Research Seminar: "Reading Divismo: Chronicles from the Golden Age of Italian Silent Film"


Location: Special Collections, Hesburgh Libraries

The Italian Research Seminar presents “Reading Divismo: Chronicles from the Golden Age of Italian Silent Film.”

In the years surrounding WWI, the Italian film industry was one of the major powers in world cinema. This so-called “golden age of Italian silent film” was reflected in a parallel proliferation of print media, with more than one hundred periodicals devoted to film in Italy by 1915. This research seminar examines In Penombra, one of the most beautiful and significant film journals of the period. Particular emphasis will be given to divismo—the celebrity culture/star system that accompanies the rise of cinema in Italy in association with theatre, literature, fashion, photography, and film.

John P. Welle is a professor of Italian in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, and a concurrent professor in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of The Poetry of Andrea Zanzotto and the editor of Film and Literature, Annali d’Italianistica. His translation and edition of Peasants Wake for Fellini’s ‘Casanova’ and Other Poems by Andrea Zanzotto (with Ruth Feldman) was awarded the Raiziss-de Palchi Book Prize from the Academy of American Poets. He is currently completing a book on early Italian cinema, print media and celebrity culture.

Sponsored by Italian Studies at Notre Dame and the Devers Program in Dante Studies

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