Added: August 6, 2016 – Last updated: August 6, 2016


Author: Niamh Cullen

Title: The case of Franca Viola

Subtitle: Debating Gender, Nation and Modernity in 1960s Italy

Journal: Contemporary European History

Volume: 25

Issue: 1

Year: February 2016 (Published online: January 13, 2016)

Pages: 97-115

ISSN: 0960-7773 – Find a Library: WordCat | eISSN: 1469-2171 – Find a Library: WordCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century | European History: Italian History | Cases: Offenders / Filippo Melodia; Cases: Victims / Franca Viola


Link: Cambridge University Press (Restricted Access)


Author: Niamh Cullen, Department of History, University of

Abstract: »Seventeen-year-old Sicilian Franca Viola was abducted and raped in 1965, with the intention of forcing her into marriage. She came to prominence in 1966 as the first Sicilian woman to refuse a so-called reparatory marriage – which would have legally absolved her rapist of his crime – resulting in his prosecution in a high profile trial in December 1966. Through an examination of the media coverage, and by making use of history of the emotions, this article examines the trial as a crucial moment for post-war Italy, when gender, sexuality and marriage were being redefined in a rapidly changing society. Different emotional styles could be connected to debates about national identity and regional character, as well as to broader anxieties about ‘modernity’ and ‘backwardness’.« (Source: Contemporary European History)


  The Post-War Economic Miracle and the Rediscovery of the 'Southern Question' (p. 102)
  Love and Masculinity on Trial in Trapani, December 1966 (p. 106)
  Conclusion (p. 114)

Wikipedia: History of Europe: History of Italy / History of the Italian Republic | Rape in Italy: Franca Viola