Dana Renga: Mafia, Masculinity, Melodrama

  • 5/2/2014 | 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM
  • Location: Massachusetts Hall, Faculty Room
  • Event Type: Lecture

Dana Renga: Mafia, Masculinity, MelodramaDana Renga, Assistant Professor of Italian at The Ohio State University, will discuss the ways in which the conventions of melodrama shape the mafia movie, focusing in particular on the Italian box-office hit Romanzo criminale (Michele Placido, 2005). Melodramatic narratives, argues Prof. Renga, create sympathy for the mafia film's brooding anti-hero - a sympathy that is increased when these characters are played by the likes of Italian film idols Kim Rossi Stuart and Riccardo Scamarcio. In "Mafia, Masculinity, Melodrama" Prof. Renga examines how such films cause their viewers to forgive the transgressions of their criminal protagonists, and even mourn their deaths.

Prof. Renga works on modern and contemporary Italian cinema and culture, including representations of the Mafia, gender, the holocaust, fascism and terrorism. She has published articles and book chapters on Italian cinema, popular culture, poetry, and literature. She is the author of Unfinished Business: Screening the Italian Mafia in the New Millennium (University of Toronto Press, 2013), the editor of Mafia Movies: A Reader (University of Toronto Press, 2011) and co-edits The Italianist: Film Issue. She is currently at work on a book entitled Italian Women's Cinema and the Wounded Filmic Body (1915-2015).

This lecture is sponsored by the Bowdoin College Department of Romance Languages, Film Studies Program, Department of English, and Gender and Women's Studies Program, with additional funding from the Lectures and Concerts Committee and Blythe Bickel Edwards Fund.