy. The article argues that European identity as pluralistic community is contingent on a process of Othering, both internally, and in relation to non-Member States. Whilst concepts such as gay marriage have been incorporated into the dominant image of a liberal Europe, paradoxically, that same image is built on the exclusivity of borders, sexualities and race.

On «Feeling Bad»: some thoughts on Trauma, Migration and National IdentitySara Gvero

This article examines the role of traumatic experiences in shaping the meaning of nationality for marginal subjects. Drawing on the analytical tools developed by Affect Theory, it considers the way in which national identity comes to be shaped through negative emotions, whereby the reality of the nation is lived as a site of painful experiences, both personal and collective. The article argues that the break-up of the former Yugoslavia engendered a process of negotiation of ethnicity and nationality that largely relied on such “bad” feelings. This process can be understood as political to the extent that it reworked the boundaries between the public and the private sphere, resulting in the elaboration of everyday strategies of resistance against nationalist power.