This book is the first scholarly analysis that considers the specificity of situated experiences of the maternal from a variety of theoretical perspectives. From "Fertility Day" to "Family Day," the concept of motherhood has been at the center of the public debate in contemporary Italy, partly in response to the perceived crisis of the family, the economic crisis, and the crisis of national identity, provoked by the forces of globalization and migration, secularization, and the instability of labor markets. Through essays by an international cohort of established and emerging scholars, this volume aims to read these shifts in cinematic terms. How does Italian cinema represent, negotiate, and elaborate changing definitions of motherhood in narrative, formal, and stylistic terms? The essays in this volume focus on the figures of working mothers, women who opt for a child-free adulthood, single mothers, ambivalent mothers, lost mothers, or imperfect mothers, who populate contemporary screen narratives.
Giovanna Faleschini Lerner is Associate Professor of Italian at Franklin & Marshall College, USA. She is the author of The Painter as Writer: Carlo Levi's Visual Poetics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) and has published numerous articles and book chapters on twentieth-century and contemporary Italian literature and film.
Maria Elena D'Amelio is Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of the Republic of San Marino, San Marino. She is the author of Ercole, il divo (2012), and has published extensively on genre cinema, stardom, and film history.
Introduction: Italian Motherhood on Screen. Maria Elena D'Amelio and Giovanna Faleschini Lerner.- 2: In the Name of the Mother. Marcia Landy.- 3: Maternal Ambivalence in Contemporary Italian Cinema. Bernadette Luciano and Susanna Scarparo.- 4: 'A Bad Mother and a Small Heap of Bones:' Claudia Karagoz.- 5: Rich Wives, Poor Mothers: Giorgio Galbussera.- 6: Mothers at a Loss: Francesco Pascuzzi.- 7: Acquaintance with Grief: Stefania Benini.- 8: Francesca Comencini's Single Moms and Italian Family Law. Letizia Bellocchio.- 9: Gy-neology and Genealogy of a Female Filmmaker. Silvia Carlorosi .- 10: Unnatural Child Birth: Millicent Marcus.- 11: Liquid Maternity in Italian Migration Cinema. Giovanna Faleschini Lerner.- 12: Voicing Italian Childfree Women on New Media: Giusy Di Filippo.- 13: Motherhood 2.0: Maria Elena D'Amelio .- Appendix. Motherhood on Screen: A Film Catalog from 1945 to the Present: Gina Mangravite,Maria Elena D'Amelio, Giovanna Faleschini Lerner.- Index.