[B900] Notizie/D - CfP: Annali d'Italianistica, Cultura italiana e lavoro

Redazione B900 redazione a boll900.it
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BOLLETTINO '900 - Notizie / D, giugno 2013



- CfP: Invito a contribuire a Annali d'Italianistica 32 (2014)
"From Otium and Occupatio to Work & Labor in Italian Culture"
Deadline: September 15th, 2013



Essays are sought for a special issue of Annali d’Italianistica 32
(2014) entitled "From Otium and Occupatio to Work & Labor in Italian
Culture". Contributions that explore the engagement of literature
and the arts with their respective work cultures are welcome, as
are contextualized investigations and debates over work, labor,
laborers' self-fulfillment and agency by philosophers, political
and economic theorists from different periods of Italian cultural history.

Deadline for submission is September 15, 2013;
publication expected by 2014.

All contributions will be refereed. Essays, not to exceed 25 double-spaced
pages, can be written in Italian or English. They should conform to the
style-sheet criteria set forth by Annali d’Italianistica for "Notes"
and "Works Cited".

Please contact:

Norma Bouchard: norma.bouchard a uconn.edu,
normabouchard60 a hotmail.com

Valerio Ferme: valerio.ferme a colorado.edu


Labor, work and their changed conditions at the dawn of the 21st century
are among the most discussed and debated questions of our times. In
recognition of the topicality of this subject and in light of the
historical centrality of Italy in the constitution of, but also antagonism
towards, capitalist formations, Annali d’Italianistica devotes its
32nd issue to investigate the temporal and spatial articulations of work
and labor in Italian culture, from the pre-industrial era to the Industrial
Revolution and beyond. Coverage will thus span from the early Middle Ages
to the present. The volume will reflect this broad coverage through an
organization in distinct sections.

As the medieval organization of society in the orders of oratores,
bellatores, and laboratores (clergy, warriors, and workers respectively)
underwent profound transformations in the course of the 13th century, so 
conceptions of work and labor. The early medieval promotion of activities
that transformed, improved, or modified matter, such as those of peasants
and artisans, gave way to more subtle understandings of different types
of professions. Merchant trade, which previously had been held in contempt,
came to be seen as an occupation that fulfilled a need and was therefore
justified in terms of its social utility or common good. Even the 
secularized use of time ceased to be in sharp opposition to monastic time,
notwithstanding the famed lines of Dante’s Paradiso xv, which look back at
the years when Florence "dentro della cerchia antica, ond'ella toglie
ancora e terza e nona, si stava in pace, sobria e pudica". Likewise, the
primacy accorded to contemplative life -- a legacy of the Greco-Roman 
of otium and, partially, of an ambivalent Judeo-Christian tradition that
both condemned and praised labor (i.e., Genesis 2:15 and 3:19-23, the
Pauline texts whose Apostle is also a laborer; the opposing figures of 
and Mary, Cain and Abel, Rachel and Leah) -- was challenged by an idea of
work no longer conceived as penitential atonement for the original sin, but
as a form of activity that could be meritorious and therefore a means of
salvation in a world where God was increasingly seen as summus artifex or
opifex (see Gurevich, Le Goff, etc.) .

During the late Middle Ages, the legitimacy acquired by various forms of
work and labor facilitated the consolidation of corporate guild structures,
networks of laborers' associations, and even demands for corporate
representation in Communal governments that are indicative of a
proto-industrial form of class consciousness, as the Ciompi insurrection
of Florence in the Trecento, among several other such social agitations,

