Archive for 2020

[Previous message][Next message][Back to index]

[Commlist] Passeurs. International Conference in Buenos Aires: Italian Culture Beyond Italian Shores (1945-1989). Reception and Imagination

Wed Jan 22 19:10:25 GMT 2020

*International Conference***


*/Passeurs/**. Italian Culture Beyond Italian Shores (1945-1989). **Reception and Imagination*


*Literature – Cinema – Media***


*26-28 August 2020*


*Universidad de Buenos Aires*

*Premise: Reception and Imagination ***


Beginning in the year 2018, a group of Italianists hailing from various European universities— including Caen Normandie (France), Humboldt zu Berlin (Germany), Mons (Belgium), Compultense de Madrid (Spain), Siena Stranieri (Italy), and UCLondon (United Kingdom)—organized several seminars on the topic of “Italian Literature of the Second Half of the Twentieth Century (1945-1989): Reception and Imagination”.

By “reception” we mean the set of processes and channels through which Italian culture (and particularly, literature) of the period being studied, was received, translated, disseminated, read, interpreted and also challenged in national and linguistic-cultural contexts outside of Italy. Reception, therefore, has been studied using the latest methodological approaches – from the history of reading to the new studies on publishing and translation – in European and extra-European contexts. Starting with a “material” research on works that originated in Italy and circulated in the rest of the world, such an approach provides a critical insight into what Italian culture ended up representing outside of its national borders.

By “imagination” the research group intends a mental mechanism which utilizes images and associations of images – textual and iconographic – to affirm the power of “poetic thought”, as conceived by the French philosopher Gaston Bachelard against the absolutism of rationality. The imagination is thus seen not as a “function” but as a “space” of exchange, of freedom and of tensions. This concept was successively adopted by Gilles Durand in his studies on “mythocriticism” in which the imagination is affirmed as a dynamic force of “polarization of images”: a recomposition of reality which includes (with no hierarchical divisions) symbolic, mythical, oneiric, fantastical elements, etc. (with explicit reference also to psychoanalysis). In light of this interpretation, the role of the /passeur/ is not limited to the traditional function of a simple mediator but should also be seen as the activity of the person—intellectual, artist, scholar, novelist or poet—who wanted to freely reconfigure an Italian cultural imagination through “lyrical thinking”. To give an example, our attention will be directed towards non-Italian writers who chose to set their narrations in a significantly reinvented Italy, reinterpreted as a reservoir of sensitive and poetic images or as a screen on which to project their own concerns.

The period of time chosen (1945-1989) finds its justification in an assumption of methodological coherence that refers to the two historical ruptures of the century: the end of the World War II, on one side, and the Fall of the Berlin Wall, on the other. Both events entail socio-political reorganizations at the European level, which were in turn marked by corresponding events more or less regarding the main technological, social and cultural changes which (starting in 1945 after the reconstruction phase) marked the beginning and the end of an exceptional period of socio-economic development. As for 1989, instead, it is noted that the Fall of the Berlin Wall imposed coincident and radical political changes with the end of a certain vision of Europe and the world. From that moment onwards, the digital culture began and proceeded to develop, such that, within a few decades, digital culture imposed itself on all intellectual and cultural players. The two dates therefore appear to be concurrently symbolic and representative of a clearly defined Italian culture of the second half of the twentieth century.

*Conference macro-sections and locations in Buenos Aires***


The conference, scheduled on 26-28 August, 2020, will take place in various venues of the University of Buenos Aires. The conference, open to the whole scientific community related to it, is divided into two macro-sections: Literature and Cinema & Media.

The choice of the Argentine capital as the venue for the conference is not accidental, but is rather the result of extensive planning which aspires to conclude the meetings on the /Passeurs/ in one of the symbolic locations imbued with a widespread Italian spirit. Buenos Aires, a metropolis of 16 million inhabitants, is composed of a mixed social and cultural fabric, a high percentage of which holds Italian origins. The Universidad de Buenos Aires, on the other hand, boasts one of the best positions in international rankings and is always among the top five academic-learning centers in Latin America.

