Sexual Violence in History: A Bibliography

compiled by Stefan Blaschke


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First published: March 1, 2024 - Last updated: March 1, 2024


Author: Annachiara Mariani

Title: Male Rape, Femicide, and Torture

Subtitle: How Borgia: Faith and Fear Demystifies the Italian Renaissance

Journal: Series: International Journal of TV Serial Narratives

Volume: 9

Issue: 1

Year: Summer 2023 (Published online: February 5, 2024)

Pages: 47-62

eISSN: 2421-454X - Find a Library: WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: Medieval History: 15th Century | Modern History: 21st Century | European History: French History, Italian History | Types: Rape / Same-Sex Rape; Representations: Films / Borgia


Link: AlmaDL Journals: E-Publishing Service of the University of Bologna (Free Access)


Author: Annachiara Mariani, Department of Modern and Foreign Languages and Literatures, University of Tennessee - Knoxville - ORCID, ResearchGate

Abstract: »This article argues the growing interest in investigating how popular historical television series recreates and represents the past by comparing the creative and representational choices of Tom Fontana’s Borgia: Faith and Fear (Canal+, 2011-14) with those of Neil Jordan’s The Borgias (Showtime, 2011-13). The comparison aims to show how these historical television series have boosted the public’s interest in the branding of Italy, the Italian Renaissance and, at the same time, managed to create a unique sense of historical engagement. I call this phenomenon ‘historicity,’ that is, something that ‘might have happened’ given the violent milieu of the times. Even though the creators and writers alter and adapt certain facts, they successfully manage to make the viewers ‘travel through time’ and emotionally engage them with the past, allowing them to meet—virtually, of course— the characters and experience events that shaped Italian and European history from 1492-1503. I intend to show how Fontana’s Borgia, in particular, succeeds in de-mythologizing the Renaissance by shattering the mythical depiction of a golden age and focusing, instead, on the prevailing unbridled violence of the times. Fontana’s narrative does not shy away from displaying the most atrocious tortures, disfigurements, femicides and male rapes. Although some of these scenes are certainly alienating and shocking, and may leave the audience uncomfortable and even appalled, they succeed in reawakening historical consciousness through affective engagement, narrative transportation, and the proximity effect« (Source: Series)

  Abstract (p. 47)
  1. Introduction (p. 48)
  2. The 2011 Borgia Boom (p. 49)
  3. Borgia: Faith and Fear (p. 51)
  4. Conclusion (p. 58)
  References (p. 60)

Wikipedia: History of Europe: History of France / French Fifth Republic | History of Europe: History of Italy / Italian Renaissance | Television: Historical television series / Borgia (TV series) | Sex and the law: Rape / History of rape