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Mothers of Invention

Women, Italian Facism, and Culture

1995

Robin Pickering-Iazzi, editor

Mothers of Invention

The first in-depth look at culture produced by women in Fascist Italy.

This volume is the first thorough investigation of culture produced by Italian women under Fascism (1922-1943). In literature, painting, sculpture, film, and fashion, the contributors explore the politics of invention articulated by these women as they negotiated prevailing ideologies.

Contributors: Rosalia Colombo Ascari, Fiora A. Bassanese, Maurizia Boscagli, Emily Braun, Carole C. Gallucci, Mariolina Graziosi, Clara Orban, Lucia Re, Jacqueline Reich, and Barbara Spackman.

Mothers of Invention is a fascinating study of the ‘politics of invention’ articulated by women in mass culture, political thought, and daily life during the Fascist period. In short, Robin Pickering-Iazzi’s book is an appropriately interdisciplinary study of cultural production and gender during Fascism. The book makes a significant and much-needed contribution not only to Italian studies but also to feminist theory and cultural studies/cultural history.

Italica

Mothers of Invention was first published in 1995. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

To Mussolini, she was either donna-madre, the lauded domestic model, or donna-crisi, intellectual, masculine, a degenerate type. But woman, as Mothers of Invention shows, was not a category so easily defined or contained by the Italian Fascist state. This volume is the first thorough investigation of culture produced by Italian women during Fascism (1922-1943).

In literature, painting, sculpture, film, and fashion, the contributors explore the politics of invention articulated by these women as they negotiated prevailing ideologies. Essays on women’s film spectatorship, on Anna Kuliscioff as the leading feminist in the Socialist party, on Teresa Labriola’s concept of Fascist feminism, on futurism and on Irene Brin’s reportage on female fashion and self-invention examine women in mass culture, political thought, and daily living.

Contributors: Rosalia Colombo Ascari, Sweet Briar College; Fiora A. Bassanese, U of Massachusetts, Boston; Maurizia Boscagli, U of California, Santa Barbara; Emily Braun, Hunter College, CUNY; Carole C. Gallucci; Mariolina Graziosi, U of Milan; Clara Orban, Depaul U; Lucia Re, UCLA; Jacqueline Reich, Trinity College; and Barbara Spackman, New York University.


Mothers of Invention

Robin Pickering-Iazzi is professor of Italian at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

Mothers of Invention

Mothers of Invention is a fascinating study of the ‘politics of invention’ articulated by women in mass culture, political thought, and daily life during the Fascist period. In short, Robin Pickering-Iazzi’s book is an appropriately interdisciplinary study of cultural production and gender during Fascism. The book makes a significant and much-needed contribution not only to Italian studies but also to feminist theory and cultural studies/cultural history.

Italica

Addressing the performative value of the images of female identity produced by women artists and intellectuals under the regime, Mothers of Invention situates several women’s inventive practices for negotioating, subverting, and transgressing prevailing ideologies to advance a politics of personal and collective autonomy in fascist Italy.

Canadian Review of American Studies