Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Queer(ing) gender in contemporary Italian women's writing : Maraini, Sapienza, Morante
Author: Morelli, Maria
ISNI:       0000 0004 6424 8195
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 2017
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
In this thesis I propose a queer reading of the works of three contemporary Italian women writers, Dacia Maraini (1936—), Goliarda Sapienza (1924-1996) and Elsa Morante (1912- 1985), published between the 1970s and 1980s. This timeframe coincides with the height of the Italian pensiero della differenza sessuale, emphasising the socially constructed nature of ‘woman’ and advocating a new symbolic order, with a focus on the redefinition of female identity. Yet, the texts that I examine for my study are not, or not just, feminist manifestoes. Despite sharing many feminist concerns, they also go beyond the dominant theoretical paradigms of the day and venture a step further into the exploration of alternative discourses that challenge taken-for-granted relations between biological sex, gender and sexual desire as fixed patterns for identity formation, thereby problematising the notion of ‘identity’ itself. As such, they appear in tune with more recent formulations arising from a new field of critical theory first elaborated in the North-American context in the early 1990s and now referred to as ‘queer theory’. Used as a framework for my analysis, queer theory will help us understand the critical attitude that Maraini, Sapienza and Morante upheld towards the cultural and philosophical positions of their time, while also suggesting new ways of (re)reading their works nowadays. My thesis will demonstrate that, despite not always sharing the same ideological agendas, these authors manifest a marked unease towards the binary logic implicit to the categories of ‘man’ and ‘woman’, positing these as cultural performances and espousing a queer distrust towards identitarian anchorings.
Supervisor: Spunta, Marina ; Storchi, Simona Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available