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[Commlist] CFP special issue of the Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies: F. Fellini

Sun Mar 10 14:48:30 GMT 2019

*Call for papers*


*Special Issue of the Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies*


*With hat and red scarf**. *

*The building of Federico Fellini’s public image***


*Guest-edited by Clizia Centorrino, Marco Dalla Gassa, Andrea Minuz*

The centenary of the birth of director Federico Fellini in 2020 invites a unique opportunity to reassess his contribution to the history of Italian culture from new perspectives.

Withhis monumental film production, which has been extensively studied—at least from/La dolce vita/forward—the Riminese director gradually seeped into Italy’s daily life. While his films have sparked lively debates since he first became popular in the 1950s, less attention has been devoted to the process that has led many scholars to consider him the emblematic figure of the film artist, both as a major character in the cultural history of Italy and as the symbol of what is quintessentially ‘Italian’.

Unlike other Italian directors, Fellini became a newsworthy and publicized figure beginning in the 1960s. He contributed to the creation of an ‘elusive’ image of himself (Hodsdon 2017) both through the construction of several cinematic alter-egos and through unmistakable appearances with his hat and red scarf in documentaries, feature films, illustrated news magazines, press and TV reports, and other forms of media. Equally, he emerged as a staunch defender of certain political and cultural struggles, such as those against television commercials or against Berlusconi (who was still an editor at that time). Additionally, he became an object of scrutiny and discussion for journalists, critics, cinephiles, colleagues, and biographers searching for an openly hagiographical definition of the threshold of the Italian artistic tradition.

Earlier theoretical contributions have thoroughly assessed the concept of ‘author’. Had Mikhail Bakhtin studied Fellini as an aesthetic and narrative object, he might have introduced him as a case study in/Author and Hero in Aesthetic Activity/to highlight the reciprocal nature between his creative acts and his activism on the public scene (Bakhtin 1920-23). Michel Foucault, on the other hand, would have praised the discursive feature “characterized by […] plurality of egos” (Foucault 1969). Roland Barthes, for his linguistic sensibility, might have asked how Fellini influenced even common vocabulary such as the transformation of his name into an adjective as well as other words such as ‘dolcevita’, ‘amarcord’, and ‘vitelloni’ (Barthes 1967-68).

However, from our point of view, it becomes essential to consider Fellini from a social and historical angle, calling upon cultural and social disciplinesto furnish new analytical perspectives— measuring the impact of his personality on today’s and yesterday’s Italy, and on the Italian identity abroad. For example, Fellini was keen on creating a public image of himself both as a ‘magician’ and as a country bumpkin, playing with a combination of two Italian stereotypes: the creative artist (the ‘maestro’) and, by a sort of ‘reverse patriotism’, a heap of irredeemable flaws (Patriarca 2010). In short, the creation of his reputation is a crucial case study of how an ‘artist’ is socially constructed and of the cultural forces that influence his public image (Kapsis 1992).

This angle unlocks promising and abundant research possibilities: the idea of masculinity offered by Fellini’s voice and body (his/acousmatic/force, as Chion [1999] would say, is flagrant); the fashion in which his cumbersome presence has transformed urban spaces, such as Rimini, a film library dedicated to him, the Cinecittà theme park, Rome, and the EUR district. Moreover, contributions to this special issue can discuss the exoteric vein in Fellini’s life experiences as often illustrated in magazines and news outlets; the numerous parodies of which he is the unconscious victim; the proliferation of commercial activity using the names of his films (here, too, are-semanticizedlexicon); and the way in which his wife, and his collaborators, friends, and colleagues evoke him in biographies, interviews, public statements (Giulietta Masina, Marcello Mastroianni, Vincenzo Mollica, Tullio Kezich, Milo Manara).

Overall, the broad and innovative perspective described in this call for papers pursues the goal of rediscovering the aspects that contributed to Fellini’s mythification and integration into the sphere of Italian public speech.If we can believe Morin when he says Fellini “is more than an actor incarnating characters, [since] he incarnates himself in them, and they become incarnate in him,” (Morin 1961) is it then possible to study Fellini as a character//divo/ in the film of social history and Italian culture in the last half century? If the articles composing this single-issue journal confirm that proposition, may one consider Fellinian heritage as the ability to inhabit social spaces, the ability to be inscribed in the (Italian) public sphere but in flesh, bones, and other phantasmal forms?

