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Fellows 2017


University of Chicago

Bucerius Fieldwork Grant

Womanhood Mediterranean Style: Authoritarianism and the Politics of Fiction in Italy and Turkey, 1919-1935


Kara Peruccio´s dissertation “Women on the Verge: Emotions, Authoritarianism and the Novel in Italy and Turkey, 1922-1936” is a comparative history of Fascist Italy and Kemalist Turkey. By analyzing novels by Sibilla Aleramo, Grazia Deledda, Suat Derviş, Halide Edip, Maria Messina, and Nezihe Muhiddin, she explored the relationship between emotions and gender politics in the interwar Mediterranean. She argued that these women novelists responded to and critiqued authoritarian gender politics when writing the themes of romance and heartbreak, age, and motherhood. Often women’s voices are excluded from the national, institutional political archive, and by incorporating creative cultural sources, historians can reassess the experience and effects of Fascist and Kemalist politics.

Kara A. Peruccio is a Humanities Teaching Fellow at the University of Chicago. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations in August 2020. She is a scholar of gender and cultural history in the modern Middle East and Mediterranean. Her teaching and research interests include Modern Middle Eastern History, the 20th century Mediterranean, cultural history, and comparative authoritarianisms. Kara holds an M.A. from the University of Chicago ,Center for Middle Eastern Studies (2014) and a B.A. from Wake Forest University (2011).

“Bad Romance: Toxic Masculinity, Love, and Heartbreak in Interwar Italian and Turkish Women’s Novels, 1923-32,” Journal of Women’s History (forthcoming)

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