AAIS 2021 Virtual Conference: Call for Papers
WHAT PRESENT FOR THE RESISTANCE?
The Italian Resistance against Nazi-Fascism has been the subject of disparate literary, cinematic, and theatrical representations, which have cemented the democratic values of the post-fascist state and encouraged manifold aesthetic and political readings. This panel seeks to reconsider the positioning of such representations in their context of production and reception. How has the understanding and storytelling of the Resistenza changed throughout the last 75 years? What position does the Resistenza occupy in present-day Italy? How do these narratives still influence our judgement of the historical phenomenon? What is the cultural heritage of the Resistenza today even beyond Italian national borders?
Please send a 150-200 word abstract, brief bio, and request for A/V to the session organizers by January 31st, 2021.
Emails: Daniele Biffanti ; Franco Baldasso
INTERCULTURAL DIALOGUE AND SCHOLARLY EXCHANGE: ITALIAN WRITERS IN THE MEDITERRANEAN AND BEYOND (1400-1700)
Recent scholarship has revealed that Italian writings, and notably those of the early modern period, have influenced, and have been influenced by, a variety of cultures and canons. Global Renaissance and Mediterranean Studies, in particular, have challenged Italo-centric and Eurocentric perspectives, while emphasizing the import of intercultural and intercontinental dialogue and exchange. This panel will explore intra-European, Mediterranean, and trans-continental exchanges in Italian culture, as they relate to literature, science, philosophy, and art. In the spirit of global dialogue and exchange, we seek paper proposals from all disciplines, and welcome all methodologies, theoretical views, and approaches.
Please send a 150-200 word abstract and short bio to the session organizers by January 31st, 2021
Emails: Giuseppe Bruno-Chomin, University of Pennsylvania; and Tommaso De Robertis, University of Pennsylvania
ITALIAN SILENT CINEMA / CINEMA MUTO ITALIANO
Organizer: Robert A. Rushing, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Outside a small group of well-known films, the silent era is one of the least studied periods in Italian cinema. In recent years, however, Eye Filmmuseum, Cineteca Milano, Museo Nazionale del Cinema and others have opened up much of their catalogs online. In addition to epic kolossals and diva melodramas, one can also explore action films; experimental and animated films; science fiction; comedies and more. This panel welcomes papers on all aspects of pre-sound Italian cinema: film history, technology and distribution; questions of film sound; and larger cultural or theoretical questions: gender and sexuality, landscape and ecology, biopolitics, and more.
Those interested in presenting should send an abstract (150 words max) and a short biographical note by January 31 via email
ELSA MORANTE, "A GREAT PASSION FOR REALITY"?
In a much-quoted essay, literary critic Cesare Garboli famously singled out Elsa Morante's “great passion for reality”. But was reality the main concern of such a multi-faceted and unclassifiable writer? The panel looks for proposal exploring new approaches to Morante's writing, from her essays to lesser known aspects of her novels, to the often controversial and troubled relationship with intellectuals and politics of her own time. How do Morante’s disparate interests, from dreams, to Eastern philosophies to psychedelic poetry affect her imagination and her interpretations of reality? Can we articulate her visions of reality in critical ways?
Please send a 150-200 word abstract and a brief bio to the session organizers by January 31st, 2021.
Emails: Franco Baldasso, Bard College; Maria Anna Mariani, University of Chicago
HOW TO WRITE A WOMAN’S LIFE: AN ITALIAN PERSPECTIVE
Carolyn Heilbrun stated that there are four ways to write a woman’s life: she may do it through autobiography; through fiction; a biographer may tell her story; or she may write her own life “in advance of living it, unconsciously, and without recognizing or naming the process.” This panel examines strategies of self-representation in works by Italian women writers from the twentieth century to the present. Setting off from the seminal work of scholars like Graziella Parati (1996) and Ursula Fanning (2017), we seek to explore different ways in which female subjectivity is constructed in fiction and other kinds of writing. We welcome papers that are comparative in spirit and interdisciplinary in method, especially those that engage with feminist and queer studies, psychoanalysis, or narratology.
Please send a 150-200 word abstract and brief bio to the session organizers by January 31, 2021.
