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Conference: Transnational Italy: National Identity and the World Atlas

(Mar 24, 2012)

This conference at the University of Reading – the first on this theme in the UK – will investigate the relations Italy has established with other cultures in order to assess how literature, language, historiography, cinema and the visual arts have contributed to the forging and the deconstruction of the idea of Italian national identity. This conference will also seek to place Italy in a wider multicultural and multilingual Atlas, in order to ‘read’ Italian culture through its dialogic exchange with other national traditions. It will explore how historical, aesthetic and critical discourses have contributed to the articulation of the Italian transnational cultural profile from the Middle Ages to the Risorgimento, and whether and how this profile has changed from the Unification to the present day. 
       Contributors will examine, from different methodological perspectives, alongside issues of reception and translation, the formation of cosmopolitan intellectual networks, the transnational dissemination and consumption of Italian written and visual works and forms of entertainment (such as commedia dell’arte and opera), the ways in which the Italian language and its teaching has changed through the centuries to reflect exchange with different cultures and accommodate different users. Papers in gender and identity studies will investigate whether and how a transnational dimension has accelerated a dialogue for emancipation, integration and self-determination. The impact of international cultural and political contestation on Italian political discourse will also be assessed.

University of Reading, 13 and 14 July 2012
Organizing committee: Francesca Billiani (Manchester), Federico Faloppa (Reading), Daniela La Penna (Reading), Paola Nasti (Reading)
Guest Speakers:
Nick Havely (York), ‘The Wandering Comedy: On Hamilton 207 MS’
Vittorio Coletti (Genoa), ‘Italian Lingua Franca: The Language of Italian Opera’ Title TBC
Gisele Sapiro (CNRS, Paris), ‘The Transnational Intellectual: Public Engagement on a Global Scale’ Title TBC
Donald Sassoon (Queen Mary, London), ‘The Export of Italian Culture after the Risorgimento and the Formation of European Markets’ Title TBC