This project examines the reception of Virginia Woolf in Italy and it will lead to the first multi-media comprehensive study of her reception in Italian culture. Employing an archive-based interdisciplinary approach drawing on reception studies, periodical studies, publishing history, the project will trace the waves of her reception, from Fascism to the present. To do so, it will examine the key stages of Woolf’s reception in relation to the political, cultural and institutional factors that influenced publishers and translators over the years and it will map out the publishers, translators, and cultural gate-keepers that patronised Woolf’s works in the Italian context. The project will focus on the censorship mechanisms put in place by Fascism and how Woolf translators challenged them; the circulation of Woolf works in the post-war Neorealist phase; the role her work played in the rise of the Italian feminist movements in the 1970s; and finally how, since the late 1990s, the reception of the transmedial adaptations of her work consolidated Woolf as a cultural icon in Italy. In addition to traditional scholarly outputs, this project will create a digital open-access database which will serve as a research tool for scholars, students and the lay public. Woolf’s work will be considered a litmus test for key moments of change in the Italian cultural industry. The study of Woolf’s Italian reception will, in turn, contribute to the growing scholarly interest in the reception of Anglophone Modernist writers in European literary marketplaces by embracing the recent calls to globalise the reach of Anglophone modernism and by affirming how peripheral and context-specific concerns help to reconsider the adaptability of modernist innovations and to question the idea that transfers occur in a friction-less cultural vacuum. To this end, the Italian case will offer substantive methodological concerns and empirical evidence to rethink the framework of global modernism studies.
Field of science
- /humanities/history and archaeology/history
Call for proposal
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