The Feminist Encyclopedia of Italian Literature

The Feminist Encyclopedia of Italian Literature

The Feminist Encyclopedia of Italian Literature

The Feminist Encyclopedia of Italian Literature

Synopsis

Over the last 20 years, there has been an increasing interest in feminist views of the Italian literary tradition. While feminist theory and methodology have been accepted by the academic community in the U.S., the situation is very different in Italy, where such work has been done largely outside the academy. Among nonspecialists, knowledge of feminist approaches to Italian literature, and even of the existence of Italian women writers, remains scant. This reference work, the first of its kind on Italian literature, is a companion volume for all who wish to investigate Italian literary culture and writings, both by women and by men, in light of feminist theory. Included are alphabetically arranged entries for authors, schools, movements, genres and forms, figures and types, and similar topics related to Italian literature from the Middle Ages to the present. Each entry is written by an expert contributor and summarizes feminist thought on the subject. Entries provide brief bibliographies, and the volume concludes with a selected, general bibliography of major studies.

Excerpt

This feminist encyclopedia, the first one on Italian literature, is directed to the feminist scholar, the literary historian, and the general reader. It is not an encyclopedia of Italian women writers, although, of course, many writers considered here are women; it is rather a companion volume for all those who wish to investigate Italian literary culture and writings, penned by women and men, in a feminist perspective. In its comprehensive treatment of feminist themes, this volume complements Italian Women Writers, another Greenwood publication, which gathers fifty-one monographic chapters by a team of specialists on the most prominent Italian literary women from the fourteenth century to the present. In its introduction, that volume also sketches a history of women writers in Italy.

Over the last twenty years, there has been an increasing interest in feminist views of the Italian literary tradition both in Europe and in the United States. While in this country the acceptance of feminist theory and methodology by the academy is an achieved goal, in Italy studies and programs about women's writing have been sketched so far almost entirely outside the universities. A great deal of critical work in this field has been done within the small programs of Italian studies, in the departments of history and comparative literature in academic institutions outside Italy. Among the general, college-educated readers, knowledge about feminist approaches to Italian writing, and even about the existence of Italian women writers, remains scanty. This encyclopedia, with its companion volume Italian Women Writers, intends to make available for the first time to a wide public a field of intellectual endeavor that is now open only to a few specialists.

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