Organizers and emails: Victor Xavier Zarour Zarzar, The Graduate Center, CUNY; Mattia Mossali, The Graduate Center, CUNY
POST-HUMANISM? THINKING BEYOND THE HUMAN IN ITALIAN CULTURE
This interdisciplinary webinar explores the different ways in which Italian authors have thought beyond (the legacy of) humanism in order to raise questions about the role of humans in a potentially post-natural world. Topics include but are not limited to:
• the boundaries between civilization and wilderness;
• hybridity, metamorphosis, and subjectivity;
• nature and technology;
• post-human condition vs trans-human evolution;
• speciesism, anti-speciesism, and human exceptionalism.
Please send a brief abstract (150-200 words, in English or Italian) with title and a short bio to Damiano Benvegnù (email) and Matteo Gilebbi (email) by January 31st, 2021.
Organizer: Damiano Benvegnù, Ph.D. (Dartmouth College)
FORGING THE MYTH: DANTE IN THE LONG NINETEENTH CENTURY
Sponsored by Bibliotheca Dantesca. Journal of Dante Studies (Center for Italian Studies, University of Pennsylvania)
The nineteenth century marked the rediscovery of Dante’s work both in Italy and in Western culture. Romantic sensibility and patriotic movements contributed enormously to the shaping of Dante’s reputation as the “sommo poeta” and the father of Italian language. 1865 was the year of the first grand Dante celebrations in Italy, an event that resonated worldwide, giving rise to a global Dante-mania. Which social, historical, and cultural factors made this possible? What do we know about the reception of Dante’s work before the explosion of the Dante-mania? How did Dante's reading begin to spread within European literary circles? What role did Italian patriots play in the worldwide diffusion of his works? Who were Dante’s first readers internationally? How did Dante’s rich book collections, both in the US and elsewhere, start to take shape?
These are but a few of the questions this panel intends to explore. The session aims at bringing together scholars from a variety of fields and perspectives (including, but not limited to, literary studies, comparative literature, intellectual history, book history, art history), in order to investigate the social, historical, and cultural elements leading to, and following immediately from, the re-evaluation of Dante’s oeuvre in the long nineteenth century (i.e., from late eighteenth up to early twentieth century). In doing this, the panel also intends to bring scholarly attention on an usually neglected phase in Italian literary history.
Please send a 150-200 word abstract and a brief bio to the session organizers by January 31st, 2021.
Organizers and emails: Mario Sassi; Natale Vacalebre; Tommaso De Robertis
ECO DISASTER IN CONTEMPORARY ITALIAN LITERATURE AND CINEMA
According to Dickie and Foot “There is no European society whose modern history has been more deeply marked by disasters, both natural and social, than has Italy's.” With such a gruesome record, indeed, Italy’s fragile body, along with its human and non-human inhabitants, has been persistently weakened and threatened, in particular since the start of the Great Acceleration. This panel seeks engaging contributions that examine how anthropogenic environmental catastrophes (such as, just to mention a few, droughts, floods, post-floods, pollution, loss of biodiversity, land depletion, mass migration, and human extinction) are represented in Italian literature, cinema, and documentaries from 1950 to the present day. “Narrations of disaster” are quite distinctive of the Anthropocene, i.e. an epoch in which human beings have had (or, sadly, have been having) undeniable and deleterious impacts on the planet’s ecosystems and geology. This fiction from the Anthropocene encourages readers to ponder carefully what it means to live as vulnerable embodied beings, especially through global warming, climate shifts and all their tightly intertwined implications with society and economy. Moreover, when approached through the innovative lenses of material ecocriticism and post humanism, these novels, short stories, graphic novels and films unveil our deep entanglements in the material world thus questioning obsolete divides such as nature and culture and exposing the large scale and long term imbrication of human and material agencies.
For this panel “Eco Disaster in Contemporary Italian Literature and Cinema”, interdisciplinary insights from a broad spectrum of areas are very welcomed. Topics include, but are not limited to the following:
• cli-fi, speculative fiction, and sci-fi;
• apocalyptic and dystopic fiction;
• cross-pollination / blended genres and the canon;
• proximity and eco-cosmopolitanism;
• rescaling disaster, representational challenges;
• environmental justice and voicing the other;
• ethics of care, parenthood, and posterity;
• humanities as a form of resistance and performative action;
• past memories and anticipatory memories;
Send a proposal (200-250 words max), 5 keywords, a short bio and affiliation to Anna Chiafele (email) and Roberto Risso (email) by February 1st 2021
ARISTOTLE IN EARLY MODERN ITALIAN LITERATURE
Famously labelled as the “master of those who know” in Dante’s Comedy, Aristotle has been a constant presence in Italian literary culture, not only as a theoretical authority (in particular with his Poetics), but also in other forms and roles. This panel focuses on the influence and the ubiquity of Aristotle in the Italian literary tradition, with a special attention to the medieval and the early modern periods.
