Discuss the problematic relationship that Italian American women writers/poets/filmmakers/performers reveal with their cultural tradition. How does this cultural tradition define women within the bounds of the domestic space and how do the women artists and writers depict and react to the domestic space and to the traditional role of woman? Discuss how the Italian American women must negotiate between the public and private spheres, between the family and the individual, between self-denial and self-affirmation. In the paper, you may also wish to consider how the cult of the Virgin (the figure of the “Madonna”), which shapes definitions of femininity in Italian American culture, has had tremendous repercussions on external perception and self-representations of women. How do the Italian American women writers/filmmakers/pop artists that we have treated in the latter part of the course respond and react to this iconic image
Helen Barolini: “How I Learned to Speak Italian” (see also interview in video “Women’s History Month”
Louise De Salvo: from “A Portrait of the Puttana as a Middle-Aged Woolf Scholar” and from “Vertigo”
Daniela Gioseffi: “Bicentennial Anti-Poem for the Italian-American Women” (see also interview in video “Women’s History Month”)
Sandra Gilbert: “Mafioso”
Madonna: “Like a Virgin” and “Like a Prayer”
Lady Gaga: “Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I can Say)”
Nancy Savoca: True Love
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