For these reasons, the three days of the Conference will also include a guided visit of the city in search not of a “Little Italy”, but rather of a widespread Italian spirit present in many material and immaterial traces (buildings, domes, popular districts, coffee shops, signs, writings) of a “city-world” that, international and cosmopolitan, jealously preserves its historical ties to Italy and Europe.

The languages of the conference are: Italian, Spanish and English.


*Literature ***


*/Passeurs/**. Italian Literature Beyond Italian Shores (1945-1989). Reception and Imagination***

*Scientific Committee***

Marco Carmello (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain)

Alejandro Patat (Università per Stranieri di Siena, Italy)

Brigitte Poitrenaud-Lamesi (Université de Caen Normandie, France)

Thea Rimini (Université de Mons, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium)

Beatrice Sica (University College of London, United Kingdom)

Nora Sforza (Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina)

Roberto Ubbidiente (Universität Humboldt zu Berlin, Germany)

The questions posed, as well as those yet-to-be pondered,  revolve around the characteristics of the reception of literature and culture, focusing on the transmission methodologies and instruments (texts, publishing, series, anthologies, journals, projects, foundations, institutions), which either aided, selected or hindered the dissemination of Italian culture outside of Italy: furthermore, this section will consider the various figures of “passeurs” – editors, intellectuals, writers, translations, journalists etc. – who had a central role in defining an Italian cultural imagination beyond the Alps.

The *Literature* section, therefore, aims to engage with the issue of cultural mediation with the objective of creating a map of Italian culture during the second half of the twentieth century outside of Italy. The section will be divided by the scientific committee in panels based on themes, authors and issues.

The proposed themes are:

·The /Passeurs/ as protagonists in both the reception and the imagination of Italian literature of the second half of the twentieth century outside of Italy.

·Reception,dissemination, and translation of a work by an author of the second half of the  twentieth century outside Italy.

·Anthologies of Italian literature of the second half of the twentieth century in other languages.

·Monographic issues of magazines or magazines on the debates and texts of Italian literature of the second half of the twentieth century.

·Critical texts on Italian literature of the period in question written and published outside Italy.

·Essays and fictional texts on Italy ofthe second half of the twentieth century published in other literary systems that restore, reinvent or reinterpret contemporary Italy.

Please submit proposals (maximum 250 words) in Italian, Spanish or English, together with a biographical note (maximum 150 words) to the Presidents of the selection committee "Literature" section—Prof. Alejandro Patat ((patat /at/ <mailto:(patat /at/>) and Prof. Brigitte Poitrenaud ((brigitte.poitrenaud /at/ <mailto:(brigitte.poitrenaud /at/>)—no later than 31 January, 2020. The selection of the proposals will be made by the Scientific Committee on the basis of scientific quality and originality as well as the thematic relevance. The outcome of the selection process will be communicated by the first week of March 2020. Plans are in place for the publication of a selection of the papers in a single volume.


*Cinema and Media *


*Intersections Between Italian and Latin-American Cinema and Media: 1945-1989*

*Scienfitic Committee*

Flavia Brizio-Skov (University of Tennessee, United States)

Milly Buonanno (Sapienza University of Rome, Italy)

Monica Jansen (Utrecht University, Netherlands)

Inge Lanslots (KU Leuven, Belgium)

Flavia Laviosa (Wellesley College, United States)

Mariano Mestman (Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina)

Cristina Perissinotto (University of Ottawa, Canada)

Antonio Traverso (Curtin University, Australia)

Maria Bonaria Urban (University of Amsterdam, Netherlands)

Italian cinema and media are translational and transnational. They have been imported and exported, transferred, translated, adopted, adapted and re-interpreted. The lure of Italian cinema’s legends and the interest in revisiting its genealogy create bridges across global artistic languages. With the intent//to revisit the history of Italian cinema and media, we are committed to trace the evidence of their international polysemy and polycentrism, to define the extent of their inspirational force and to examine other cinemas and media artistic innovations resulting from their osmosis with the Italian productions. Italian cinema and media have moved in many directions constantly intersecting with other cinemas and media in particular with Latin America.