The late medieval re-conceptualization of work underwent further
transformations during the Renaissance. Italian city-states, well
positioned in trade routes between Europe and the Near East, emerged
as pioneers in the creation of early forms of capitalist accumulation
and wage-labor relations, transformations that would profoundly alter
the material conditions of work and class structure. Not only were
innovations such as double-entry accounting and bills of exchange
introduced along with early forms of banking systems, but corporate
guild structures were disintegrated into groups of wage-earners while
new class solidarities took shape. The changes in labor processes and
class-consciousness of early modernity would be fully actualized with the
integration of labor saving technological inventions into large-scale
modes of agricultural and industrial production. To be sure, Italy’s
economic decline and marginalization among European powers in the late
17th and 18th centuries made it a late-comer to the Industrial Revolution
that swept the European continent between 1780 and 1850. Nevertheless,
localized forms of industrialization took place in the regions of Liguria,
Piedmont, and Lombardy, the same regions that would become the heartland
of the "triangolo industriale" from the 19th century onwards (e.g., Breda
and Pirelli and the car manufacturing industry during the Giolitti era).
It is also at this time that Italy emerged as a major player in
progressive and socialist causes, as rendered in the famous painting
*Il Quarto Stato* by Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo (1901).

With the increased rationalization of work-productivity through the early
doctrines of Taylorism and Fordism in the 20th century, Italy's role as
a full-fledged, if belated, member of Western modernity was consolidated.
The new work realities of industrial modernization would lead to a
heightened consciousness of the workers' status, self-fulfillment and
agency. The rise of the Italian Communist Party (1921-1991), at one time
the largest communist party in the West, testifies to these developments,
as does the rich reflection on labor from the perspective of philosophy,
sociology, political and economic theory on the part of authors ranging
from Labriola and Gramsci to Pareto, Ferrero, Einaudi, Rossi, Della Volpe,
Bobbio and many others.

Aside from exploring literary and aesthetic engagements with the work and
labor cultures that have emerged in different periods of Italian history,
this volume also seeks to investigate present-day cultural responses to
the transformations of modern work in post-Fordist, late capitalist 
As Italy, like other Western societies, is experiencing the impact of the
growth of information technology and the effects of global economic
networks on its national labor market, including the new conditions of
"lavoro immateriale", it is responding in contradictory cultural ways:
 From enthusiasm over the freedom and flexibility from geographical and
temporal constraints enabled by cyberspace and cybertime, to the anxiety
over the changes wrought by shifts in the global economic hierarchy
(i.e., the wane of the West’s high standards of living in the so-called
"great convergence" between West and East, North and South; the
transformation of Western societies into "post-work" communities struggling
with the structural condition of part-time or un-employment; the 
of labor; the erosion of hard-fought labor rights; the demise of the
Welfare State, etc.).


- evolution of the idea of animal laborans into that of homo faber

- Classical idea of otium in Humanism and the Renaissance (i.e.,
Petrarch, Alberti, Castiglione, Bruno, etc.)

- otium versus negotium

- modern "ozio" versus/as consumption

- "idleness" and/or "sloth" as source of anxiety and praise
(i.e., “dolce far niente”)

- "idleness" as marker of distinction (i.e., social, racial, gendered,
etc.) and source of disparagement

- impact of Protestant concepts of work on Italy's Catholic culture

- work and labor under changed geopolitical conditions (i.e., Atlantic
trade and the Mediterranean, Industrial Revolution of 1780-1850, 
and Southern Question, Cold War and its aftermath)

- Political and economic reflections and debates over work and labor from
the Middle Ages to the present (i.e., from Villani and Compagni to
Guicciardini, Bruni, Alberti, Poliziano, etc.; from the reformist thought
of Beccaria, the Verri brothers, Gargano, Filangieri, Genovesi, and Galiano
to Turati, Labriola, Gramsci, Pareto, Ferrero, Einaudi, Rossi, Della Volpe,
Bobbio, Negri, Tronti, Esposito, etc.)

- labor and laborers in Medieval and Renaissance literatures (i.e., 
disclosure, etc.)

- labor in monastic cultures (i.e., Franciscans, Benedictines, etc.)

- work and labor in newly unified Italy (i.e., De Amicis' *Primo maggio*,
Cantu's *Portafoglio di un operaio*, Cletto Arrighi's *Il ventre di 
De Marchi's *Demetrio Pianelli*, Serao's *Telegrafi dello stato*,
Italo Ghersi's *Ricettario industriale*, Bersezio's *Mons¨ Travet*,
the Macchiaioli painters)

- national and international labor movement: 1870-1914 (Costa, Friscia,
Bignami, Malatesta, Zanardelli, Labriola, Cabrini, etc.)

