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Loving Geographies: queering straight migration to Italy

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This article looks at male migration to Italy from Eastern Europe in a range of recent films through the prism of Queer Theory. The men who feature in these films are not gay, but their representation constructs a non-normative heterosexual subject whose presence in Italy depends on his productive role in the workplace, and excludes any kind of reproductive function. The central narrative device of these films is the unsuccessful romance between a migrant man and an Italian woman. These catastrophic plots introduce the spectator to a pedagogy of the non-national body by queering the heterosexual romance narrative. Italy itself is queered by the insinuation of the foreign worker into a medium that has been seen as the privileged cultural vehicle for the construction of Italian national identity. Yet the queering is only temporary as these films envisage the eradication of the foreign body from the national landscape.
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Keywords: Italian cinema; Queer theory; heteronormative; migration; romance; vampire

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Bristol.

Publication date: 2009-02-01

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  • The journal aims to provide a platform for the study of new forms of cinematic practice and fresh approaches to cinemas hitherto neglected in western scholarship. It particularly welcomes scholarship that does not take existing paradigms and theoretical conceptualisations as given; rather, it anticipates submissions that are refreshing in approach and exhibit a willingness to tackle cinematic practices that are still in the process of development into something new.
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