chapter  9
13 Pages

Female identity and Italian cinema of the 1950s

As Giovanna Grignaffini explains at the beginning of her text, it is part of a work in progress on the vicissitudes of female identity being carried out at the Bologna Women's Research and Documentation Centre. The centre was set up in 1977 by women from various backgrounds - including the Women's Movement, the trade-union movement, and the university - in response to the need for a 'place' where women's intellectual life could find expression and where women's culture could be produced and exchanged. The various initiatives for research and documentation on women and the Women's Movement had the effect of adding to the archives, bibliographic materials, and research facilities which the centre already supplied. The link with the local area and its culture is an important aspect of the centre's research and documentation activities. Consequently it was decided that it should obtain recognition from the Bologna Municipality, which has been under left-wing control for many years and which now provides it with financial support and administrative personnel. The research launched at the centre included projects on women's condition, motherhood, and the Women's Movement in the Bologna region. The wide-ranging research on the vicissitudes of women's identity covered not only literature, the cinema, and history but also natural sciences and themes

linked to the body and health. Its starting-point was the view that identity has many different time-scales, ranging from the short span of a biography to the longue duree of history and the apparently timeless field of biology.