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Introduction by Simone Brioni, Stony Brook University

Migration Studies and Queer Studies - Sole Anatron, Independent Scholar

“Migrating While Queer: Italy and the Myth of the Liberal West” 

The 2008 film Corazones de mujer tells the story of two women on a road trip from Italy to Morocco. Zina, a young woman of North African descent, raised in a Muslim community in Turin, is to be married to a man of her parents’ choosing. Shakira, a transwoman from Morocco, works as a seamstress in Turin and has been selected to prepare Zina’s wedding clothes. It is Shakira who comes to Zina’s aid, proposing a road trip to Casablanca where Zina can visit a surgeon who will “restore” her hymen, “farla tornare kilometro zero,” as Shakira puts it. Corazones de mujer highlights the perils and possibilities of queer migrations, and complicates the idea of the West as a safe-haven for queer bodies.

Television Studies and Queer Studies - Julia Heim, Baruch College

“ “As long as you're normal”: LGBTQ Representation on Mainstream Italian Television” 

The contemporary climate surrounding LGBT rights in Italy is fraught at best. On the one hand civil unions have been legalized for same sex couples, on the other hand, right wing and church groups are leading movements to attempt to legally enforce the heterosexuality of Italian families and perpetuate fear about the dangers of gender variance. The recent socio-political see-sawing surrounding LGBT rights not only carry over to the television industry but are indeed in part created by and through the Italian media. This talk looks into contemporary depictions of LGBT people on mainstream Italian television. Identifying the most common trends, we may start to map out the limitations of minority acceptance, and better understand the social and cultural consequences at stake for the people these representations allege to represent. 

Translation Studies and Queer Studies - Serena Bassi, Yale University

“Queer Translanguagers VS Gender-Inclusive Language: The Gender Pronoun Debate and the Autonomist Queer Movement in the Long 1970s in Italy”

In this talk, Bassi looks at pamphlets, posters and slogans by the Marxist Autonomist queer collectives Coordinamento Omosessuali della Sinistra Rivoluzionaria (Network of Homosexuals of the Revolutionary Left) from Turin and the Collettivo Frocialista (Faggottarian Collective) from Bologna. Both collectives were part of a larger Italian ‘youth proletarian’ movement in the 1970s, which originally and poignantly rethought the intersections between gender, sexuality and class. In their writings, the two queer collectives also experimented with language and gender in ways that simultaneously challenged heteronormativity, cisnormativity and dominant ‘language ideologies’. For this reason, she proposes that we turn to this queer political archive for what it may contribute to contemporary Anglophone debates on gender pronouns and the creation of more inclusive languages.  

Respondent:  Mary Jo Bona Chair, Womens Gender and Sexulaity Studies, Stony Brook Univeristy

Q&A Session


Sole Anatrone Sole Anatrone has a PhD in Italian Studies and Women and Gender Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. Her teaching and research interests include: modern and contemporary Italian literature, film studies, language pedagogy, gender, queer, migration and race theory, postcolonial studies, and Mediterranean studies. She is also a translator of fiction, journalism and professional publications, and is an organizing member of the Queer Studies Caucus of the American Association of Italian Studies, the Queer Faculty Research Collective at Wesleyan University, and a co-founder of Asterisk, the LGBTQIA+ diversity and inclusivity taskforce. racism
  Julia Heim Julia Heim has a PhD in Comparative Literature from the CUNY Graduate Center in New York. She is a professor of Italian Studies and Media Studies, a communications fellow at Baruch College, and a translator of queer theory, art criticism, and the children’s book series, Geronimo Stilton. She is the co-founder and an organizing member of the Queer Studies Caucus of the American Association of Italian Studies, and a Co-Investigator for the AHRC funded network QuIR [The Queer Italia Network]. Her own scholarship focuses on LGBTQIA+ representation in Italian media.  
  Serena Bassi  

Serena Bassi is Postdoctoral Associate at the Yale Translation Initiative at Yale University. She obtained her PhD in Italian Studies from the University of Warwick (2014). She was research fellow at the Warwick Institute for Advanced Studies and Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at Cardiff University. Her research focuses on contemporary Italian literature and cultural studies, translation theory, translation history, LGBTQ history and queer studies. Her first book, Mistranslating Minority: Queer World-Making in Italy after 1968, traces the travel from the United States into Italy of theories of “sexual identity politics” at the end of the social movement era.