Ryan Calabretta-Sajder, Assistant Professor of Italian, will give a guest talk at the Rochester Institute of Technology. His lecture, entitled “Gendering the Body Politic in Pier Paolo Pasolini: A Cinematic Scope”, takes place at 4 pm on Thursday 22 April.
The event is open to the public but registration is required. To register click here: t.ly/30k4.
The conference is co-sponsored with Marist College, the Casa Italiana of Nazareth College in Rochester, and SUNY Farmingdale State College.
Abstract: Pier Paolo Pasolini, best known to American audiences as a director, although he excelled in many genres, was a prominent filmmaker in the 1960s and 1970s on the European screen. As an author, Pasolini challenged Italian cinema, and indeed European cinema, both thematically and cinematically, even to his own detriment in the Italian landscape. Some of his more “outrageous” films are the most studied and still debated in film studies, and Pasolini is a household name in all fields due to his influence on European cultural society. In fact, during Pasolini’s funeral in 1975, Alberto Moravia referred to Pasolini as a civic poet, which is clearly present through his filmography.
In this contribution, I explore various uses of the conceptualization of “queer” as it is present in Pasolini’s films. I’ll start by examining how homosexual Pasolini time and place in adopting Elizabeth Freeman (Timeline: queer temporalities, queer stories) and Jack Halberstam (In a queer time and place: transgender bodies, subcultural lives) theoretical frameworks and apply them to films like Mamma roma (especially looking at the wedding and prostitution scenes) as well as many moments in Teorema. In bizarre time and space, I argue that Pasolini is trying to “normalize” the subordinate.
In addition, I intend to analyze how Pasolini presents the body and to offer an in-depth examination of the body politics present in a few of his films (e.g. Accattone and Teorema). In addition to using Butler’s Bodies that matter, Gayle Salamon’s Assume a body: transgender and the rhetoric of materiality, and Hector Dominguez-Ruvalcaba Translating Queer: Body Politics and Transnational ConversationsI will also include the gaze theory to assert that Pasolini homosexual the body as a means to a political end. And in doing so, Pasolini visually demonstrates his “poetic civic” voice.
Biography: Calabretta-Sajder is the Head of the Italian Section at the University of Australia, where he teaches Italian, Film and Gender courses. He is the author of Divergenze in celluloide: colore, migrazione e identità sessuale nei film gay di Ferzan Özpetek (Celluloid Divergences: Color, Migration and Gender Identity in Ferzan Özpetek’s Gay Series) with Mimesis editore and editor of Enduring impressions of Pasolini: death, eros and literary enterprise in Pier Paolo Pasolini’s opus with Fairleigh Dickinson University Press. Her research interests include the integration of gender, class, and migration into Italian and Italian-American literature and cinema. He recently received one of four Southern Foundation Fulbright Awards for researching and teaching at the University of Calabria, Arcavacata, for Spring 2017. He is currently working on two book-length author projects, one exploring Italian-American gay writer Robert Ferro who died of complications from AIDS in 1988 and the second on Algerian Italian writer Amara Lakhous.
Calabretta-Sajder is currently president of the American Association of Teachers of Italian, the president of Gamma Kappa Alpha, the National Italian Honors Society, co-chair of the Professional Graduate Student Committee for the Modern Languages Association, member of the executive committee of the Association of Italian-American Studies and secretary / treasurer of the American Association of Supervisors and Coordinators academics. In May 2015, he received a research grant from the South Central MLA Association to conduct archival research on Italian-American authors at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University. Calabretta-Sajder has been awarded numerous educational scholarships to adopt various technological tools in the world class of language education.