[B900] Notizie/B - Convegno su impegno postmoderno e letteratura

Redazione di Bollettino '900 redazione at boll900.it
Tue May 9 18:51:03 CEST 2006


    BOLLETTINO '900 - Notizie / B, aprile 2006



- "Postmodern impegno"
   University of London
   12-13 maggio 2006


Postmodern Impegno
towards a post-hegemonic approach to ethics and
socio-political engagement in contemporary Italian
literature and culture

12-13 May 2006

Institute for Germanic and Romance Studies
University of London


Organized by

Pierpaolo Antonello, paa25 at cam.ac.uk
Margherita Ganeri, ganeri at fil.unical.it
Florian Mussgnug, f.mussgnug at ucl.ac.uk

With the support of:
British Academy
Italian Department, University College London
Italian Department, University of Cambridge
St John's College, Cambridge


Friday 12 May 2006

15.30 Pierpaolo Antonello (Cambridge)

15.45   Key-note address
Remo Ceserani (Bologna)
Apocalittici, integrati, critici?

16.30   coffee break

Session 1: Impegno, Postmodern Ethics, Pensiero debole

Chair:   Anne Hallamore Caesar (Warwick)

17.00   Florian Mussgnug (UCL)
Postmodern ethics

17.30   Jenny Burns (Warwick)
Impegno revisited

18.00   Giuseppe Stellardi (Oxford)
Pensiero debole, nihilism and ethics

20.00   conference dinner

Saturday 13 May 2006

Session 2: Postmodernism and its discontent

Chair:   Florian Mussgnug (UCL)

9.45   Monica Jansen (Utrecht / Antwerp)
Il dibattito sul postmoderno in Italia nel Duemila:
in bilico tra dialettica e ambiguita'?

10.15   Margherita Ganeri (Universita' della Calabria)
Sotto l'habitus in frantumi: Jameson, Bourdieu e
la dislocazione dell'impegno

10.45    coffee break

Session 3: Fragments of Impegno

Chair:   Ruth Glynn (Bristol)

11.15   Emanuele Zinato (Padova)
Aporie postcoloniali: etica planetaria e alterita'

11.45   Alessia Ronchetti (Cork)
Dentro e fuori: Italian feminism at the threshold

12.15   Alan O'Leary (Leeds)
The discourse of impegno and the death of the auteur
in Italian cinema

12.45    lunch

Session 4A: Literature and (post-)impegno

Chair:   Guido Bonsaver (Oxford)

2.00     Andrea Cortellessa (Rome)
Arance con molti spicchi. Interazioni politiche
tra narrativa e critica nel tempo del postmoderno

2.30     Orsetta Innocenti (Bologna)
"Even that luxury". Il romance dell'impegno di Italo
Calvino dal Midollo del leone a Se una notte di inverno
un viaggiatore.

3.00     Attilio Motta (Padova)
Lo schermo del corpo: (auto)biografismo e

3.30     coffee break

Session 4B: Literature and (post-)impegno

Chair:   Jennifer Burns (Warwick)

4.00     Pierpaolo Antonello (Cambridge)
Etica della memoria, paradigma  indiziario,
impegno del racconto

4.30     Sergia Adamo (Trieste)
"Non e' più possibile scrivere: si riscrive". Giustizia ed
etica della narrazione nella cultura italiana contemporanea

5.00     Discussion

This conference aims to investigate the impact of
postmodernist culture on recent Italian representations
and expressions of ethical concern and intellectual
commitment. Postmodernist philosophy, with its radical
critique of so-called grand-narratives and previously
dominant ontological and historical accounts of "truth"
constitutes an extreme challenge to ethics and
historiography as well to conventional definitions
of justice and emancipatory political action. How have
contemporary Italian intellectuals and artists responded
to this challenge? Where have they positioned themselves
in relation to the legacy of impegno, a category that
has informed Italian culture since the 1950s, and that
has largely defined the relationship between art, politics,
and society in modern Italy? Which discursive instruments
and artistic genres are used to implement new forms of
socio-political engagement in a postmodern, late-capitalist
context? How and why is Italy a privileged site for this
type of analysis?

In Italy, postmodernism has been widely associated with a
playful and disengaged manipulation of texts and with a
nihilistic and self-conscious endorsement of the rules
and conventions of capitalism. Over the past ten years,
many influential scholars writing in English have insisted
on the limits of such a conventional interpretation of the
category, proposing instead a new theoretical and critical
focus on questions of ethical responsibility.  Recent
discussions have also addressed the problem of historical
research and historical evidence in the critical and
philosophical field, proposing new forms of negotiation
between the rhetorical construction of historical accounts,
and their reference to the actuality of "real" events.
As a result, recent reflections on intellectual and
social commitment have given less prominence to traditional
modernist means of communication and persuasion
(philosophical writing, pamphletism, journalism, direct
political involvement, high-brow literary genres),
insisting instead on the crucial role played by
typical postmodern artistic forms such as detective and
noir fiction, films and documentaries, tv series, blogs
and collective writing.

Exceptionally reluctant to progressive interpretations of
postmodernism, many leading Italian intellectuals and
literary critics have tended to view postmodernism as
the negation of impegno. As Jennifer Burns' has
convincingly argued, many Italian writers of the 1980s
and 1990s emphasized the importance of social and political
ideas of commitment in their literary writing. Nevertheless,
there have been relatively few attempts to re-define impegno
in relation to more recent cultural production, including
not only traditional literary genres, but also film-making,
theatrical performance, television and other, more recent
forms of popular entertainment. At the same time, some
currents within Italian philosophy and historiography have
been exceptionally open towards the new paradigms of
postmodernist culture and thought. Umberto Eco's and
Gianni Vattimo's recent contributions to philosophy -
to name but a few outstanding examples - are characterized
by a thorough engagement with postmodern ethics that
unfortunately is lacking in much recent work in literary

These lines of development have given a very particular
shape to the cultural field of contemporary Italy. The
conference proposes to undertake a systematic analysis of
the most important trends in postmodern Italian philosophy,
literary theory and culture. By bringing together some
of the leading specialist working on Italian postmodernism
and the history of social commitment, this conference aims
to show that the return to ethics - accompanied by a
reflection on the issues of history, justice and community -
represents one of the most original, innovative and
neglected tendencies of certain currents of postmodernism,
in Italy and beyond.


Please forward a copy of this Newsletter to colleagues
who might be interested in reading it. If you receive
a forwarded copy, and would like to be placed on the
Bollettino's distribution list for future information,
please contact us:

staff:       boll900 at iperbole.bologna.it
editor:      pellizzi at alma.unibo.it
subscribe:   redazione at boll900.it
unsubscribe: redazione at boll900.it


(c) Bollettino '900 - versione e-mail
Electronic Newsletter of '900 Italian Literature
Notizie/B, aprile 2006. Anno XII, 2.

Direttore: Federico Pellizzi
Redazione Newsletter: Michela Aveta, Eleonora Conti,
Anna Frabetti, Claudia La Via, Luisa Magnoli,
Saverio Voci.

Dipartimento di Italianistica
dell'Universita' di Bologna,
Via Zamboni 32, 40126 Bologna, Italy,
Fax +39 051 2098595; tel. +39 051 2098595/334294.
Reg. Trib. di Bologna n. 6436 del 19 aprile 1995.
ISSN 1124-1578



More information about the B900 mailing list