Italian Trans Geographies

Edited by Danila Cannamela, Marzia Mauriello, and Summer Minerva

Subjects: Queer Studies, Cultural Studies, Italian American Studies, Italian Studies
Series: SUNY series in Italian/American Culture
Hardcover : 9781438494586, 400 pages, October 2023
Paperback : 9781438494579, 400 pages, April 2024

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations
Timeline of Key Events
Italian Trans Geographies: Retracing Trans/Cultural Narratives of People and Places
Danila Cannamela


Part 1. Memories of Transitions

1. From AntoloGaia: Vivere sognando e non sognando di vivere; I miei anni settanta (AntholoGay: Living Dreaming and Not Dreaming of Living; My Seventies)
Porpora Marcasciano

2. From L’aurora delle trans cattive: Storie, sguardi e vissuti della mia generazione transgender (The Dawn of the Bad Trans Women: Stories, Fragments, and Lives of My Transgender Generation)
Porpora Marcasciano

3. From Tra le rose e le viole: La storia e le storie di transessuali e travestiti (Among Roses and Violets: The Story and the Stories of Transsexuals and Transvestites)
Porpora Marcasciano

4. From Dolore minimo (Minimum Pain) and Dove non siamo stati (Where We Haven’t Been)
Giovanna Cristina Vivinetto

Part 2. The Femminielli: A Gender-Variant Community between Past and Present

5. "Et io ne viddi uno in Napoli." I femminielli: Ricognizione storica e mitografica; Spunti per una riflessione sull’identità di genere ("And I saw one of them in Naples." Femminielli: Historical and Mythographic Recognition; Starting Points for a Reflection on Gender Identity)
Eugenio Zito, Paolo Valerio, and Nicola Sisci

6. From Altri transiti: Corpi, pratiche, rappresentazioni di femminielli e transessuali (Other Transitions: Bodies, Practices, Representations of Femminielli and Transsexuals)
Maria Carolina Vesce

7. Two Real-Life Perspectives on the Femminielli: A Conversation withLoredana Rossi and Ciro Cascina
Marzia Mauriello


Part 3. A Felliniesque Dolce Vita

8. From L’aurora delle trans cattive
Porpora Marcasciano

9. From Io, la "Romanina": Perché sono diventato donna (I, "Romanina": Why I Became a Woman)
Romina Cecconi

Part 4. Narrating Trans History as a Meaningful Experience

10. From Elementi di critica trans (Elements of Trans Critique)
Edited by Laurella Arietti, Christian Ballarin, Giorgio Cuccio, and Porpora Marcasciano

11. Non siamo nat@ ieri (We Weren’t Born Yesterday)
Egon Botteghi


Part 5. Stories of Trans Identity and Activism

12. From AntoloGaia
Porpora Marcasciano

13. From Favolose narranti: Storie di transessuali (Fabulous Narrators: Stories of Transsexuals)
Porpora Marcasciano

14. From Camminavo rasente i muri: Autobiografia tascabile di un transessuale (I Was Walking Along the Walls: Pocket Autobiography of a Transsexual Man)
Massimo D’Aquino

15. Three Stories of Activism in Italy: Conversations with Christian Ballarin, Giorgio Cuccio, and Mazen Masoud
Marzia Mauriello

Part 6. Testifying to Voices and Images of Transness

16. Perverse Polymorphs Proto T* at the Dawn of 1980s Italian Riflusso
Helena Velena

17. A Trans Revolution and Its Contradictions: An Interview with Simone Cangelosi
Danila Cannamela

18. Lina Pallotta’s Portrait of Porpora: "Snapshots of a Moment" and Geographies of Friendship
Danila Cannamela and Stella Gonzalez


Part 7. Italian Migration and Queer Roots

19. Michela Griffo: "Io sono sangue"; I Am Blood, or the Stonewall Story from the Perspective of an Italian American Lesbian
Summer Minerva

20. What Does It Mean for the Italian American Community to be Trans?
Frances Rose Subbiondo, Erin Ferrentino, Liz Mariani, Summer Minerva, and Liana Cusmano

Part 8. New Italian American Migrations: Back to Italy

21. Summer Within: A Journey of Migration and Reconnection
Danila Cannamela

22. A Queer ’Talian Pilgrimage
Summer Minerva

Conclusion: Paths for Future Exploration: Language, Situatedness, and Glocal Paths
Danila Cannamela and Marzia Mauriello
List of Contributors

Provides a remapping of Italian and Italian American culture by retracing trans and gender-variant experiences within Italy and along diasporic routes.


How does the mapping of Italian culture change when it is charted from the perspective of gender-variant people? Italian Trans Geographies tackles this question by retracing trans and gender-variant experiences within the Italian peninsula and along diasporic routes. The volume adopts a cross-disciplinary approach that combines scholarly analyses with grassroots engagement and creative work and centers the voices of Italian and Italian American transpeople through autobiographies, memoirs, interviews, poetry, and visual works. The contributions include works by key Italian trans activists, including Romina Cecconi, Porpora Marcasciano, and Helena Velena, as well as critical interpretations of scholars and artists (many of whom self-identify as trans). Ultimately, these voices show how trans people have contributed to shaping Italian places and cultures while, in turn, being shaped by those places and cultures. Through its attention to geospecific sites, the book highlights blind spots in the hegemonic Anglo-American discourse about gender and overlooked intersections between LGBTQIA+ global discourse and local realities.

Danila Cannamela (she/her) is an Assistant Professor of Italian Studies at Colby College. She is the author of The Quiet Avant-Garde: Crepuscular Poetry and the Twilight of Modern Humanism. Marzia Mauriello (she/her) is an Adjunct Professor of Cultural Anthropology at the University of Naples L'orientale in Italy. She is the author of An Anthropology of Gender Variance and Trans Experience in Naples: Beauty in Transit. Summer Minerva (she/they) is an independent researcher, performer, author, filmmaker, activist, and educator. A lover of adventure, Summer tours internationally, sharing her performances, films, and ideas with the world.


"To my knowledge, this collection is absolutely unique—and, for that reason, absolutely vital. Over and over again, I was impressed with how smart it is. Besides being accessible to audiences both inside and outside of the academy, the movement across gender studies, anthropology, history, and political activism is also useful. I learned a lot by reading this anthology, and it really challenged me to think about the relationship between my own Sicilian American identity, gender, and sexuality, and the possibilities they might present for future projects and encounters, both scholarly and personal." — John Champagne, author of Queer Ventennio: Italian Fascism, Homoerotic Art, and the Nonmodern in the Modern

"Modeled after Pier Paolo Pasolini's Comizi d’amore, Italian Trans Geographies challenges the concept of 'trans' from a geographical and gender studies lens. This foundational work casts light upon numerous 'othered' voices from diverse generations, the most noteworthy being Porpora Marcasciano's, to demonstrate how space, place, and time impact trans people's lives and how they, in return, frame the spaces they inhabit. The structure of the opus is unique and forces the texts to speak to each other, while the translations shine. Italian Trans Geographies is a 'must have' for those studying gender within the Italian Diaspora." — Ryan Calabretta-Sajder, University of Arkansas