The Literary and Human Legacy of Clara Sereni

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Collective volume edited by Susan Briziarelli (Adelphi University) and Giulia Po DeLisle (UMass Lowell)
contact email: 

Clara Sereni was an innovative writer, a passionate intellectual, and a committed activist, whose literary work and political engagement have left an indelible mark on contemporary Italian literature and society. Her numerous fictional and non-fictional writings bear witness to crucial times in Italian history (Fascism, post-war years, the 1960s and 1970s and the Berlusconi era) while also exploring the intimate struggle for personal independence and self-affirmation of multi-faceted female characters in their roles as daughters, mothers and “handicapped” mothers, workers, activists, politicians, Jews. In her writing, Sereni provides a dialogical space that merges the private and the public, self and community, in a constant attempt to give voice to the underserved, the oppressed, the marginalized, and always driven by her utopic vision for an ethical horizon of social justice, collective responsibilities, and civil rights.

While Sereni’s writing continues to receive attention, there is no single work in English that examines the many different questions addressed by the author. This collection of essays will fill this void and bring together the salient issues by demonstrating the richness of her literary production and the relevance of her human legacy.

Scholars are invited to submit proposals on any aspects of Clara Sereni’s writing. Possible topics include but are not limited to:

writing as a political act; private self and public realm; Jewish identity and heritage; personal and historical memory; the concept of displacement; the space of the house; literary experimentation and extra-verbal language: food, clothing, music...; autobiographical experimentation; disability; the underserved; gender and sexuality; the elderly; women’s life; female genealogies; father and daughter relationship; literature and history; literature and politics; eco-literature; social justice; humor and irony.

We are looking for original and unpublished research and welcome any theoretical and methodological approach.

The proposal must be written in English and include an abstract (maximum 500 words), 3-5 keywords, and a short biographical note. We would like to have all proposals in by September 30, 2021 and the essays (6,000-8,000 words ca. notes included) by May 30, 2022. Please send your proposal via mail to both and