Beatrice Seligardi

Panel 1E: Transcoding the Artist’s Life
Session 1 – July 1, 11:00 – 13:00

From Femicide to Art Criticism: Remediating Francesca Alinovi’s Icon

Francesca Alinovi (1948-1983) was one of the most intriguing art critics between the Seventies and the Eighties. She studied at DAMS (University of Bologna), where she later became a researcher, mixing academic and militant critical activity, taking an interest in the major avant-garde movements in the American art of the time and conveying those ideas and practices in Italy.

For decades, however, Francesca Alinovi has been mostly associated with her tragic fate: on June 12, 1983 she was murdered in her apartment in Bologna. This fact has become one of the most well-known and controversial murder cases of recent Italian history.

The main narrative surrounding the figure of Francesca Alinovi has transformed her into an icon, very close to the cultural stereotypes of the “cursed artist”, to which the social role of “victim” has been soon added. This icon fits in well with the narrative of “a case of femicide”, such as the one elaborated by Carlo Lucarelli both in a TV program (I misteri di Blu Notte) and a collection of non-fictional stories (Mistero in blu), as well as in several publications retelling the murder case in a number of different codes (literary narrative, mystery, journalistic investigation, toponymy).

In recent years, there has been an attempt to overcome the private and criminal nature of Alinovi’s case, gradually recovering her intellectual status: it is in this direction, for example, that go Veronica Santi’s film I am not alone anyway (2017) and the complete anthology of Alinovi’s critical writings (2019), edited by Santi herself and Matteo Bergamini.

The goal of this contribution will be to retrace the transmedialization of Alinovi’s icon, analyzing its cultural construction – similar in some respects to the divistic phenomena – through different genres – detective novel, nonfiction narration, journalistic inquiry, biography, art criticism – and media – literature, tourist guides, TV programs, films, critical anthologies.


Beatrice Seligardi holds a Phd in Euroamerican Literatures (University of Bergamo) and is Dr. Phil. in Literary and Cultural Studies (Justus Liebig Universität Giessen) in the context of the Joint PhD Programme in Literary and Cultural Studies. She is author of two books on the university novel and on the reframing of the Pathosformel in context of Intermedial Studies within a gender perspective. She is currently Adjunct Professor at the University of Parma, where she teaches a Workshop in Contemporary Literature and Arts.