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[Commlist] International Conference: Mina. The voice of Silence: Presence and Absence of a Pop Icon

Thu Oct 17 21:38:32 GMT 2019


International Conference

Organized by Giulia Muggeo, Gabriele Rigola, Jacopo Tomatis

Università degli Studi di Torino

March 23-24 2020

Organizing committee
DAMS, CRAD (Actor and Star Studies Center), Sylvia Scarlett Gender Media Lab of the University of Turin, in collaboration with the University of Genoa, University of Pavia – branch of Cremona, RAI Teche, Museo Nazionale del Cinema of Turin

Scientific committee
Claudio Bisoni (Università di Bologna), Lucia Cardone (Università di Sassari), Giulia Carluccio (Università di Torino), Franco Fabbri (Università di Milano), Luca Malavasi (Università di Genova), Elena Mosconi (Università di Pavia), Mariapaola Pierini (Università di Torino), Alessandro Pontremoli (Università di Torino), Stefania Rimini (Università di Catania), Maria Rizzarelli (Università di Catania), Lucio Spaziante (Università di Bologna), Paola Valentini (Università di Firenze)

Keynote speakers: Franco Fabbri (Università di Milano), Paola Valentini (Università di Firenze)

Call for Papers
Mina’s body – with its presence and absence – crosses the last sixty years of Italian history. Starting from her debut as an urlatrice on the 1950s television show Il Musichiere, and in the Italian musicarelli movies between 1959 and 1960, up to her “physical” farewell in 1978 and her latest “virtual” appearances, Mina stands out as one of the most powerful Italian pop icon. During her entire career, Mina was able to establish herself as a key figure of Italian popular culture, but also as a cult artist, paving the way in Italy for an American-inspired sophisticated song (Fabbri 2008, p. 113). Yet, there are many more Minas: the TV icon of the 1960s, the reassuring presence (and voice) of the Carosello commercials, the independent woman blamed by the media, the record producer, the columnist... Mina thus represents a unique figure, encompassing different fields of study; her uniqueness seems to challenge the usual research paradigms, and possibly contributed in discouraging scholars: despite Mina’s recognized cultural relevance, a specialized bibliography can be hard to find. Among the few academic contributions, we can remember those of Paolo Prato (2014), Rachel Haworth (2017; 2018a; 2018a; 2018b; 2019), Lucio Spaziante (2016) and Franco Fabbri (2017); Franco Fabbri himself, with Luigi Pestalozza (1998), edited the only collection on the subject, with articles by Roberto Favaro, Maurizio Franco, Mauro De Luigi, Giovanna Marini and Edoardo Sanguineti among the others. As for the rest, Mina has been incidentally analyzed in the few ample works available on Italian popular music (Fabbri 2008; Prato 2010; Tomatis 2019). At the same time, systematic studies on Mina, both in Italy and abroad, on the role she has played in the history of the Italian mass media system and in the general context of visual culture are almost nonexistent; only few contributions have offered a perspective on this issue, connecting Mina’s figure with celebrity and performance studies (Acca 2011; Mosconi 2014; Valentini 2017). The study of Mina’s figure in an intermedial perspective can thus provide a contribution to the understanding of the specificities of different media – from the popular press to television – and their history in Italy; and to the comprehension of social and cultural changes in fashion, habits, and the very idea of show business and entertainment in Italian cultural industry.

This international conference on Mina and her image – in the year of her 80th birthday, sixty years (or a little more) from her debut – is part of CRAD’s and Sylvia Scarlett Gender Media Lab’s activities at the University of Torino. As demonstrated by past events and conferences, among the goals of both organizations is to support an intermedial, transdisciplinary approach, encompassing the studies on visual culture and cinema with sound studies, popular music studies, gender studies, media studies, cultural history and semiotics.

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

- Presence/absence/disappearance of Mina’s body: resistance/persistence of the star and of her voice - Mina’s body and image changes in relation to cultural changes: from Baby Gate the urlatrice to the “sophisticated” television presenter, up to Mina’s present image

- Mina as a television star: the performer and the TV host
- Mina on screen: musicarelli, soundtracks, songs re-used by cinema and contemporary tv series (from Pedro Almodóvar to Master of None)
- Mina live and on record
-  Mina and the dance
-  Collaborations and duets through the years, from Adriano Celentano to Alex Britti and Fabrizio De André
-  Mina and her authors: Augusto Martelli, Massimiliano Pani, etc.
-  Mina, jazz music, Brazilian music

