In 2022 she received her Master’s Degree in Modern Languages and Literatures presented at the University of Salerno with a grade of 110L/110, presenting a thesis in English Literature entitled “A Voice to be Heard: the Silenced Medieval Muse in Romantic and Victorian Literature”.
Flora de Giovanni
Title: “Rewriting the future through the past: image, word and gender in Julia Margaret Cameron’s Photography”
This research project aims to show the challenges, largely ignored by critics, that Julia Margaret Cameron had to face in the creation of the photographic illustrations to Lord Alfred Tennyson’s Idylls of the King. Reinvigorating and bringing to life the Arthurian legends by means of photography was no easy task: Victorian society, its obsession with decorum and modesty, its desire to relegate women to the role of the angel of the hearth, coupled with the uncertain status of photography, unanimously deemed a “non-art”, led Cameron, a woman animated by the desire to ennoble the art of photography but who was considered a mere imitator of her preceptors, to operate a careful selection and reinterpretation of the Idylls based on the message she wanted to convey to the public. The main objective of this project is precisely to illustrate how behind the apparent idealisation of femininity and masculinity, which was perfectly in line with Tennyson’s epic and his conservative ideas, there lies a subversive representation of medieval femininity that will serve as a model for female writers, Virginia Woolf for instance, who, just like the heroines depicted by Cameron, are eager to become the authors of their own destiny.