Queering Italian American Media

Ed. collection, 15. January 2021.

Call for Chapters: Queering Italian American Media

We are excited to inform you of our forthcoming edited volume Queering Italian American Media.

At the turn of the 20th century Italian American emigration to the United States coincided with the birth of the cinematic industry and soon these new Americans became integral both behind and on screen. Since then the representation of Italian American identity continues to be shaped by modern American media in Hollywood as well as in music, theater and literary scenes. Within this mediatic landscape certain archetypal tropes, such as the hypermachismo of the blue collar greaser, the antintellectualism of the GTL Guido and the heteronormative mafia family model, seem to dominate in ways that are really reductive and potentially harmful. The list of Italian Americans participating in media discourse generally includes household names like Lady Gaga, Martin Scorcese, Jennifer Aniston, Robert De Niro, Ariana Grande, Alyssa Milano and Kobe Bryant, but beyond these names is a plurivocality that includes LGBTQIA+ Italian Americans who have historically been omitted or misrepresented in the dominant culture. Authors like Tommi Avicolli Mecca and playwrights like Annie Lanzillotto, performers such as Rudolph Valentino, and filmmakers including Mikki del Monico work within art and through media, actively making space for other Italian American embodiments and experiences. While scholars like Anthony Tamburri and Michael Carosone have worked to shed scholarly legitimacy and visibility on these culture-makers, the topic deserves further and continued attention. This volume seeks to bring together scholarly research that focuses on LGBTQIA+ Italian American representation within the American context. We welcome works that employ historic, media studies, literary, anthropological, sociological, theatrical, and cinematic approaches to the topic.

Contributors might consider but are not limited to the following:

-  a historical look at LGBTQIA+ representation in Italian-American theater or cinema;
-  the body politic of effeminate Italians in early American cinema;
-  Italian-Americans media representation in the American sexual liberation movement;
-  social media and the LGBT Italian American experience;
-  queering Italian American sexuality on television;
-  Guido as gay culture;
-  queer subjects in Italian/American transnational quality TV;
-  queer and Italian-American subjects or discourses in literature;
-  Italian American gender play in the music scene;
-  Italian American LGBTQIA+ voices in memoir, poetry and expressive textuality.

Please send abstracts of no more than 500 words to sanatrone@vassar.edu or heimj@sas.upenn.edu by Jan 15th, 2021. Collaborative proposals are welcome. Please include “Siamo tutt* Guido” in the subject line.

Tentative project timeline:
Notification of acceptance: Feb 1st, 2021
Complete chapter submission: April 30th, 2021
Chapter revisions: July 1st, 2021


Julia Heim and Sole Anatrone