CFP Mina. The Voice Of Silence: Presence and Absence of a Pop Icon

Posted on Oct 18, 2019

By Giulia Muggeo, Gabriele Rigola, Jacopo Tomatis


International Conference

Organized by Giulia Muggeo, Gabriele Rigola, Jacopo Tomatis

Università degli Studi di Torino

March 23-24 2020

Organizing committee
DAMS, CRAD (Actor and Star Studies Center), Sylvia Scarlett Gender Media
Lab of the University of Turin, in collaboration with the University of
Genoa, University of Pavia – branch of Cremona, RAI Teche, Museo
Nazionale del Cinema of Turin

Scientific committee
Claudio Bisoni (Università di Bologna), Lucia Cardone (Università di
Sassari), Giulia Carluccio (Università di Torino), Franco Fabbri
(Università di Milano), Luca Malavasi (Università di Genova), Elena
Mosconi (Università di Pavia), Mariapaola Pierini (Università di
Torino), Alessandro Pontremoli (Università di Torino), Stefania Rimini
(Università di Catania), Maria Rizzarelli (Università di Catania), Lucio
Spaziante (Università di Bologna), Paola Valentini (Università di Firenze)

Keynote speakers: Franco Fabbri (Università di Milano), Paola Valentini
(Università di Firenze)

Call for Papers
Mina’s body – with its presence and absence – crosses the last sixty
years of Italian history. Starting from her debut as an urlatrice on the
1950s television show Il Musichiere, and in the Italian musicarelli
movies between 1959 and 1960, up to her “physical” farewell in 1978 and
her latest “virtual” appearances, Mina stands out as one of the most
powerful Italian pop icon. During her entire career, Mina was able to
establish herself as a key figure of Italian popular culture, but also
as a cult artist, paving the way in Italy for an American-inspired
sophisticated song (Fabbri 2008, p. 113). Yet, there are many more
Minas: the TV icon of the 1960s, the reassuring presence (and voice) of
the Carosello commercials, the independent woman blamed by the media,
the record producer, the columnist…
Mina thus represents a unique figure, encompassing different fields of
study; her uniqueness seems to challenge the usual research paradigms,
and possibly contributed in discouraging scholars: despite Mina’s
recognized cultural relevance, a specialized bibliography can be hard to
find. Among the few academic contributions, we can remember those of
Paolo Prato (2014), Rachel Haworth (2017; 2018a; 2018a; 2018b; 2019),
Lucio Spaziante (2016) and Franco Fabbri (2017); Franco Fabbri himself,
with Luigi Pestalozza (1998), edited the only collection on the subject,
with articles by Roberto Favaro, Maurizio Franco, Mauro De Luigi,
Giovanna Marini and Edoardo Sanguineti among the others. As for the
rest, Mina has been incidentally analyzed in the few ample works
available on Italian popular music (Fabbri 2008; Prato 2010; Tomatis 2019).
At the same time, systematic studies on Mina, both in Italy and abroad,
on the role she has played in the history of the Italian mass media
system and in the general context of visual culture are almost
nonexistent; only few contributions have offered a perspective on this
issue, connecting Mina’s figure with celebrity and performance studies
(Acca 2011; Mosconi 2014; Valentini 2017).
The study of Mina’s figure in an intermedial perspective can thus
provide a contribution to the understanding of the specificities of
different media – from the popular press to television – and their
history in Italy; and to the comprehension of social and cultural
changes in fashion, habits, and the very idea of show business and
entertainment in Italian cultural industry.

This international conference on Mina and her image – in the year of her
80th birthday, sixty years (or a little more) from her debut – is part
of CRAD’s and Sylvia Scarlett Gender Media Lab’s activities at the
University of Torino. As demonstrated by past events and conferences,
among the goals of both organizations is to support an intermedial,
transdisciplinary approach, encompassing the studies on visual culture
and cinema with sound studies, popular music studies, gender studies,
media studies, cultural history and semiotics.

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

– Presence/absence/disappearance of Mina’s body: resistance/persistence
of the star and of her voice
– Mina’s body and image changes in relation to cultural changes: from
Baby Gate the urlatrice to the “sophisticated” television presenter, up
to Mina’s present image

– Mina as a television star: the performer and the TV host
– Mina on screen: musicarelli, soundtracks, songs re-used by cinema and
contemporary tv series (from Pedro Almodóvar to Master of None)
– Mina live and on record
–  Mina and the dance
–  Collaborations and duets through the years, from Adriano Celentano to
Alex Britti and Fabrizio De André
–  Mina and her authors: Augusto Martelli, Massimiliano Pani, etc.
–  Mina, jazz music, Brazilian music

