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ROMS 1108.102: Women Writing the Mediterranean (Spring 2018): Reference

A library research guide for students in Prof. Battig von Wittelsbach's Romance Studies 1108 class.

Where Do I Start?

To find biographical information and some basic critical analysis on the writers covered in this class, try the Literature Resource Center or consult some of the reference books listed on the right. For more in-depth scholarly research and literary criticism, search the MLA International Bibliography.

To get background information on almost any subject, consider searching Oxford Reference or Sage Knowledge.

Olin Reference Collection

Olin Library Reference Collection

Subject Encyclopedias are great for:

  • choosing a topic
  • educating yourself quickly
  • perspective on a topic
  • variant spellings, vocabulary, terminology
  • bibliographies of critical sources


Assia Djebar

Natalia Ginzburg

Slavenka Drakulic

Milena Agus

Elsa Morante

Reference Sources for Mediterranean Literature and History and Women's Studies

Italian Literature and History

Cassell Dictionary of Italian Literature, Peter Bondanella and Julia Conaway Bondanella, editors-in-chief. London: Cassell; Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1996. [2nd ed.]. Olin Reference PQ4006 C37x 1996
Provides 400 entries on: Italian writers from the 12th to the 20th centuries; Italian...poetic forms or genres; literary or critical schools, periods, problems and movements; and feminism, postmodernism and other topics of contemporary interest. Entries are arranged alphabetically and include extensive cross-references. A bibliography concludes each entry. [publisher's description]
Encyclopedia of Contemporary Italian Culture, edited by Gino Moliterno. Routledge, 2000. Olin Reference DG450 E53x 2000
Provides "coverage of the diverse forms of post-1945 Italian culture. With over 900 entries by international contributors, this volume is genuinely interdisciplinary in character, treating traditional political, economic, and legal concerns, with a particular emphasis on neglected areas of popular culture. Entries range from short definitions, histories or biographies to longer overviews covering themes, movements, institutions and personalities, from advertising to fascism, and Pirelli to Zeffirelli." [publisher's description]
Encyclopedia of Italian Literary Studies. Gaetana Marrone, general editor; New York: Routledge, c2007. 2 vols. Olin Reference PQ4006 E536 2007+
"Contains some 600 entries on all aspects of Italian literary culture, including analytical essays on authors and works,articles on critics, themes, genres, schools, historical surveys, and other related topics. The encyclopedia also covers subjects of contemporary interest, such as journalism, film, media, children's literature, food, and vernacular literatures. Entries consist of an essay on the topic and a bibliographic portion listing works for further reading, and, in the case of entries on individuals, a brief biographical paragraph and list of works by the person." [publisher]
Italian Novelists Since World War II, 1945-1965. edited by Augustus Pallotta. Detroit: Gale Research, c1997. (Dictionary of Literary Biography, v. 177) Uris Reference PS129 D55 v.177+ (Wilis Room)
Italian Novelists Since World War II, 1965-1995. edited by Augustus Pallotta. Detroit: Gale Research, c1999. (Dictionary of Literary Biography ; v. 196) Uris Reference PS129 D55 v.196+ (Willis Room)
These volumes typically provide 10-15 page biographical overviews of writers, including bibliographies of both primary and secondary works. The texts of these are available online through the Literature Resource Center (LRC), but the graphic content -- which may include photographs, manuscript pages, book covers -- is available only in the printed editions.
Italian Women Writers: a Bio-bibliographical Sourcebook, edited by Rinaldina Russell. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1994. Olin Reference PQ4063 I88
"Contains biographical, critical, and bibliographical profiles of 51 Italian women writers from the 14th century to the present day. The entries are written by contributors knowledgeable of the historical period in which their chosen writers lived, and reflect the literary tradition that conditioned the works under consideration, as well as the modern gender issues inherent in contemporary criticism." (publisher's description)
Oxford Companion to Italian Literature. (Oxford University Press, 2002). Print copy: Olin Reference PQ4006 O84x 2002
Alphabetically arranged entries cover major and minor Italian authors,literary genres and movements,literary theory, literary magazines and publishers, as well as entries on important cities, historical events, and political philosophies.
Literature Resource Center (LRC)
A literature database combining biographical, bibliographical, and contextual information on authors and their works (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, history, and journalism). Draws from Gale Group's core literary databases including Contemporary Authors, Dictionary of Literary Biography (DLB), and Contemporary Literary Criticism (CLC). Provides additional search capability for Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature and Gale literary index.

Other Areas

Encyclopedia of Modern Greek Literature. Westport, Conn. ; London : Greenwood Press, 2004. Olin Reference PA5210 .M44 2004 +
"Provides more than 800 alphabetically arranged entries on important authors, texts, genres, themes, and topics in Greek literature from the Byzantine period to the present...Each entry is thoroughly cross-referenced, and most conclude with a bibliography of further information resources." [publisher]
Spanish Women Writers: a Bio-bibliographical Source Book. Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 1993. Olin Library Reference PQ6055 .S73
"this volume profiles and analyzes fifty significant women writers of Spain--some celebrated and some overlooked--from the fourteenth century to the present. The work includes poets, fiction writers, dramatists, and essayists. Lives and works are examined with reference to complex issues surrounding gender, creativity, and social mores." (publisher)
Twenty-first-century Central and Eastern European Writers.
Detroit: Gale, 2009. Uris Reference PS129 D55 v.353 + (Willis Room)
Contains biographical overviews of contemporary writers from the region (including Slavenka Drakulic). Content is included online through the Literature Resource Center (LRC)

Women's Studies

Greenwood Encyclopedia of Women's Issues Worldwide. 6 volumes. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2003. Olin Reference HQ 1726 .G74x 2003 +
"[S]hould serve as a starting point for anyone doing research in the area of women and the developing world." [Guide to Reference. Editor's Guide: Gender Studies] [A]uthoritative, comprehensive, and current data on ... women's issues in more than 130 countries...." [Foreword] Essays cover education, employment and the economy, family and sexuality, health, politics and law, religion and spirituality, and violence. Volumes cover Asia & Oceania, Central and South America, Europe, North America & the Caribbean, the Middle East & North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Useful resource guides for each country list books, journal articles, and Web sites.
Encyclopedia of Women in Today's World. Sage, 2011.
"..focuses on women's status starting approximately in the year 2000 and going forward. From A-to-Z, this work covers the spectrum of defining women in the contemporary world. Signed entries (with cross-references and recommended readings) cover the full range of issues in contemporary women’s studies..."
Routledge International Encyclopedia of Women. 4 volumes. New York: Routledge, 2000. Olin Reference HQ 1115 .R69x 2000
Covers certain topic areas region by region. Thorough and substantial bibliographies.
Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures. 6 volumes. Leiden: Brill, and Olin Reference HQ 1170 .E53 2003 +
Volume 1: Methodologies, paradigms and sources; v. 2: Family, law and politics; v. 3: Family, body, sexuality and health; v. 4: Economics, education, mobility, and space; v. 5: Practices, interpretations and representations; v. 6: Index. A long-term, interdisciplinary project to bring together "upwards of 1,000 scholars to write critical essays on women, Muslim and non-Muslim, and Islamic cultures in every region where there have been significant Muslim populations." [Introduction]

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