Niamh Cullen

Niamh Cullen is a historian of gender, emotions and family in modern Italy, with a particular focus on the years of the post-war ‘economic miracle’. Her most recent book is Love, Honour and Jealousy: An Intimate History of the Italian Economic Miracle (Oxford 2019), also due to be published in Italian translation with Francoangeli in 2022. This work drew on memoirs and diaries as well as mass media sources (mainly magazines and film) to reconstruct the experiences of love, courtship and marriage for men and women coming of age in the 1950s and 1960s, using a ‘history of the emotions’ lens to investigate the impact of socio-economic change on the ordinary lives of young men and women during the post-war ‘economic miracle’. Previous articles for Cultural and Social History, and Contemporary European History looked specifically at the changing lives of girls and young women, as viewed through the lens of the mass media. More recently I have contributed two general essays on the history of the emotions, on ‘romantic love’ and ‘love in families’, both forthcoming, respectively in the Routledge History of the Emotions (2022) and a Cultural History of Love (Bloomsbury, 2022). My current and future plans have several strands, including the history of motherhood and breastfeeding, and a separate strand on representations of love, anger and sexuality in the works of young women writers in the 1950s and early 1960s.

Relevant publications

Love, Honour and Jealousy: An Intimate History of the Italian Economic Miracle (Oxford 2019)

N. Cullen (2016), ‘The case of Franca Viola: Debating Gender, Nation and Modernity in 1960s Italy’, Contemporary European History, Vol. 25:1, pp. 97-115.

N. Cullen (2014), ‘Changing emotional landscapes? Grand Hotel and representations of love and courtship in 1950s Italy’, Social and Cultural History, Vol. 11 (2): pp. 285-306.

N. Cullen, (2013) ‘Morals, Modern Identities and the Catholic woman: Fashion in Famiglia Cristiana, 1954 – 1968’. Journal of Modern Italian Studies, Vol. 18 (1): pp. 33-52.