Due to the current global circumstances, this year’s ASMI (Associations for the Studies of Modern Italy) conference will be divided into a series of events – a Keynote lecture, a roundtable discussion, a series of podcasts/interviews, and (hopefully) an in-person event in June 2021 – which together explore a theme of growing interest to scholars of Italy. This year’s conference series considers the relation between Italy and the Mediterranean against the grain of methodological nationalism and transnationalism. The Mediterranean waxes and wanes as a region of scholarly investigation.
In recent years it has reasserted itself in public debate: popular uprisings unsettled long-standing political regimes; economic crises generated widespread precariety and insecurity, nationalist movements have reified some borders while condemning others, and climate change continues to affect Mediterranean landscapes. In all of this, Italy has played a central role. Its shores have received refugees; its youth have borne the consequences of economic crisis and continue along well-trodden paths of emigration; a new populism has emerged in the renamed ‘Lega’ (and in a broader right-wing coalition); its environment has been affected by both the changing salinity of the sea and the rising waters which transform its agricultural landscape. Italy’s connection to the Mediterranean is, in many ways, a driving force of its socio-cultural, political, historical and environmental challenges. These processes have historical precedents; some appear in continuity with the past, while others demarcate divergences and suggest new horizons.
Therefore, this unconventional ASMI conference sets out to examine Italy as an interconnected nexus of encounter – across space and time — that does not simply sit in the Mediterranean, but rather feeds upon historical changes in and beyond the region. In order to understand these changes, the ASMI 2020 interdisciplinary conference (series) will consider social, political, and environmental conditions as well as cultural and intellectual undercurrents that place Italy in relation to its multiple seas.
The events on 4 December 2020 will be followed by a series of podcasts and interviews (all will be available online, on the ASMI website) conducted by Alessandro de Arcangelis, Fernanda Gallo, Giuseppe Grieco, Valerie McGuire and Joseph Viscomi.
Italian Mediterraneans will commence with:
Keynote Lecture: Maurizio Isabella (Queen Mary, University of London) – the keynote lecture will be pre-recorded and the link will be circulated one week before the live event
4 December 2020
– Introductory comments: 3:00-3:20pm
Katia Pizzi, Italian Cultural Institute & School of Advanced Study, U. of London
Phil Cooke, Association for the Study of Modern Italy & University of Strathclyde
Fernanda Gallo, University of Cambridge & Joseph Viscomi, Birkbeck, University of London (organisers)
– Roundtable: 3:20-4:20
Naor Ben-Yehoyada, Columbia University
Norma Bouchard, Drexel University
Barbara Curli, Università di Torino
Roberto Dainotto, Duke University
Maurizio Isabella, QMUL
Konstantina Zanou, Columbia University
– Discussion and Q&A: 4:30-5:30
Please follow this link to register: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_pjlDIKgaT6ezbgDPb2tM8w