Trying to take stock: 'Popular Music Stardom and Post-war Italy'

May 17, 2017 429

It’s been 12 months since the official start the project on ‘the many meanings of Mina’ and since the first phase research trip to Rome to collect resources from magazines and TV programmes about Mina’s star image in the 1960s and 1970s. Although I started researching Mina way back in 2010, I’ve been able to concentrate on her more completely over the past two years, and particularly since having the opportunity to work in Rome courtesy of the British Academy. The project has developed in very surprising directions since I first envisaged working on Mina and even since last year.

The aim has always been to explore what Stephen Gundle refers to as an Italian star’s ability to ‘function as a cultural symbol and conduit for ideas about gender, values and national identity’ (‘Stars and Stardom in the Study of Italian Cinema’, p. 263) in the context of Mina as a case study. Hence the ‘many meanings’: my aim is to examine what Mina has come to signify in the post-war Italian context and what then she represents about Italian culture and how she is a vehicle for ideas about Italian identity and values pertaining to gender, yes, but also popular music and the role of celebrity in Italian society from the 1950s and 1960s right up to the present day.

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