Theses Doctoral

Il palcoscenico della guerra di Libia. Protagonisti, retorica, nazione, 1911-1912

Nocentini, Valentina

This dissertation explores the historical representation of the Italian nation in regard to the narration of the Libyan War and its causes and implications in the consolidation of both state and society. The texts I examine were all published in contemporary newspapers and magazines, which span from 1910 to 1912, as they refer to events throughout the war.

The facts involved in and that led to the war created the first important organic affiliation between politics, finance, mass-society and mass media. I will argue that through the literary narration of this war, Italians came to terms with problematic and unresolved issues of national identity while concurrently confirming the embodied gender configurations along with the relation of the state's power over citizens to their claims of national participation. Chapter I frames the Libyan war from a political, social and economic point of view. It investigates how war was used to stimulate the Italian new capitalistic economy while balancing the new industrial concentration of power and the mass demand of welfare and participation.

Chapter II elucidates the moralistic and epistemological dimensions of the rhetoric of violence, which leads to an understanding of how the war was used to regulate and produce a collective national organism. Chapter III provides the foundation for a reflection on how men and masculinity were 'constructed' authorities and guarantor within the traditional patriarchal society and the new capitalistic system. The final chapter, then, focuses on how women reshaped their role (the crocerossina's explicit sexuality subverted a superimposed homosocial order) while still placing themselves under the hegemonic control of men. My analysis traces the figure of the mother as the driving force in the creation of this new nation. Italy's attempt to cultivate a strong nation-state instead catalyzed the formation of the fascist regime.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Leake, Elizabeth
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
May 14, 2013