Susanna Scarparo

Susanna is an internationally recognised researcher in the fields of contemporary Italian literature, Italian cinema, life writing, feminist theory, and global studies. She is currently working on two projects. One explores women’s mixed-genre and autobiographical films. The other project focuses on film as political intervention and is provisionally entitled “Documentaries for Social Change: Activism, Citizenship and Border Crossing.”

Her co-authored monograph (with Mathias Stevenson), Reggae and Hip Hop in Southern Italy: Politics, Languages and Multiple Marginalities (2018) explores the significance of reggae and hip hop in Southern Italy from the beginning of the 1980s to the present. Focusing on groups and solo artists located predominantly in the Southern Italian regions of Apulia and Sardinia, the book examines the production and distribution of their music, lyrics and video clips. To this end, Reggae and Hip Hop in Southern Italy emphasizes the linguistic aspects of cultural marginalization as well as marginalities linked to geographical location, gender, and to social and political identification. Susanna and Mathias argue that the artists discussed in their book defy the cultural stereotypes of the South and engage critically with the challenges and opportunities offered by globalization. These transcultural and multilingual musical productions represent one of Italy’s most significant forms of creative political expression since the 1970s.

Susanna’s co-authored monograph (with Bernadette Luciano), Reframing Italy: New Trends in Italian Women Filmmaking (2013) is the first extensive study of the recent activity of women directors working in Italian Cinema. The book also includes video interviews with filmmakers that they recorded, subtitled and edited and that are available online. Reviewers have praised the book for its originality and theoretical sophistication, and as an indispensable point of reference for future research in the field.

Susanna worked extensively on theories of life writing, historiography and historiographic metafiction, publishing a monograph, peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters and one co-edited volume of essays. In Elusive Subjects: Biography as Gendered Metafiction (2005), she presents a theory of biography by analysing specific examples in which history turns into fiction and fiction becomes history. This reflection on biography has contributed to a deeper understanding of the relationship between fiction, women’s history and the writing of women into history. This book has received overwhelmingly enthusiastic reviews, praising in particular her cross-cultural and interdisciplinary approach.

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