Please send a 150-200 word abstract and a short bio to the session organizer by January 31, 2021
Organizer and email: Eva Del Soldato (University of Pennsylvania)
18TH-CENTURY ITALIAN WOMEN ACHIEVING AGENCY THROUGH LITERATURE, ART AND SCIENCE
In their artistic, literary or scientific work, Italian women of the long 18th-century displayed – at times in clear fashion, and other times cleverly dissimulating their pride in their achievements – a will and commitment to the promotion of the intellectual abilities, the moral discernment and emotional intelligence of their sex. They used art, literature, science as the vehicles of their own enfranchisement and social and professional advancement, while providing, often, a sustained commentary on women’s status. This session is interested in contributions which explore what kind of “pulpits” various genres of work production offered women, and what conventions (whether pertaining to literary, artistic or scientific procedures or regarding political, theoretical and philosophical governing principles) they were willing and/or able to break or bend.
Organizer and email: Francesca Savoia, University of Pittsburgh
Chair and email: Clorinda Donato, California State University Long Beach
FAIRY TALES IN ITALY / FIABE IN ITALIA
Fairy tales are shape-shifting narratives that travel and adapt across time, space, and media. They are not specific to Italy yet works that find their root in Italy substantially informed the fairy-tale landscape, such as Basile’s Lo cunto de li cunti (1634-36) and Calvino’s Fiabe italiane (1956). But what happened to fairy tales in Italy since the World Wide Web was introduced in 1991? This panel welcomes papers in English or in Italian that address this and other, related questions. General topics of interest are, but are not limited to, decoloniality, eco-criticism, feminism, childhood, animal rights, race, LGBTQ2+, migrations, pedagogy, the publishing market, translation, transmediality.
Please send the presentation’s title, a 200-word abstract, and a brief bio in English or in Italian to the session’s organizer by January 31, 2021.
Organizer, Chair and email: Viola Ardeni, University of California, Davis
CONSUMING ITALIAN HISTORY, MEMORY AND IDENTITY THROUGH MASS MEDIA PRODUCTS.
Representing the past through the products of the 'culture industry' has a long history of controversy between detractors and supporters. This debate becomes particularly important at a time when commercial audiovisual media affect both the content and the form in which massive audiences relate to and consume the events of the past in unprecedented ways. This panel seeks contributions on the diverse implications of the mass media–history relation, screened history, history and film, and televised history.
Please send a 200-word abstract and a brief bio in English or in Italian to the session’s organizers by January 31, 2021.
Organizers and emails: Annachiara Mariani, The University of Tennessee; Silvia Tiboni- Craft, Wake Forest University
BLACK ITALIAN CULTURES
Black Italians and POC, artists, intellectuals, entrepreneurs, bloggers have been affirming themselves in Italian culture and society, thus entering the spotlight of the Global Black Diaspora. We invite discussions on any aspect of Black/POC Italian cultures. Possible questions are: How is this generation seeking to be included in the history and socio-economic system of a country that still refuses citizenship to children born on the Italian soil? What kind of cultural and artistic production has been emerging from “the new Italians”? Which themes are most discussed among Black Italians? Which art forms do they cite and refer to?
Organizer, Chair and email: Amanda Minervini, Colorado College
FEDERICO FELLINI AT 101 AND BEYOND
The year 2020 has marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of Federico Fellini, one of the most recognized names in the history of cinema. As Fellini’s legacy extends into a second hundred years his breaking of cinematic boundaries helps to reflect on new cultural, social and aesthetic concerns. This panel welcomes submissions on any aspect of Fellini’s work from a national as well as transnational perspective that crosses over genres, techniques and style, themes, different media, and cultural values. In keeping with the conference’s guidelines, panelists are encouraged to consider the exploration of Fellini’s creativity through interdisciplinary lenses that represent a wide range of interests.
