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Paola Bonifazio

Core FacultyPhD, New York University

Asociate Professor in the Department of French and Italian, College of Liberal Arts
Paola Bonifazio


  • Phone: 512-471-1561
  • Office: HRH 3.110A
  • Office Hours: TTH 12:30-2 p.m. and by appointment
  • Campus Mail Code: B6700


Italian Cinema; Film Theory and History, including Documentary and Experimental; Cultural Studies; Gender Studies


WGS 340 • Women & Post-War Italian Films

47803 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm HRH 2.112
(also listed as EUS 347, ITC 349)

This course examines the position of women in Italian culture by focusing on Italian films from the 1950s to the present. We will consider “women” both as filmmakers and as subjects of works by male filmmakers. Some of the topics that we will discuss during the semester are: gender relations in a patriarchal society, the star system and divismo, and the woman’s film as a genre. Particular attention will be given to the study of changes and continuities from the Fascist regime to the postwar period, as well as to the mixture of tradition and modernity in contemporary cinema.


Films by:

Giuseppe De Santis, Roberto Rossellini, Luchino Visconti, Michelangelo Antonioni, Raffaello Matarazzo, Vittorio Cottafavi, Liliana Cavani, Lina Wertmuller, Cristina Comencini, Francesca Comencini, Alina Marazzi, Luca Guadagnino, Gabriele Salvatores, Lorella Zanardo.



A packet of selected essays will be prepared by the instructor



Participation: 15%

Oral Presentation: 10%

Three short papers: 45%

Final Project: 30%




1. Schooling in Modernity: The Politics of Sponsored Films in Postwar Italy. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2014. Pp xvi + 305.

Awarded: Italian Scientists and Scholars of North America Foundation Award for the Humanities 2013

2. Bellina, Elena and Paola Bonifazio (eds.). State of Exception: Cultural Responses to the Rhetoric of Fear. New Castle: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2006. Pp xi + 125.

Double Blind Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

3. “Luciana Littizzetto, il postfemminismo, e la rischiosa arte di fare la scema.” Incontri: Rivista Europea di Studi Italiani 29:2 (2014). 55-65.

4. “United We Drill: ENI, Films, and the Culture of Work.” Annali d’Italianistica 32 (2014), 329-350.

5. “Documenting Work: Manuela Pellarin’s Non-Fiction Films in the Industrial Veneto.” Studies in European Cinema 8:2 (2012), 141-152.

6. “Work, Welfare, Biopolitics: Italian and American Film Propaganda in the Age of Neorealism.” The Italianist 31:2 (2011), 155-180.

7. “Feminism, Postmodernism, Intertextuality: We Want Roses Too (2007).” Literature/Film Quarterly 38:3 (2010), 171-182.

Book Chapters

8. “The Future of the Past.” Continuum Guide to Italian Cinema, edited by Joseph Luzzi. London, New York: Continuum (accepted; forthcoming) (peer-reviewed)

9. “Italian Documentary Filmmakers and the Christian Democratic Road to Hegemony.”

Creative Interventions: The Role of the Intellectual in Contemporary Italian Culture, edited by Eugenio Bolongaro, Rita Gagliano, and Mark Epstein. New Castle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2009. Pp. 46-62

10. “La bestemmia del lavoro: borgate e sottoproletariato scritti e diretti da PierPaolo Pasolini.” PierPaolo Pasolini: In Living Memory, edited by Ben Lawton and Maura Bergonzoni. Washington D.C.: New Academia Publishing, 2009. Pp. 49-70. (peer reviewed)

11. “Normalizing States of Exception: the Outskirts and Film in the Italy of the Economic Miracle.” State of Exception: Cultural Responses to the Rhetoric of Fear, edited by Elena Bellina and Paola Bonifazio. New Castle: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2006. Pp. 72-82.


12. Cox, Virginia. “Attraverso lo specchio: le petrarchiste del Cinquecento e l’eredità di Laura.”Trans. Paola Bonifazio. Petrarca, canoni, esemplarità, edited by Valeria Finucci. Rome: Bulzoni, 2006. 117-149.


13. Marco Bellocchio: The Cinematic I in the Political Sphere by Clodagh Brook. Journal of Modern Italian Studies 18:4 (2013) 559-561.

14. “Where Were You When They Kidnapped Aldo Moro?” review of Marco Baliani’s Corpo di stato, in The Body of State, translated by Nicoletta Marini-Maio, Ellen Nerenberg, and Thomas Simpson. Madison: Farleigh Dickinson Press, 2011.

15. Città nomadi: esodo e autonomia nella metropoli contemporanea by Vincenzo Binetti. Italian Culture 27.2 (2009): 146-147.


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