This collection of essays, written in honour of Prof. Sharon Wood, examines the multifaceted relationship between women and the public sphere in Italy from the mid-19th to the early 21st century.
The 14 chapters that make up this volume provide new perspectives into both historical and social practices – such as prostitution or female activism – and the representation of women in a variety of media, including literary, cinematic, photographic and journalistic offering an all-round portrayal of women’s private and public selves. The essays offer a rich dialogue on issues pertaining to female identity and authority, such as experiences and representations of age, rapport with language and dialect, the gendering of space, the narration of the self, the politics of culture and memory, female migration, the expression of desire. By examining the many images of womanhood, the essays offer fresh insight into the role that women have played in the public sphere in Italy over the past two centuries.
Sharon Wood’s pioneering work in the field of Italian literary and women’s studies has influenced academics and students worldwide for three decades. During her career, Sharon gained an international reputation for her ground-breaking work on Italian women writers and for her translations of Italian literary works into English. She graduated from the University of Bristol in 1979 with a degree in French and Italian. Her teaching career in British universities began in Manchester University’s Extra-Mural Department, and subsequently included periods in the Department of Italian in the University of Liverpool and the School of Modern Languages at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. Finally, she moved to the School of Modern Languages at the University of Leicester, where she was appointed Chair of Modern Languages in 2000. Sharon was the Head of the School of Modern Languages at Leicester between 2000-2004 and 2008-2011.