Vanessa Fanelli

Vanessa Fanelli is a Lecturer for the Department of French and Italian at The University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests focus on gender studies, and feminist and postfeminist theories, film and media theory, and audience reception. She received her Ph.D. in the summer of 2022. Her dissertation, titled “Beyond the Casting Couch: A feminist recovery of female stars’ experience in Italy,” is an interdisciplinary inquiry on female stardom in Italy with particular focus on gender representation and production practices between the 1950s and 1960s. Through a multi-disciplinary approach based on film analysis, historical work, and archival research, it explores the phenomenon of female stardom from a feminist perspective to revisit the strategies which stars and starlets deployed to resist the process of their own commodification. She is currently working on her first book manuscript on the manufacturing and reception of female stars in Italy from the 1950s to 1970