Organizer, Chair and email: Claudia Romanelli, The University of Alabama
SOCIAL MEDIA: HOW TO INCREASE VISIBILITY AND INTERACTION FOR ITALIAN LANGUAGE PROGRAMS
In the wake of Covid-19, language programs have shifted to remote teaching and have experienced the added challenge of moving in-person, cultural activities to an online format. To remedy the lack of social interactions, several programs have turned to social media, especially Instagram and Twitter. Social media can ease both community building and outreach activities and can highlight the unique features that programs have to offer. This roundtable welcomes hands-on presentations in English and in Italian that address the possible uses of social media and/or the best strategies to increase visibility and interaction for Italian language programs.
Organizer and email: Sara Dallavalle, The University of Chicago
REPRESENTING GENDER AND SEXUALITY IN TRANSNATIONAL AND TRANSMEDIA PRODUCTIONS/NARRATIVES
This panel aims at exploring and discussing representations of gender and sexuality in transnational and transmedia narratives and/or productions of the XXI century. We welcome proposals that take into consideration the relationship between local Italian and global cultures, as well as migrations and interactions of narratives, characters, tropes, or themes across media platforms, including (but not limited to) film, television, music, theatre, and digital media. We are particularly interested in studies that approach media representations contextually to dynamics and processes of production, distribution, and reception.
Organizers and email: Paola Bonifazio, The University of Texas at Austin
Chair and email: Silvia Carlorosi, Bronx Community College
BLACK LIVES MATTER IN ITALY
The past year has brought more attention to the treatment and representation of Black bodies throughout the world, following the atrocious incidents of police killing of Black citizens in the United States. As in many countries, the public reaction in Italy was swift and loud: people gathered in piazze to share their support of the BLM cause both in the United States and in Italy, and participated in media events on this issue. Clearly, the Black Lives Matter movement in Italy is highly contextualized within post-colonial Italian history and ongoing citizenship struggles for the so-called ‘new Italians’ (a label that hardly does justice to the long-standing Italianness of many non-white citizens). For this panel, we invite academics, artists, and activists to engage in a cross-disciplinary conversation about the status of BLM in Italy, its history and contextual contours, and the steps that must be taken to ensure the movement's development.
Please send a 150-200 word abstract of the presentation, and a brief biographical note to Michela Ardizzoni via email (University of Colorado Boulder). The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2021.
Organizers: Michela Ardizzoni (University of Colorado Boulder), Kate Driscoll (Freie Universität Berlin), and Carmela Scala (Rutgers University).
ROUNDTABLE: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES OF REMOTE TEACHING
Chair-Organizer: Daniele Fioretti, Miami University
The roundtable is open to teachers of Italian who want to discuss the challenges they have faced during the Coronavirus global emergency. What did we learn from this experience? Did we discover new technologies and new strategies that will remain in our courses when the pandemic will be over? Suggested topics:
- fighting distraction: how to keep students engaged
- designing activities that could substitute small group conversations in class
- methods of assessment: written and oral exams
Please send an abstract and a short bio via email
DREAMING AND PROPHECYING IN THE ITALIAN MIDDLE AGES
This panel welcomes submissions that explore the representation of dreams and prophecies in the Italian Middle Ages. Potential paper topics include but are not limited to:
• The relationship between dreams and prophecies in the writings of the Tre Corone;
• Literary dreams and prophecies and their relationship to the broader medical, astrological, religious, and philosophical discourses;
• The intersection of models and genres in medieval dreams and prophecies;
• The representation of the body and the senses in dreams and prophetic texts;
• The reception of medieval Italian dreams and prophecies in the commentary tradition, visual arts, cinema, and literature.
Organiser and email: Aistė Kiltinavičiūtė, the University of Cambridge
Please send paper abstracts (approx. 300 words) and a short bio by January 31, 2021. Check Conference Guidelines for more information.
ROUND TABLE: “MACHIAVELLI IN CONTEMPORARY MEDIA”
In celebrating the forthcoming Machiavelli in Contemporary Media (Polegato and Benincasa eds., Palgrave Macmillan 2021), this round table seeks to gather scholars interested in presenting and discussing possible links between Machiavelli, Machiavellianism(s), and contemporary media, such as art, music, business, television and cinema, comix, videogames, news and politics, etc. At the roundtable, the contributors to Machiavelli in Contemporary Media will also introduce their contributions and participate in the discussion.
