Marina Cacioppo

Giuseppina Terranova and Other Gruesome Stories: Cases of Female Italian-American murderers in the press from the 1890s to the 1910s

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Immigrant women during the period of mass migration received little public attention. However, when some of them became protagonists in sensational murder cases, they burst into the public sphere. Analyzing the representation of Josephine Terranova and other female Italian- American murderers in both the yellow press and the Italian-American press shows how some of these invisible women were able to assert themselves in the public sphere and achieve a degree of agency despite their tragic circumstances. These women, represented as degenerate and genetically inferior in the early coverage of their cases and trials, were, over time, essentially rehabilitated in the press as “properµ American subjects as a result of the convergence of interests between the popular press and the women themselves who both sought to create narratives of transformation.


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