Italian Masculinity as Queer Melodrama - Caravaggio, Puccini, Contemporary Cinema

by John Champagne
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John Champagne Italian Masculinity as Queer Melodrama - Caravaggio, Puccini, Contemporary Cinema
John Champagne - Italian Masculinity as Queer Melodrama - Caravaggio, Puccini, Contemporary Cinema

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Offering queer analyses of paintings by Caravaggio and Puccini and films by Özpetek, Amelio, and Grimaldi, Champagne argues that Italian masculinity has often been articulated through melodrama. Wide in scope and multidisciplinary in approach, this much-needed study shows the vital role of affect for both Italian history and masculinity studies.


John Champagne

Further information

Illustrations Note:
5 SW-Abb.
Media Type:
Palgrave Macmillan US
Biography Artist:
John Champagne is Professor of English at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, USA.
"Champagne's book offers a different perspective on questions of identity and difference through his focus on the queer melodramatic. He links the music (melos) of melodrama to theatrics as expressed through his discussions of theater, lyric opera, film, and painting. While cinema has been a focus of critical writing on gender and sexuality, especially in relation to women, opera and painting have been considered separately and differently. Now, Champagne's book brings these art forms into dialogue about bodies, especially, but not exclusively, masculine bodies. The book, through these exemplary figures and forms from different moments in time, offers a historical perspective on masculinity and melodrama." - Marcia Landy, Distinguished Professor of English and Film Studies, University of Pittsburgh, USA

"Champagne does an excellent job of returning to previous explored areas of Italian masculinity and melodrama to present new ways of seeing what earlier scholars have either ignored or overlooked in some of the most studied works of art. He devises a trajectory that extends his argument over media, time and place, and in the process helps us to see beyond the studies that he builds upon, and which he skillfully transcends. The result establishes Italian Masculinity as Queer Melodrama as the new standard in terms of analyzing Italian melodrama." - Fred Gardaphe, Distinguished Professor of English and Italian American Studies, Queens College, CUNY, USA

"This study's bold confrontation of Italian masculinity and melodrama invites us to rewrite our understandings of both. Through gendered and queer readings of Caravaggio's paintings, Puccini's operas, and contemporary gay filmmakers, John Champagne places longstanding questions regarding Italian culture at the cutting edge of modern intellectual debate. Presenting the thesis that melodrama was an Italian invention, and part of a 'polyphonic' masculinity, this book gives body to such elusive topics as the relation of stereotype to nation, expressivity to erotics, and the historicisation of a sensibility." - Louis Bayman, Teaching Fellow of Film and Television Studies, University of Warwick, UK
Number of Pages:

Master Data

Product Type:
Paperback book
Release date:
08 November 2015
Package Dimensions:
0.216 x 0.14 x 0.016 m; 0.345 kg
Manufacturer Part Number:
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