Organizer, Chair and email: Andrea Polegato, California State University, Fresno
ITALIAN FEMINIST THOUGHT IN 2021 (WSC sponsored session)
Co-organized and co-chaired by Juliet Guzzetta, Michigan State University, and Graziella Parati, Dartmouth College.
Italian feminist thought evokes a long history that helped shape society and culture with intellectual, political, legal, symbolic, and artistic interventions. What are some of the current sites of Italian feminist thought? What is its impact in envisioning the future? In this roundtable we will discuss active practices of feminist thought in Italy led by artists, intellectuals, students, workers, and activists. We propose five-minute lightening talks, and we invite participants to suggest a related reading important for their own thinking. All participants will familiarize themselves with the readings, which will buttress the discussion based on the talks.
Please, send your title, brief abstract (150-200 words), reading recommendation, and short bio by January 31, 2021 to Juliet Guzzetta (email) and Graziella Parati (email).
LOCKED UP: ITALIAN REPRESENTATIONS OF CONFINEMENT AND SECLUSION
What does it mean to be free? How do restrictions to our movements and the interaction with others affect our experience of time, understanding of ourselves, and the rest of society? How do race, gender, and socio-economic background shape the imprisonment experience? What is the meaning of carcerality forms, such as prisons, immigrant detention centers, and asylums, within a rubric of security? This panel seeks contributions that examine the representations of confinement, incarceration, and seclusion in Italian literature, film, TV, music, and visual arts. We welcome analysis from different perspectives, including historical, fictional, bio-political, phenomenological, cultural, racial, and gender.
Please, send a 200-word abstract and a short bio to Chiara Benetollo (email@example.com) and Daria Bozzato (firstname.lastname@example.org) by January 31, 2021.
Organizers and email: Chiara Benetollo, Bryn Mawr College, and Daria Bozzato, Bryn Mawr College
TRAUMA NARRATIVES IN ITALIAN AND TRANSNATIONAL WOMEN’S WRITING
Organizers and emails: Tiziana de Rogatis (Università per Stranieri di Siena), Stiliana Milkova (Oberlin College) and Katrin Wehling-Giorgi (Durham University, UK)
Trauma studies continue to gain visibility in a global context. Since the mid-1990s (Caruth, Herman), scholars have highlighted the relevance of the cultural, structural and temporal elements of trauma to literature (e.g. ‘traumatic realism’, Foster), with trauma increasingly emerging as ‘an exemplary conceptual knot’ (Luckhurst) that transcends disciplinary boundaries. As a field that remains understudied in an Italian context, this panel invites new readings of Italian and transnational women’s writing from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century through the lens of trauma studies, with a specific focus on how the latter sheds new light on the visual/narrative/linguistic dimension of texts.
ITALY AND SOUTH/EAST ASIA: INTELLECTUAL ENCOUNTERS AND LITERARY RELATIONS [Early Career Scholar]
Over the last decades, the interest in historical and literary studies has been renewed by “global” and “cross-cultural” turns, so that European and Asian intellectual, literary and cultural traditions are increasingly studied as interconnected entities entangled and interacted with one another across cultural borders. This Early Scholar session explores intellectual encounters, literary and cultural relations between Italy and East Asia, South Asia or Southeast Asia. We welcome studies that engage with all time periods, all theoretical and methodological approaches, and all (inter)disciplinary fields, including but not limited to intellectual history, art history, comparative literature, postcolonial studies, and digital humanities.
Please send a 150-200 word abstract and short bio to the session organizer by January 31st, 2021.
Organizer and email: Zhonghua Wang, Department of Italian Studies, UC Berkeley
BALLANDO, BALLANDO: DANCE IN ITALIAN CINEMA
Dance has always been an integral part of Italian cinema. From Visconti to Fellini, Pasolini to Antonioni, Moretti to Sorrentino and Argento, filmmakers have used dance as a way to enhance and develop their vision. This panel explores the presence of dance in Italian cinema and the role that dance plays within particular films and, more generally, in cinema as both a visual art form and a mode of expression based in movement. Approaches that include considerations of social dancing, solo dancing, performative dance, popular dance sequences, ballet, ritual dances, and dance theory are welcome.
