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Country cousins: Europeanness, sexuality and locality in contemporary Italian television

  • Martin Dines (a1) and Sergio Rigoletto (a2)

This article examines the consequences of the concurrence of a recent surge of interest in LGBT lives in the Italian media with the perceived transformation of Spain. Long considered Italy's close – though inferior – cultural cousin, Spain has been seen to be forging its own path with the reforms of the Zapatero administration, gay marriage especially. The article focuses on Il padre delle spose (RAIl, 2006), which generated intense discussion across the political spectrum precisely during the period in which the issue of recognising domestic partnerships between same-sex couples was being contested in Italy. The drama and surrounding media debates are analysed in order to articulate both the anxieties and the sense of opportunity brought about by Spain's ‘sorpasso’ of Italy. The drama is also informative for the way it reverses the standard ‘metropolitan’ trajectory of LGBT narrative. By relocating its lesbian protagonists to rural Puglia, the drama indicates how local traditions might be better able to respond to hetero-patriarchal oppression than imported ideals of ‘coming out’. Further, the drama's emphasis on local forms of solidarity suggests an alternative vision of LGBT existence to the one increasingly dominant across Europe and the West which privileges economically productive subjects.

Corresponding author
Corresponding author. Email:
Current address: Romance Languages/Cinema Studies, University of Oregon, Eugene, USA.
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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

J. Halberstam 2011. The queer art of failure. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

M. Pustianaz 2010. Qualche domanda (sui) queer in Italia. Italian Studies 65, no. 2:263–77.

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Modern Italy
  • ISSN: 1353-2944
  • EISSN: 1469-9877
  • URL: /core/journals/modern-italy
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