Women in the twilight zone: abjection, female horror and crime in mafia discourses
Dr Stavroula Pipyrou
ABSTRACT: Within contemporary mafia discourses male crimes of passion such as corporeal punishment, facial mutilation and murder remain frequent. Female love crimes instead, are unusual and thus conveyed with discomfort. This presentation focuses on rare narratives of female crimes of passion to argue that the uneasiness and horror these narratives produce are not directed toward the female perpetrator.
Gender studies in Italy have fashioned an analysis based on dichotomies which mask rather than reveal the complexity of gendered discourses. I will argue that the terror involved in female love crimes do not signify the abjectness of the female within mafia. It rather articulates a holistic and lawful discourse of being in the world. This discourse requires a careful examination of the work that gendered images perform in creating the mafia subject. Bringing crisis to the whole gender discourse, female love crime unsettles presumably clear-cut identifications of gender.
The talk will take place between 1 and 3 in ER152. It will be preceded by an informal lunch, organised by Sylvie Gambaudo. During lunch, Stavroula and Sylvie will discuss a new project entitled ‘Women Beyond the Pale‘, which invites scholars from different disciplines to reflect on the theme. If you want to know more, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org