Notions of engagement, commitment and impeg continue to provoke debate amongst academics researching contemporary Italian culture, and yet - be it by accident or by more conscious selection - critical work has tended to posit these concepts as a predominantly male and, often, heterormative domain. This collection of essays challenges this assumption, and analyses more closely the fluid and fragmented nature of commitment, and the work of Italian intellectuals and cultural practitioners associated with it. The volume's contributors engage with those who have typically been excluded from such debates: t only female writers and artists, but also males whose work has been denied the designation of impegnato. The chapters all focus on individuals who insist on the need to question, interrogate and deunce social realities. Employing a range of theoretical perspectives, and bringing into dialogue individuals t typically associated with terms such as engagement and commitment, this volume offers an original and distinctive contribution to a discussion that persists in Italian studies.
Alex Standen completed her PhD at the University of Birmingham in 2011, with a thesis on representations of gender violence in the narratives of Dacia Maraini. She received her undergraduate degree from Birmingham, before completing the joint Warwick-Birmingham MA in Italian Studies: Culture and Communication. She worked for two years as Teaching Fellow in Italian Studies at Birmingham and for a year at the University of Auckland, before beginning her current role in student support and engagement at University College London. Her research interests relate to twentieth-century Italian literature, and gender and sexuality in Italian culture and society.