School as Family, and Magazines as Social Media: A Nineteenth Century Girl’s Education

Date / Time

February 26, 2021

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


Our presentation focuses on how new education laws, a modern, fast postal service, and a significant progress in the printing press promoted new reading and writing habits for girls and young women. While these changes produced a new female readership, at the same time, school teachings, textbooks, and women’s magazines, also contributed to confine women in the domestic sphere.

Ombretta Frau is the Dorothy Rooke McCulloch Professor of Italian at Mount Holyoke College. Her research focuses on nineteenth and early twentieth century Italian women and on history of Italian culture. Her forthcoming publications include articles on Matilde Serao’s correspondence, on jewelry in Marchesa Colombi and Contessa Lara’s narratives, and on the material culture of reading in art and literature.

Cristina Gragnani is Associate Professor of Italian and Chair of the French, German, Italian and Slavic Department at Temple University. Her research focuses on Luigi Pirandello and Turn of the Nineteenth Century Italian women writers. She is currently working on a monograph on women’s contribution to World War I propaganda. Her most recent publications include articles on women and Irredentism, and women’s magazines. Before joining Temple University she taught at UIC.

Organized by the Italian Program (Dept. of Hispanic and Italian Studies). For details and Zoom link, see

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