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Armelle Girinon

Armelle Girinon studies Italian history and literature (19th and 20th-century). Her doctoral research focused on travel narratives and on the apprehension and construction of otherness. She works now on the oral history of peasant women and on the writing of their life stories.

Host University: Sapienza Università di Roma, Italy
Host research group or department: Department of modern literature and culture - site
Co-host University: Aix Marseille University, France
Secondment institution: Musée des civilisations de l’Europe et de la Méditerranée - Mucem, France
Advisor: Professor Silvia Tatti
Co-advisor: Dr. Constance De Gourcy
Secondment mentor: To be defined

Armelle Girinon
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My research

“Voices of Silenced Women. Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries Italian Farmers’ Life in Nuto Revelli’s Sound Archive and Collections of Testimonies”

This research project is based on the study of Nuto Revelli’s sound archives (almost 500 hours of recorded interviews) and on the analysis of two collections of testimonies collected from peasant families in the Cuneo area in the 1970s and 1980s: Il mondo dei vinti. Testimonianze di cultura contadina (1977) and L’anello forte. La donna: storie di vita contadina (1985). The proposed study will focus on the issues of women's memory and women's voices. The main objective of this work is to underline the socio-historical interest of reading and listening carefully to the testimonies of marginalized and forgotten women.

My research will be structured around three axes. I will first focus on Revelli's innovative method of surveying peasant families and collecting life stories. What were his literary or scientific models? How did he conduct his field survey? In a second step, I will examine the linguistic and textual creative processes that Reveli used for transforming recorded interviews into published collections. Finally, starting from the hypothesis of the existence of a hegemonic male gaze in the production of the 19th and 20th centuries (dominant) historiography, I will analyze the historical and cultural contributions of women’s narratives on the major events of both centuries. Three themes will be considered for this last part of the research: the war, the migration and the relationship of women’s bodies to public, private and working spaces (especially at the time of industrialization and urbanization).

Date started – Date End

01.09.2022 - 31.08.2024