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Book launch of Stephen Gundle’s Fame Amid the Ruins: Italian Film Stardom in the Age of Neorealism (Berghahn, Nov 2019)- (co-organised with ASMI)

Event type
Modern Italian History
Event dates
, 6:15PM - 7:45PM
Online- via Zoom
Stephen Gundle (Warwick), Catherine O'Rawe (Bristol), Robert Gordon (Cambridge )
020 7862 8740

All Welcome – This event is free, but booking is required.

Stephen Gundle is a Professor in the Film and Television Studies Department at the University of Warwick. He has written mostly about the relations between cinema and television, politics and consumption in Italy from the Fascist period to the present, as well as the Italian and European star system, and the concept of glamour. He is the author of several books and many articles about modern and contemporary Italy. His most recent volumes are Death and the Dolce Vita: The Dark Side of Rome in the 1950s (Canongate, 2011) and Mussolini’s Dream Factory: Film Stardom in Fascist Italy (Berghahn, 2013).

DESCRIPTION OF Fame Amid the Ruins: Italian Film Stardom in the Age of Neorealism (Berghahn, Nov 2019):

Italian cinema gave rise to a number of the best-known films of the postwar years, from Rome Open City to Bicycle Thieves. Although some neorealist film-makers would have preferred to abolish stars altogether, the public adored them and producers needed their help in relaunching the national film industry. This book explores the many conflicts that arose in Italy between 1945 and 1953 over stars and stardom, offering intimate studies of the careers of both well-known and less familiar figures, shedding new light on the close relationship forged between cinema and society during a time of political transition and shifting national identities.


Catherine O'Rawe is Professor of Italian Film and Culture at the University of Bristol. Her principal research interest lies in Italian cinema. She is the author of Stars and Masculinities in Contemporary Italian Cinema (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), co-author (with Jacqueline Reich) of Divi: la mascolinita' nel cinema italiano (Donzelli, 2015), and of articles and chapters on contemporary and post-war Italian cinema.
She is currently co-investigator on the AHRC-funded research project, 'In Search of Italian Cinema Audiences'.

Robert Gordon is Serena Professor of Italian at the University of Cambridge . He works on the literature, cinema and cultural history of modern Italy. He is the author or editor of over a dozen volumes, including a major study of the writer and filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini (Pasolini. Forms of Subjectivity) and several books on the work of Primo Levi (e.g. Primo Levi's Ordinary Virtues, Auschwitz Report, The Cambridge Companion to Primo Levi, Innesti). He has also published on the wider field of postwar cultural responses to the Holocaust, in the book The Holocaust in Italian Culture, 1944-2010, the co-edited collection Holocaust Intersections and a special issue of the Jewish history journal Quest. He is co-editor of Culture, Censorship and the State in 20th-Century Italy and his work on cinema includes the book on Pasolini, the BFI Film Classics volume Bicycle Thieves, DVD and Blu-ray audio commentaries, and articles and essays on diverse topics including Holocaust cinema, early film and literature, Antonioni, 'Hollywood on the Tiber', and censorship. He is also the author of a general account of modern Italian literature, A Difficult Modernity: An Introduction to Twentieth-Century Italian Literature.