Latin American and Italian cinemas enjoy a long tradition of exchange which is best manifested in the influence of Neorealism on the Latin American social and political cinema and also in the works of a generation of Latin American filmmakers who studied at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinema in Rome in the 1950s. Furthermore, the work of Italian filmmakers on Latin American politics and literature is of considerable interest. It is also worth remembering that, since its inception, the Latin American film industry employed directors and actors of Italian origin while Latin American stars acted in Italian films. More generally, all spheres of popular culture turned out to be a fertile ground for the relations and exchanges between the television series and the soap operas, between the /commedia all’italiana /(comedy Italian style) and the /spaghetti western/ set in Latin America.  Lastly, throughout the years many transnational co-productions of film and television works took place, which contributed to strengthen the links between Italian and Latin American visual and media cultures.

Within such transnational framework, scholars are invited to engage in a methodological tension between studying national cinema and media and transnational critical approaches thus recovering these overlooked connections and re-composing them in a historic and aesthetic map, marked by cross-national dialogues and trans-generational exchanges in particular in the 1945-1989 period of European and world history.**

*Topics include, but are not limited to:***

·Global Neorealisms: dialogues between Latin-American and Italian cinemas.

·The Centro Sperimentale di Cinema and Cinecittà: Latin American filmmakers and writers in Rome.

·Links between Italian political cinema and Latin America.

·Popular genres between the two continents: the Western, the /commedia all’italiana/, the soap operas, the television show, the photo comic, cartoons.

·Italian films belonging to the tradition of Meridionalism/melodrama which see the participation of Latin American actors.

·The reception of Italian cinema in Latin America and the reception of Latin American cinema in Italy.

· “Traveling filmmakers” in Latin America.

·The Cosmopolitanism of the Latin American film industry: filmmakers and actors of Italian origins.

·Transnational stardom in cinema and television.

·The use of stereotypes and exoticisms in the Italian and Latin American collective imaginations.

·Audiovisual representations of Italian migration towards Latin America and of return migrations.

·Transnational co-productions and the adaptation to the needs of the respective national markets of film and television productions.

Please submit proposals of 250 words (in Italian, English or Spanish) of original and unpublished papers together with a bio-note of about 150 words to Prof. Flavia Laviosa ((flaviosa /at/ <mailto:(flaviosa /at/>), Presidentof the selection committee of the Cinema and Media section by 31^January 2020. The selection criteria of the papers will be their scientific quality and their relevance to the themes of the section. The outcome of the selection process will be communicated by the first week of March 2020. Selected articles will be considered for publication in a special issue of the /Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies/.

*Conference sites*

The conference will be held at**the Centro Italo-Argentino de Altos Estudios and Facultad de Filosofía y Letras dell’Universidad de Buenos Aires.



Registration will take place after acceptance of proposals following the review of the Scientific Committee. The registration fee is US$30 for Latin American speakers, and US$50 for speakers from the rest of the world. The payment method and deadline will be indicated in a subsequent communication.



Facultad de Filosofía y Letras - Universidad de Buenos Aires

Centro Italo-Argentino de Altos Estudios – Universidad de Buenos Aires

Università per Stranieri di Siena

Ambasciata d’Italia in Argentina

Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Buenos Aires

Museo de la Inmigración de Buenos Aires (Universidad de Tres de Febrero)



This mailing list is a free service offered by Nico Carpentier. Please use it responsibly and wisely.
To subscribe or unsubscribe, please visit
Before sending a posting request, please always read the guidelines at
To contact the mailing list manager:
Email: (nico.carpentier /at/

[Previous message][Next message][Back to index]