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Changing Images of Italian Womanhood

July 8, 2009 | CUNY Lecture Series, Queens College

The end of World War II marked a watershed moment for the depiction of Italian women in American film, says Vera Dika, assistant professor of media arts at New Jersey City University. “They presented new models of Italian identity after World War II, ” said professor Dika, referring to actresses Anna Magnani and Sophia Loren and two movies, “The Rose Tattoo,” (1955) and “Two Women” (1962), in which they starred, respectively. “Italy was no longer a fascist country, no longer a country of poverty, no longer a country in defeat.” In a talk entitled “Italian Divas in American Film: Changing Images of Italian Womanhood,” part of the Philip V. Cannistraro Seminar Series in Italian American Studies at the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute at Queens College, Dika discusses this seismic shift from supporting role to leading lady.
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