– Style, fashion, iconicity: from television’s costumes to the
stereotypes of Mina’s contemporary image
– Mina and the visual culture: Mina as a pop icon, from popular press to
album covers and videoclips
– Mina and the advertising: commercial value of Mina’s image and voice
(from Carosello to Barilla and Tim ads)
–  Transfigurations and experimentations around Mina’s body: animation,
digital image, self-representation
–  Mina’s writings: from Liberal to La Stampa, to the reader’s column in
Vanity Fair

– Mina’s reception in Italy: gossip and stardom
– Mina’s international reception
– Mina in popular culture
– Re-writing Mina: from interviews to biographies
– Fandom practices: fan clubs, social networks, tributes and more
(Vogue’s Forever Mina, etc.).
– Imitations and the satire on Mina, from Loretta Goggi (Tale e quale)
to Lucia Ocone a Ennio Marchetto

– Mina and the feminine models in Italy, from the 1950s until the
present day
– Mina as a queer icon

Acca, Fabio (a cura di) 2011, «Performing pop», Prove di drammaturgia,
Bennett, James 2010, Television Personalities. Stardom and the Small
Screen, Routledge, London
Bisoni, Claudio 2005, «Cinema a 45 giri», in Giacomo Manzoli, Guglielmo
Pescatore (a cura di), L’arte del risparmio: stile e tecnologia. Il
cinema a basso costo in Italia dal dopoguerra agli anni Settanta,
Carocci, Roma
Fabbri, Franco 2008, Around the Clock, Utet, Torino
Fabbri, Franco 2017, «Il cielo in una stanza», in L’ascolto tabù. Le
musiche nello scontro globale, il Saggiatore, Milano, pp. 181‐198 [prima
versione in Fabbri e Pestalozza 1998, pp. 23-40)
Fabbri, Franco e Pestalozza, Luigi (a cura di) 1998, Mina. Una Forza
Incantatrice, Euresis, Milano
Haworth, Rachel 2015, «Making a Star on the Small Screen: The Case of
Mina and RAI», Journal of Italian Cinema & Media Studies, 3(1-2), pp. 27-41
Haworth, Rachel 2017, «Scandal, Motherhood and Mina in 1960s Italy»,
Modern Italy 22(3), pp. 248-258
Haworth, Rachel 2018a «Scandal as Medium of the Celebritization Process:
Exploring the “Mina as Mother” Image in the Context of Post-War Italian
Culture», Mediascapes Journal 11, pp. 29-41
Haworth, Rachel 2018b, «Mina as Transnational Popular Music Star in the
Early 1960s», Modern Languages Open 1, pp. 1-16
Haworth, Rachel 2019, «City Branding and the Popular Music Star: The
Case of Mina, Cremona, and “Cremona canta Mina”», Italian Studies 74(4),
in corso di pubblicazione
Mosconi, Elena 2014, «Mina: la forza di una performer audiovisiva», in
Roberta Carpani, Laura Peja, Laura Aimo (a cura di), Scena madre. Donne,
personaggi e interpreti della realtà. Studi per Annamaria Cascetta, Vita
e Pensiero, Milano
Mosconi, Elena 2019, «Milleluci per due star della televisione italiana.
La strana coppia Mina-Raffaella Carrà», in Arabeschi 13, pp. 190-197
Prato, Paolo 2010, La musica italiana. Una storia sociale dall’Unità a
oggi, Donzelli, Roma
Prato, Paolo 2014, «Virtuosity and Populism: The Everlasting Appeal of
Mina and Celentano», in Franco Fabbri e Goffredo Plastino (a cura di),
Made in Italy: Studies in Italian Popular Music, Routledge, London & New
York, pp. 162-171
Redmond,  Sean 2014, Celebrity and the Media, Palgrave Macmillan, London
& New York
Spaziante, Lucio 2016, «Mina, l’icona mutante», in Icone pop: identità e
apparenze tra semiotica e musica, Mondadori, Milano, pp. 95-116
Tomatis, Jacopo 2019, Storia culturale della canzone italiana, il
Saggiatore, Milano
Valentini, Paola 2017, «Mina: Narrative and Cinematic Spectacle of the
Italian Woman in the 1960’s», in Virginia Picchietti e Laura Salsini (a
cura di), Writing and Performing Female Identity in Italian Culture,
Palgrave Macmillan, New York, pp. 81-104.

More collaborations, sponsor and side-events TBA.

Authors should send their proposals (max 250 words, in Italian or
English), along with a short bio and 5 keywords to: <>,

Deadline for proposal: December 5, 2019
Notification of acceptance: December 20, 2019

Conference fee
50€: Professors
25€: PhDs and postdoctoral fellows

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