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The case of Franca Viola: debating gender, nation and modernity in 1960s Italy

The case of Franca Viola: debating gender, nation and modernity in 1960s Italy
The case of Franca Viola: debating gender, nation and modernity in 1960s Italy
Seventeen-year-old Sicilian Franca Viola was abducted and raped in 1965, with the intention of forcing her into marriage. She came to prominence in 1966 as the first Sicilian woman to refuse a so-called reparatory marriage – which would have legally absolved her rapist of his crime – resulting in his prosecution in a high profile trial in December 1966. Through an examination of the media coverage, and by making use of history of the emotions, this article examines the trial as a crucial moment for post-war Italy, when gender, sexuality and marriage were being redefined in a rapidly changing society. Different emotional styles could be connected to debates about national identity and regional character, as well as to broader anxieties about ‘modernity’ and ‘backwardness’.
0960-7773
97-115
Cullen, Niamh
4ea93e7b-fd15-4761-9728-694222e63c3e
Cullen, Niamh
4ea93e7b-fd15-4761-9728-694222e63c3e

Cullen, Niamh (2016) The case of Franca Viola: debating gender, nation and modernity in 1960s Italy. Contemporary European History, 25 (1), 97-115. (doi:10.1017/S0960777315000491).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Seventeen-year-old Sicilian Franca Viola was abducted and raped in 1965, with the intention of forcing her into marriage. She came to prominence in 1966 as the first Sicilian woman to refuse a so-called reparatory marriage – which would have legally absolved her rapist of his crime – resulting in his prosecution in a high profile trial in December 1966. Through an examination of the media coverage, and by making use of history of the emotions, this article examines the trial as a crucial moment for post-war Italy, when gender, sexuality and marriage were being redefined in a rapidly changing society. Different emotional styles could be connected to debates about national identity and regional character, as well as to broader anxieties about ‘modernity’ and ‘backwardness’.

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Cullen, Case of Franca Viola CEH (final pre-publication draft) - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: June 2015
e-pub ahead of print date: 13 January 2016
Published date: February 2016
Organisations: History

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Local EPrints ID: 386481
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/386481
ISSN: 0960-7773
PURE UUID: 7fe32339-d74f-49b9-ad43-2c493813b5eb

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Date deposited: 01 Feb 2016 14:39
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 19:49

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