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Title: Passport to the dream factory : Hollywood and the exotic allure of female Italian ethnicity
Author: Palmieri, Antonella
ISNI:       0000 0004 2722 0767
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2011
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'Passport to the Dream Factory: Hollywood and the Exotic Allure of Female Italian Ethnicity' is a feminist-inflected star study which explores articulations of ethnic femininity within Hollywood cinema. It does this via a case study approach, focus sing on Italian female stars whose careers took them to the US in successive decades and who each illustrate different aspects of the perception of Italian femininity in American society. Organised chronologically, the case studies explore the work of four Italian stars - Isa Miranda in the late 1930s, Alida Valli in the late 1940s, Anna Magnani in the mid-1950s and Vima Lisi in the mid-1960s. Taken together, these case studies demonstrate the complex ways in which Hollywood made use of Italian female stars, adapting their images and in some cases remodelling them for the purposes of the period in question. I use the work of Richard Dyer in White (1997) and Stars (1998) and Diane Negra in Off-White Hollywood: American Culture and Ethnic Female Stardom (2001), drawing on a number of scholarly disciplines and methods, including star studies, feminist film studies, cultural studies, and critical race and whiteness studies. The thesis relates the narrativisations of female Italianness in popular American cinema to the expression and negotiation of gender and ethnic identities in American culture at a given time in American history and argues that Hollywood makes ideological use of ethnic femininity in a manner which responds to the particular historical context. I conclude that Hollywood's construction of the personae of the Italian film stars I discuss was ideologically fraught. Located within specific historical, political and social conditions and circumstances in which they acquired significance and meaning, the American personae of Miranda, Valli, Magnani and Lisi articulated cultural fantasies around female Italianness that were supportive of patriarchal hegemony and whiteness as the norm.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available