Co-chairs: Meriel Tulante (Thomas Jefferson University) and Stefania Benini (Franklin & Marshall College)
DANTE IN AFRICA AND THE GLOBAL SOUTH
The focus of this session will be on reading Dante in a global context, with a specific emphasis on Africa and the Global South. We would like to develop an African conversation around Dante, drawing on the condition of exile and process of translation inherent in the Commedia’s ‘conversio’ narrative. This will necessitate a discussion about the ways in which Dante’s writings, and specifically The Commedia, have been or might be appropriated by writers and scholars in the Global South. We welcome all proposals written in English.
January 31, 2021: Proposals due to Roundtable Organizers with title, brief abstract (150-200 words), and short bio.
Organizers and emails: Dr Anita Virga and Dr Sonia Fanucchi, Wits University
This panel invites research on representations of borders, locations of inbetweenness and partial belonging, in modern Italian literature. While Italy is often thought of as having “natural” borders, the question of what makes someone or something “Italian” is a topic of continuous debate. Borders are embodied spaces where questions of identity, language, and form are discursively constructed. Recent studies focus on Italy’s Mediterranean borders, but the topographies of the North have been important spaces of migration, contestation, and encounter. We seek papers that interrogate stories of Italy’s borders with French, Slovene, German speaking countries, as well as within “minor” language communities.
Please send your title, brief abstract, and bio to the organizers by January 31st.
Organizers and emails: Kathleen LaPenta, Fordham University, and Saskia Ziolkowski, Duke University
NARRATING BODIES, SPACES, AND MARGINS IN CONTEMPORARY ITALY
Organizers: Giuliano Migliori (The Ohio State University) and Alessia Martini (Sewanee: The University of the South)
This session invites scholarship on the themes of moving and porous subjects, trans-formative and trans-value identities, in particular on how the interplay between bodies, spaces, and agency redefines Italian literary, visual, and sociopolitical discourses in the 20th and 21st centuries.
This platform supports ideas that consider topics of perception, sensing spaces, bodies and gender, border and forms of resistance, porosity, to name a few.
We welcome approaches across disciplines including theories of space and place, body studies, migration, diaspora studies, affect theory, media, and cinema studies.
Please, send an abstract (150-200 words, in English or Italian) with title and short bio to Giuliano Migliori (email) and Alessia Martini (email) by January 31st 2021.
ADAPTATIONS OF ITALIAN LITERATURE
Cinematic and television adaptations of Italian literary works (from Dante and Boccaccio to the twenty-first century) have always sparked interest in scholars.
While each case is unique, adaptations may confront similar issues. This panel seeks to widen the spectrum of investigation and to welcome contributions that consider adaptations of Italian literature not only limited to the cinematic medium, but also open to other media, such as theatre, television, art exhibitions, video games, etc. Contributions are not limited to a specific historical time, and they can cover a wide range of theoretical studies, as well as translation studies and interpretation studies.
Organizers: Giulio Genovese (University of Pennsylvania) and Samantha Gillen (University of Pennsylvania)
ITALIAN GIRLHOODS AND OTHER BRILLIANT FRIENDS
The coming of age genre has long been a male-dominated tradition (Lazzaro-Weiss 1990), but—as a consequence of the great success of Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend tetralogy (2011-2014)—topics such girlhood and female friendship have begun to gain greater visibility in literature and the media. This panel aims to explore the ways in which female youth has been represented in modern and contemporary Italian cultural production before and after Ferrante’s novels. How have girls and young women been portrayed through the decades? Have the ways of representation changed based on social role models? What impact have TV and new media had on this process?
Please send a 150-200 word abstract and brief bio to the session organizers by January 31st, 2021.
Organizers and emails: Dr Olga Campofreda, University College London, and Dr Silvia Ross, University College Cork
CONTEMPORARY ITALIAN FEMINIST VOICES [Early Career Scholar]
This session, sponsored by the AAIS Women’s Studies Caucus, aims at presenting and discussing contemporary Italian feminist voices, in Italy and abroad. Papers on Italian literatures, cultures, arts, media, and society are welcome.
Organizer and email: Giovanna Parmigiani, Ph.D.
