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Mapping Italy’s Visual History

December 15, 2015

Professor Lorenzo Fabbri’s interest in the history of Italian media culture was first sparked when he conducted archival research in Italy as an undergraduate. Fabbri wished to understand the mindset of his grandfather’s generation during the fascist regime since his grandfather had served in the Italian army during that period. He was interested in learning more about fascism’s influence on the creation of visual culture during that time.

Fabbri’s current manuscript, Capturing the Nation: Cinema and the Life of Fascism, analyzes Italian cinema under Fascism through the lens of current cultural understanding. Fabbri focused his research on Italian cinema’s role in sustaining both a dictatorship as well as a democracy. His work aims to help us better understand the experiences of individuals living in that context.

Fabbri has conducted research on this topic for the past five years, and says that one of his favorite parts of the research process has been working with graduate students and faculty affiliated with the Moving Image Studies Group, a graduate minor that trains students from a variety of disciplines in the critical analysis of the moving image in its disparate, yet interrelated, forms. The intellectual exchanges fostered by this group have been influential on his research, giving him new research ideas and topics to pursue.

Looking forward, Professor Fabbri intends to focus his research on the portrayal of transgendered bodies in new media, specifically focusing on the differences between Italian and American visual culture. He became interested in studying this emerging field while teaching a graduate seminar when the Caitlyn Jenner story came out this fall. The class had a fruitful discussion on the subject which led him to look into the representations of female bodies in early cinema and apply those same ideals to the recent interest of media on transexual bodies. He intends to develop this new research into a book that will appeal to both American and Italian audiences.

This story was written by an undergraduate student account executive in CLAgency. Meet the team.