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Carla Poesio Award 2020 - An interview with Sara Mugerli

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Now in its third edition, the Carla Poesio Award maintains as its main focus the world of academic research concerning children's literature and all its influences over time, which are to be found in related fields such as arts, education and cross-media.

Sara Mugerli has won the 2020 edition with an essay on cross-mediality that investigated the relationship between children's and youth periodicals and Italian television from the early ‘50s to the early ‘60s. BCBF wanted to find out something more about her work and her decision to bring it to the attention of the Carla Poesio Award jury.


This year, you won the Carla Poesio Award with your essay “The television in Italy represented in children's magazines from 1954 to 1964”: what made you decide to take part in this contest?

I found out about the Award thanks to Sabrina Fava, who was my thesis supervisor at the Università Cattolica di Milano, and I feel really grateful for her help. The Poesio Award got my attention, and I sent my essay over filled with enthusiasm.

Could you tell us more about your research?

During my academic career, I had the opportunity to rediscover old children's magazines, especially "Corriere dei Piccoli", "Il Vittorioso" and "Il Giornalino". Part of my research began on the shelves at home, and was born from both an emotional and personal experience: that of the child reader, just like my parents were.

In my paper “Italian television in children's magazines from 1954 to 1964”, I developed the theme of cross-mediality between children's magazines and television. It’s a new phenomenon that started manifesting itself in the 1960s, and represents the most original and interesting discovery of my research. Characters from the printed media came to life on TV, such as Sergio Tofano's Signor Bonaventura. But the reverse is also true. Historical television characters appeared in the printed media as well. How can we forget Topo Gigio, Mago Zurlì, Bonanza or Lo Zecchino d'Oro tv program…? So, a two-way transposition took place between the two media. It’s the beginning of multimedia, our days’ dimension.

How did you find out about children periodicals?

By attending professor Fava’s classes on Children’s Literature. I had the chance to research a little more, and discover children periodicals once again, the same ones that my parents read as children and that they preserved over time, handing them down to me as well. A big part of my research thus began at home, from my own bookshelves, from an emotional and personal experience such as mine a child who loved reading. The Poesio Award is a great milestone for me and I hope, it’ll be also the beginning of new journeys to be made.


Just like the 2019 winner, Sara’s thesis will be published by ETS Edizioni publishing house thanks to BolognaFiere’s support. 

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