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Feminine Feminists

Cultural Practices in Italy

1994

Giovanna Miceli Jeffries, editor

Feminine Feminists

Concludes that the terms "feminine" and "feminist" are not mutually exclusive in Italy.

What does it mean to be a woman today in Italy, a country with the lowest birthrate in the world and the heaviest maternal stereotype? Does being a feminist exclude practices of cultural femininity? These questions are at the center of this volume, which looks at how feminism and femininity are embedded in a broad spectrum of Italian cultural practices.

The essays in this volume range from issues pertaining to women under Fascism and within the Futurist context, to specifically literary readings regarding autobiography, the theme of nurturing in women's fiction, and women's detective fiction, to fashion and cinema, to broad meditations on Italian feminist thought and practice. . . . The essays present texts, issues and theoretical takes that ultimately accumulate intertwining and sometimes oppositional resonance, making of the volume overall a genuinely dialogic enterprise.

VIA: Voices in Italian America

What does it mean to be a woman today in Italy, a country with the lowest birthrate in the world and the heaviest maternal stereotype? Does being a feminist exclude practices of cultural femininity? What are Italian women's cultural productions? These questions are at the center of this volume, which looks at how feminism and femininity are embedded in a broad spectrum of Italian cultural practices.
In recent years, several books have introduced the American public to Italian women's voices. This volume goes beyond others in its range of theoretical topics and modes, considering cultural practices not only in their popular, material appearance, but also in the disciplines and forms of knowledge that order information and circumscribe behavior.
The essays, all by well-known scholars in Italian studies, reflect the authors' specific critical interests in cinema, fashion, literary texts, feminist theory, and popular culture, past and present. Some address the culture of everyday life, while others examine feminism and feminity in the context of philosophy, ethics, or national identity within a global culture. Some begin with the conviction that performing "femininity"-whether in appearance or in nurturing practices-can be culturally liberating. Others put this notion to the critical test.
By situating the problem of femininity within the discussion of feminism, this volume takes on larger issues within feminist discourse. Its bold examination of the component of femininity within the context of women's experiences offers readers rare insight into Italian women's culture and into the multicultural possibilities of feminism.

Contributors
Beverly Allen, Syracuse University
Serena Anderlini-D'Onofrio, teacher and writer, San Diego
Lucia Chiavola Birnbaum, Stanford University
Renate Holub, University of California, Berkeley
Carol Lazzaro-Weis, Southern University
Maria Marotti, University of California, Santa Barbara
Áine O'Healy, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles
Graziella Parati, Dartmouth College
Eugenia Paulicelli, Queens College, New York
Robin Pickering-Iazzi, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Maurizio Viano, Wellesley College

Giovanna Miceli Jeffries is a lecturer in the department of French and Italian at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Feminine Feminists

Giovanna Miceli Jeffries is a lecturer in the department of French and Italian at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Feminine Feminists

The essays in this volume range from issues pertaining to women under Fascism and within the Futurist context, to specifically literary readings regarding autobiography, the theme of nurturing in women's fiction, and women's detective fiction, to fashion and cinema, to broad meditations on Italian feminist thought and practice. . . . The essays present texts, issues and theoretical takes that ultimately accumulate intertwining and sometimes oppositional resonance, making of the volume overall a genuinely dialogic enterprise.

VIA: Voices in Italian America