Murder Made in Italy

Murder Made in Italy

Homicide, Media, and Contemporary Italian Culture
Ellen Nerenberg
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 03/29/2012
Format: Paperback 10 b&w illus., 5 maps
ISBN: 978-0-253-22309-8
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Looking at media coverage of three very prominent murder cases, Murder Made in Italy explores the cultural issues raised by the murders and how they reflect developments in Italian civil society over the past 20 years. Providing detailed descriptions of each murder, investigation, and court case, Ellen Nerenberg addresses the perception of lawlessness in Italy, the country’s geography of crime, and the generalized fear for public safety among the Italian population. Nerenberg examines the fictional and nonfictional representations of these crimes through the lenses of moral panic, media spectacle, true crime writing, and the abject body. The worldwide publicity given the recent case of Amanda Knox, the American student tried for murder in a Perugia court, once more drew attention to crime and punishment in Italy and is the subject of the epilogue.

Author Bio

Ellen Nerenberg is Hollis Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Wesleyan University. She is author of Prison Terms: Representing Confinement During and After Italian Fascism and translator and editor of (with Nicoletta Marini-Maio and Thomas Simpson), Body of State: The Moro Affair, a Nation Divided.


“Providing detailed descriptions of three prominent murders, investigation, and court case, Murder Made in Italy explores the cultural issues raised by the murders and how they reflect developments in Italian civil society over the past 20 years. ”

“A fantastic array of literary, cinematic, and oral narratives.”
 — Stefania Lucamante, Catholic University of America

“Original, engaging, and thought-provoking . . . quite unlike any other existing book in Italian cultural and media studies.”
 — Ruth Glynn, University of Bristol

“[T]his book provides food for thought for those studying Italy from a wide variety of perspectives.”
 — Contemporary Italian Politics

“Nerenberg’s study represents a useful tool for the reading of contemporary Italy crimes from a cultural studies perspective. ”
 — H-Italy

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Making a Killing

Part I: Serial Killing
1. The "Monster" of Florence: Serial Murders and investigation
2. Monstrous Murder: Serial Killers and Detectives in Contemporary Italian Literature
3. Penile Procedure: The Pleasures and Dangers of Looking in Dario Argento’s Cinema
Part II: Matricide and Fratricide % Erika, Omar, and Violent Youth in Italy
4. "Sono stati loro:" Erika, Omar, and the Double Homicide of Susy Cassini and Gianluca De Nardo in Novi Ligure
5. The Raw and the Cooked: Transnational Media and Violence in Italy’s "Cannibal" Pulp Fiction of the 1990s
Part III: Filicide % The Bad/Mad Mother of Cogne and Violence Against Children
6. The Yellow and the Black: Cogne or, Crime of the Century
7. Spectacular Grief and Public Mourning
8. Unspeakable Crimes: Children as Witnesses, Victims, and Perpetrators
Epilogue: Kiss Me Deadly

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