Cecilia Brioni

Cecilia Brioni is Research Fellow in Italian, Trinity College Dublin. Her research focuses on representations of young people’s style, appearance and bodily practices in Italian popular culture from the post-war period to the present day. She adopts an intersectional approach that looks at how the media construction of age and generational identities interact with discourses around gender, sexuality and race in the Italian context. Her forthcoming monograph Fashioning Italian youth: young people’s identity and style in Italian popular culture, 1958-75 (under contract, Manchester University Press) examines representations of young people’s style trends and appearance in youth-oriented popular media like TV programmes, teen magazines and Musicarelli films. Her exploration of the media construction of young femininities in the period 1958-75 looks at how style features such as the androgynous beat style and the miniskirt triggered anxieties towards young women’s alleged masculinisation and increasing sexualisation, thus reflecting preoccupations over changing ideas of femininity in 1960s and 1970s Italian society as a whole.

Her current research project, (Trans)national Online Communities: Celebrity, Identity, and Reception on YouTube Italia, which is funded by an Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellowship, explores contemporary self-representations of Italian young people on YouTube, using the beauty and make-up community as a case study, and focusing on representations of masculinities, femininities and Blackness. This research touches upon several issues concerning the contemporary construction of girlhood, especially discourses around online celebrity, body positivity and make-up as an instrument of self-empowerment, and ideas around young women’s media competence and technical skills.

Selected Publications

Fashioning Italian youth: young people’s identity and style in Italian popular culture, 1958-75 (under contract, Manchester University Press).

‘Shorn Capelloni: hair and young masculinities in the Italian media, 1965-1967’. Modern Italy, 25.1 (February 2020), pp. 3-16.

‘Rita e «La Zanzara»: la costruzione dell’identità giovanile italiana nei film Musicarelli (1958-1968)’ in Parigi, S., Uva, C. and Zagarrio, V. (eds.) (2019), Cinema e identità italiana: cultura visuale e immaginario nazionale fra tradizione e modernità. Rome: Roma TrE-Press, pp. 711-720.

Co-authored. ‘Transnational “Italian” Stardom: Lara Saint Paul and the Performance of Race’. Italian Studies, 73.4 (Autumn 2018), pp. 351-364.

‘Between Two Stages: Rita Pavone and i giovani on Studio Uno, 1961-1966’. Italian Studies, 72.4 (Autumn 2017), pp. 414-427.