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Cinema, Fashion, History & Politics, Italian American Issues, Literature, Theater & Dance

“Summer Within” + “Italian Trans Geographies”

with author and filmmaker Summer Minerva

December 12, 2023
6:30 pm

Summer Within
(2023, Documentary, USA, 70 min.)

Directed by
Summer Minerva and Adam Golub

Followed by the book presentation of
Italian Trans Geographies
(SUNY Press, 2023)

Edited by
Danila Cannamela, Colby College
Marzia Mauriello, University of Naples L’Orientale
Summer Minerva, author, filmmaker, and activist

A conversation with the editors
Moderated by Dominic Longo


About the Film
In this pioneering, autobiographical documentary, a trans dancer from Staten Island struggles to find belonging in her Italian American community. She journeys to Southern Italy and encounters an ancient transgender tradition.  The film weaves Minerva’s personal quest for self-understanding and deeper knowledge of her Italian heritage with a broader narrative about the femminielli, a type of “third gender” people who are revered in southern Italy for performing rituals meant to bring luck to the community, and fulfilling traditionally feminine roles like childcare.

About the Book
How does the mapping of Italian culture change when it is charted from the perspective of gender-variant people? Italian Trans Geographies (SUNY Press, 2023) tackles this question by retracing trans and gender-variant experiences within the Italian peninsula and along diasporic routes. The volume adopts a cross-disciplinary approach that combines scholarly analyses with grassroots engagement and creative work and centers the voices of Italian and Italian American transpeople through autobiographies, memoirs, interviews, poetry, and visual works. Contributions include works by key Italian trans activists as well as critical interpretations of scholars and artists (many of whom self-identify as trans). Ultimately, these voices show how trans people have contributed to shaping Italian places and cultures while, in turn, being shaped by those places and cultures. 

Danila Cannamela (she/her) is an Assistant Professor of Italian Studies at Colby College. She is the author of The Quiet Avant-Garde: Crepuscular Poetry and the Twilight of Modern HumanismMarzia Mauriello (she/her) is an Adjunct Professor of Cultural Anthropology at the University of Naples L’orientale in Italy. She is the author of An Anthropology of Gender Variance and Trans Experience in Naples: Beauty in TransitSummer Minerva (she/they) is an independent researcher, performer, author, filmmaker, activist, and educator. A lover of adventure, Summer tours internationally, sharing her performances, films, and ideas with the world.

Trailer for Summer Within:

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