- work and labor in modernism(s): Svevo, Pirandello, Tozzi, Futurismo

- Fascism and labor (i.e., the demise of "biennio rosso", Bilenchi’s
*Il capofabbrica*, Bernari's *Tre operai*, Brancati's *Il vecchio con
gli stivali*, Delio Tessa, Piero Jahier)

- gender and labor; "soft" versus "hard" work; the "feminization" of work
(Aleramo, De Cespedes, etc.)

- genre and labor (i.e., the 19th century novel, verismo, "romanzo 
of the 1950s and 1960; "romanzo industriale" and "romanzo operaio" of the
1970s, "Il New Italian Realism")

- post-war novel of Reconstruction; the years of the "economic miracle"
(i.e., neorealismo; works by Ottieri, Mastronardi, Calvino, Pontiggia,
Parise, Cerami, Arpino, Volponi, Bianciardi, Balestrini, Vittorini's
"Il politecnico" and "Il menab˛ 4" (1961), Testori, the Fantozzi series
in novels and films, etc.)

- the culture of labor militancy and revolutionary politics of the 1960s
and 1970s: "autunno caldo", Lotta continua, Potere operaio, Autonomia;
Italian Radical Thought (i.e., Agamben, Virno, Negri, Piperno, Revelli,
Vercellone, Rossanda, etc.)

- the aesthetics of work and the work of aesthetics (experiments such as
Leonardo Sinisgalli’s Pirelli and "Civiltà delle machine", and
Vittorini's own "Politecnico")

- work and labor during the years of "riflusso" and "counterrevolution"
(Virno); the end of "collective social subjects"

- the novels of "precariato" and "lavoro flessibile"; "Il New Italian
Realism" (i.e., Dezio, Falco, Celestini, Pascale, Nove, Carlotto, Pincio,
Genna, Lolli, Bajani, Rea, Cucchi, Bettin, Caliceti, Pennacchi, Mazzucco,
Ballestra, Scarpa, Busi, Ammaniti, etc.)

- self-conscious reflections on literature and work (i.e., Vittorini’s
*Industria e letteratura*, Gruppo '63, neo-avanguardia, etc.)

- labor and poetry (Pasolini, Sereni, Raboni, Pagliarani, T. Rossi,
Volponi, etc.)

- labor-migration from Italy (i.e., Pirandello, Pascoli, De Amicis, Perri,
Corradini; the rise of the Italian American working class novel with Fante,
De Donato, Gilbert, and de Rosa, among others)

- labor and work in the culture of emigrant and imperial colonialism

- labor migration to Italy: emerging voices of legal and illegal migrant
workers in Italian literature

- cosmopolitan internationalism and syndicalism as lost
"patrimonio all’italiana"

- screening work and labor (i.e., films by Bernardo Bertolucci, Francesca
Comencini, Elio Petri, Mario Monicelli, Daniele Lucchetti, Daniele Segre,
Luchino Visconti, Pierpaolo Pasolini, Carmine Amoroso, Paolo Virzý,
Silvio Soldini, etc.)


(c) Bollettino '900 - versione e-mail
Electronic Newsletter of '900 Italian Literature
Notizie/D, giugno 2013. Anno XIX, 3.

Direttore: Federico Pellizzi
Redazione Newsletter: Michela Aveta, Daniele Borghi,
Eleonora Conti, Anna Frabetti, Monica Jansen, Giuseppe Nava,
Michele Righini, Saverio Voci.

Dipartimento di Filologia classica e Italianistica
dell'Universita' di Bologna,
Via Zamboni 32, 40126 Bologna, Italy,
Fax +39 051 2098595; tel. +39 051 2088378.
Reg. Trib. di Bologna n. 6436 del 19 aprile 1995.
ISSN 1124-1578


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