- Style, fashion, iconicity: from television’s costumes to the stereotypes of Mina’s contemporary image - Mina and the visual culture: Mina as a pop icon, from popular press to album covers and videoclips - Mina and the advertising: commercial value of Mina’s image and voice (from Carosello to Barilla and Tim ads) -  Transfigurations and experimentations around Mina’s body: animation, digital image, self-representation -  Mina’s writings: from Liberal to La Stampa, to the reader’s column in Vanity Fair

- Mina’s reception in Italy: gossip and stardom
- Mina’s international reception
- Mina in popular culture
- Re-writing Mina: from interviews to biographies
- Fandom practices: fan clubs, social networks, tributes and more (Vogue’s Forever Mina, etc.). - Imitations and the satire on Mina, from Loretta Goggi (Tale e quale) to Lucia Ocone a Ennio Marchetto

- Mina and the feminine models in Italy, from the 1950s until the present day
- Mina as a queer icon

Acca, Fabio (a cura di) 2011, «Performing pop», Prove di drammaturgia, XVII, 1 Bennett, James 2010, Television Personalities. Stardom and the Small Screen, Routledge, London Bisoni, Claudio 2005, «Cinema a 45 giri», in Giacomo Manzoli, Guglielmo Pescatore (a cura di), L’arte del risparmio: stile e tecnologia. Il cinema a basso costo in Italia dal dopoguerra agli anni Settanta, Carocci, Roma
Fabbri, Franco 2008, Around the Clock, Utet, Torino
Fabbri, Franco 2017, «Il cielo in una stanza», in L’ascolto tabù. Le musiche nello scontro globale, il Saggiatore, Milano, pp. 181‐198 [prima versione in Fabbri e Pestalozza 1998, pp. 23-40) Fabbri, Franco e Pestalozza, Luigi (a cura di) 1998, Mina. Una Forza Incantatrice, Euresis, Milano Haworth, Rachel 2015, «Making a Star on the Small Screen: The Case of Mina and RAI», Journal of Italian Cinema & Media Studies, 3(1-2), pp. 27-41 Haworth, Rachel 2017, «Scandal, Motherhood and Mina in 1960s Italy», Modern Italy 22(3), pp. 248-258 Haworth, Rachel 2018a «Scandal as Medium of the Celebritization Process: Exploring the “Mina as Mother” Image in the Context of Post-War Italian Culture», Mediascapes Journal 11, pp. 29-41 Haworth, Rachel 2018b, «Mina as Transnational Popular Music Star in the Early 1960s», Modern Languages Open 1, pp. 1-16 Haworth, Rachel 2019, «City Branding and the Popular Music Star: The Case of Mina, Cremona, and “Cremona canta Mina”», Italian Studies 74(4), in corso di pubblicazione Mosconi, Elena 2014, «Mina: la forza di una performer audiovisiva», in Roberta Carpani, Laura Peja, Laura Aimo (a cura di), Scena madre. Donne, personaggi e interpreti della realtà. Studi per Annamaria Cascetta, Vita e Pensiero, Milano Mosconi, Elena 2019, «Milleluci per due star della televisione italiana. La strana coppia Mina-Raffaella Carrà», in Arabeschi 13, pp. 190-197 Prato, Paolo 2010, La musica italiana. Una storia sociale dall’Unità a oggi, Donzelli, Roma Prato, Paolo 2014, «Virtuosity and Populism: The Everlasting Appeal of Mina and Celentano», in Franco Fabbri e Goffredo Plastino (a cura di), Made in Italy: Studies in Italian Popular Music, Routledge, London & New York, pp. 162-171 Redmond,  Sean 2014, Celebrity and the Media, Palgrave Macmillan, London & New York Spaziante, Lucio 2016, «Mina, l’icona mutante», in Icone pop: identità e apparenze tra semiotica e musica, Mondadori, Milano, pp. 95-116 Tomatis, Jacopo 2019, Storia culturale della canzone italiana, il Saggiatore, Milano Valentini, Paola 2017, «Mina: Narrative and Cinematic Spectacle of the Italian Woman in the 1960’s», in Virginia Picchietti e Laura Salsini (a cura di), Writing and Performing Female Identity in Italian Culture, Palgrave Macmillan, New York, pp. 81-104.

More collaborations, sponsor and side-events TBA.

Authors should send their proposals (max 250 words, in Italian or English), along with a short bio and 5 keywords to: (centroricerche.crad /at/ <mailto:(centroricerche.crad /at/>, (giuliafrancesca.muggeo /at/ <mailto:(giuliafrancesca.muggeo /at/>, (gabriele.rigola /at/ <mailto:(gabriele.rigola /at/>, (jacopo.tomatis /at/ <mailto:(jacopo.tomatis /at/>

Deadline for proposal: December 5, 2019
Notification of acceptance: December 20, 2019

Conference fee
50€: Professors
25€: PhDs and postdoctoral fellows

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