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

1.Fellini as an actor (in his films, in others’ films and in documentaries;

2.The embodiment of Fellini: voice and body of the ‘maestro’ on the radio, in his films and the question of dubbing his voice;

3.The mediatized Fellini on television, the radio, and in magazines: for example, the relation between Fellini and reporter Mollica in RAI programs; Fellini in feminist magazines; Fellini in daily newspapers in Italy and abroad; the ceremony at Cinecittà following Fellini’s death and its representation; and Fellini in contemporary art;

4.Fellini recounted and invented (by his wife Giulietta Masina, his collaborators and actors;

5.Fellini and public spaces: transformations in Rimini and Cinecittà, ‘Fellinian’ commercial activities in the world and cinema tourism;

6.Fellini’s image abroad: the mythification of the director from a particular perspective (be it American, European);

7.The illustrated Fellini: comics, graphic novels;

8.The photographed Fellini: themes, motifs, poses; the construction of a visual semiotic through famous photographs, in magazines devoted to him;

9.The Fellinian lexicon and its re-semantization: ‘Fellinian’ as an adjective.

The deadline for the submission of abstracts is 15^th  April 2019.

Interested contributors should send:

-500 word abstracts outlining the topic, approach and theoretical bases

-relevant bibliography and filmography

-200 word biographical notes (including academic publications)

to the three Guest Editors:

Clizia Centorrino, Université Grenoble Alpes

Marco Dalla Gassa, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice

Andrea Minuz, Sapienza University of Rome

at the following addresses:

(clizia.centorrino /at/ <mailto:(clizia.centorrino /at/>

(dallagas /at/ <mailto:(dallagas /at/>

(andrea.minuz /at/ <mailto:(andrea.minuz /at/>

*The accepted proposals will be notified by 30^th April 2019; completed articles should be sent by 31^st  July 2019 for peer-review; authors will be notified of the results of the peer-review by 15^th  October 2019.*


Bakhtin, Mikhail Mikhailovich, “Author and hero in aesthetic activity”, 1920-23, Eng. trans. in Bakhtin, Mikhail Mikhailovich, /Art and Answerability/, ed. by M. Holquist and V.V. Liapunov, Austin 1990.

Barthes, Roland, “The Death of the Author”, /Aspen Magazine/, n° 5/6, 1967.

Bondanella, Peter, /The Films of Federico Fellini/, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, New York, 2002.

Burke, Frank, Waller, Marguerite R. (edited by), /Federico Fellini: Contemporary Perspectives/, University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 2002.

Burke, Frank; Waller, Marguerite; Gubareva Marita (edited by), /Wiley Blackwell Companion to Federico Fellini/, forthcoming in 2019.

Chion, Michel, /The Voice in Cinema/, Columbia University Press, New York, 1999.

Dyer, Richard, /Stars/, British Film Institute, London, 1979.

Fellini, Federico, /Making a film/, Contra Mundum Press, New York, 2015.

Foucault, Michel, “What is an author?” in Preziosi, Donald (edited by), /The art of art history: a critical anthology/, Oxford University Press, 1998, pp. 299-314.

Hodsdon, Barrett, /The Elusive Auteur: The Question of Film Authorship Throughout the Age of Cinema/, McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, Jefferson, North Carolina, 2017.//

Kapsis, Robert E., /Hitchcock: the making of a reputation/, Univ. of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1992.

Marcus, Millicent, /After Fellini: National Cinema in the Postmodern Age/, JHU Press, 2002.

Morin, Edgar, /The stars. An Account of the Star-System in Motion Pictures/, Grove Press, New York, 1961.

Patriarca, Silvana, /Italian Vices: Nation and Character from the Risorgimento to the Republic/, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2010.

Stubbs, John C., /Federico Fellini as Auteur: Seven Aspects of His Films/, Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale, 2015.*Call for papers*

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