"This book is a rich, provocative account of performative self-fashioning in an Italian town. Del Negro's nuanced analysis of the passeggiata as a reflexive display of individual and communal identity illuminates brilliantly the advent of modernity not simply as epochal change, but as lived experience." Richard Bauman, Distinguished Professor of Folklore and Ethnomusicology, Indiana University "Giovanna Del Negro recounts with delicacy and verve how the inhabitants of a central Italian town confront the predicaments of modernity. Through close attention to local discussions on such themes as immigration, small-town political and sexual scandals, and soap operas, she reveals everyday negotiations around gender, class and being Italian. In the conceptual centrepiece of the book, she shows how the passeggiata, the ritual evening stroll, serves as both spectacle and drama of the shared communal life, a site of intense sociability where civility and taste are performed and judged. This book is a little gem, a perceptive account of embodiment and performance but also a portrait of a community whose imbrication within national and global processes is subtly evinced." Jane K. Cowan, Department of Anthropology, University of Sussex "This book is an engaging treatment of a very neglected topic, with broader implications." Dorothy Noyes, Department of English, Ohio State University
About the Author
Giovanna P. Del Negro associate professor of English, Texas A & M University, and past co-editor of the Journal of American Folklore.