TitleWritings of resistance
NameLevy, Deena Ruth (author), Leake, Elizabeth (chair), Gambarota, Paola (internal member), Baldi, Andrea (internal member), Marcus, Millicent (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, Italian,
World War, 1939-1945--Underground movements--Italy
DescriptionThis dissertation explores the autobiographical writings of three women who participated in the Italian Resistance (1943-1945) during World War II, and whose narratives were written between 1943 and 2000. The narratives considered in detail are: Ragazza
partigiana (written in 1946 and published in1974) and Bortolina. Storia di una donna (1996) by Elsa Oliva, Diario partigiano (written between 1943-1945, revisited/revised from 1950 until its publication in 1956) by Ada Gobetti, and Con cuore di donna (2000) by Carla Capponi. I analyze the methods of and motivations behind their varied methods of self-fashioning. In particular, I articulate how these women fashion, create, and negotiate their own identity for themselves and with respect and in response to a greater national audience that has often misrepresented or not represented their wartime experiences. Such a practice then allows them to contribute to the construction of a national identity and national memory in which their individual experiences are accounted for.
In executing my analysis, I draw from numerous historical sources (Bravo, Bruzzone, Saba, Alloisio, Beltrami, Pavone, Portelli) to contextualize the narratives, as it is imperative to understand the socio-historic, and cultural environment from which these
narratives are generated. In addition to socio-historic considerations, I also approach these texts, to varying degrees, through the use of autobiographical (Bernstock, Friedman, Jelinek, Mason), psychological (Gilligan), and sociological (Rowbotham, Chodorow) theoretical material relating to women to illuminate the ways in which these narratives conform with, differ from, or exemplify noted trends of women’s self representation and to help interpret the narrative choices made by the authors. I also avail myself briefly of Italian feminist difference theory (Muraro and Cavarero). My focus throughout, however, is always on the narratives themselves.
I ultimately argue that these writings are both inspired by Resistance participation and that for each writer, they are a form of continued resistance to gender based societal assumptions and/or personal historical legacy. That is, while it was their involvement in the Resistance movement that is the basis for the production of these narratives, each author uses her narration of these events to further resist easy or popular categorization of her experiences.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references (p. 164-174)
Noteby Deena Ruth Levy
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.