CSWR, Harvard University
The editors of the Italianist Film Issue invite contributions for a roundtable about the increasing significance of streaming media in Italian screen culture. Contributions might assess the importance of a particular series (Gomorrah, Suburra, Baby, L’amica geniale), a particular streaming platform, online festivals and archival content made available during the pandemic, or any other aspect of streaming media in Italy. We hope contributors will subsequently consider submitting their work to a special cluster of essays planned for the 2022 Italianist Film Issue.
Please send proposals with title, brief abstract (150-200 words), and short bio via email by January 31, 2021.
ITALIAN VOICES ON THE “HUMANISM DEBATE” (Early Career Scholar)
Starting from the post-World War II an extended critical discussion of the relationship between ethical values and human nature takes place in Europe under the title of “Humanism Debate”. While French authors have played a central role in such a debate (Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Foucault, Deleuze, Derrida), Italian writers, thinkers and scholars largely contributed to it as well, all along the second half of the 20th century from different perspectives (philosophy, literature, human sciences). The session aims to explore these “Italian voices” on Humanism Debate.
Email: Michele Cammelli, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
BRIDGING THE DISCIPLINES: INTERMEDIALITY AND HYBRID METHODOLOGIES
The study of intermediality and its neighboring concepts—adaptation, reception, and remediation—advances our understanding of how different media shape and interact with one another. A cornerstone of comparative cultural studies, intermediality fosters fresh approaches to interdisciplinary research on literature, art, music, theater, and film.
Seeking to stimulate conversations about the collaborative nature of media circulated within and beyond Italy, this panel welcomes submissions that investigate any of the following questions:
• Intertextuality, intervisuality, and reception;
• Interplay between modalities and materialities;
• Transnational dialogues and intermedial exchange;
• Translation and transmedialization;
• New digital and audiovisual technologies;
• Methodologies and the future of comparative media studies.
Please send an abstract (ca. 200 words, in English or Italian) and a brief bio to Kate Driscoll (email) and Kristen Keach (email) by January 31, 2021.
Organizers: Kate Driscoll, Freie Universität Berlin, and Kristen Keach, University of California, Berkeley
MACHINES IN ITALIAN 20TH CENTURY CULTURE
The session explores the machine metaphor in Italian 20th Century Culture. Since the Industrial Revolution, machines have been a crucial, pervasive, and unavoidable presence in human life, individual as well as collective. The both disturbing and exciting vitality of the machine has shaped social, political, economic relationships. Even the literary, cinematographic, and philosophical invention space was crossed by the myth of the machine. By experiencing the complex dialectic between humans and machines, tense between fascination and terror, the Italian Culture produced works of great aesthetic and ethic value. This session focuses on the semantic constellation about machines in Italian Culture.
Organizer and email: Giorgia Bordoni, UNC - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
ARE WE THERE YET? THE ‘NEXT GENERATION’ OF ITALIAN GRADUATE STUDIES
Since the launch of early-2010s MLA and AHA career diversity initiatives, these and other professional organizations have collaborated with universities and humanities funding agencies to re-imagine Graduate Studies missions and outcomes. While these initiatives have demonstrated the benefits of expanding professional and career development for graduate students, they have also underscored the need for significant graduate education reform. How is Italian Studies responding to this need? What kinds of unique challenges and/or opportunities does Italian Studies’ position present? Keeping in mind specific emphases on career diversity, public humanities, curricular innovation, and collaboration of various kinds, we invite brief interventions on Masters or doctoral level innovation in Italian Studies.
Please send a 150-200 word abstract and brief bio to the session organizers by January 31st, 2021.
Organizers and emails: Lina Insana, University of Pittsburgh, and Brian DeGrazia, Modern Language Association
INTERSECTIONAL ANALYSIS AND ITALIAN STUDIES
This panel seeks works in progress that attempt to examine intersections of race, nation, class, gender, ability and/or sexuality in Italian culture and history. Papers on any historical period or subtopic are welcome. We are particularly interested in papers still struggling to develop a methodology. We see the panel as an opportunity to talk together about the ways in which one might conduct intersectional analysis and the challenges it poses. Papers that address the shortcomings of intersectional analysis, such as the sympathetic critique provided by Robyn Wiegman in her Object Lessons, are also welcome. Please submit abstract and brief bio by January 31, 2021.
Email: John Champagne, Penn State Erie, the Behrend College
Co-sponsored by the Queer Studies Caucus.