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Berkeley Scientific J.     Full-text available via subscription  
Berkeley Undergraduate J.     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 1)
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California Italian Studies J.     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 5)
Electronic Green J.     Open Access   (Followers: 5, SJR: 0.115, h-index: 8)
InterActions: UCLA J. of Education and Information     Open Access   (Followers: 26)
J. for Learning Through the Arts     Open Access   (Followers: 7)
J. of Transnational American Studies     Open Access   (Followers: 3, SJR: 0.174, h-index: 5)
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Streetnotes     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Structure and Dynamics: eJ. of Anthropological and Related Sciences     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Technology Innovations in Statistics Education (TISE)     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
TRANSIT     Open Access  
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  • Introduction. Ascoli, Albert Russell; Starn, Randolph
    • Abstract: An introduction to Volume 2, Issue 2.
      PubDate: Mon, 12 Dec 2011 12:00:00 GMT
  • Rereading I libri della famiglia: Leon Battista Alberti on Marriage,
           Amicizia and Conjugal Friendship. McCue Gill, Amyrose J
    • Abstract: This essay examines the conceptual relationship between marriage and friendship in the four-book dialogue on the family composed by the Florentine humanist Leon Battista Alberti during the 1430s. Alberti’s interlocutors argue variously that marriage is a burden, a procreative engine, a site of companionship, an economic partnership and, remarkably, the locus of true friendship. Their discussion provokes a rethinking of these two interpersonal bonds, which emerge not only as critical to the stability of the family, the state and society, but also as a vital means of pressing erotic love into the service of the family through conjugal friendship.
      PubDate: Fri, 06 May 2011 12:00:00 GMT
  • Hegemony, Democracy, and Passive Revolution in Gramsci's Prison Notebooks.
           Riley, Dylan J
    • Abstract: What is the relationship between democracy and hegemony in Gramsci's Prison Notebooks' Salvadori and Galli della Loggia argue that hegemony is best understood as a theory of dictatorship and is therefore incompatible with democracy. Vacca argues that  hegemony is inconceivable in the absence of democracy. I bridge these divergent readings by making two arguments. First, hegemony is a form of rationalized intellectual and moral leadership, and therefore depends on liberal democratic institutions. Second, hegemony is established through revolution. Gramsci thus paradoxically combines a deep appreciation for liberal democracy with a basically Leninist conception of politics.
      PubDate: Thu, 24 Feb 2011 12:00:00 GMT
  • Superurbeffimero n. 7: Umberto Eco’s Semiologia and the Architectural
           Rituals of the U.F.O.. Wolf, Amit
    • Abstract: On 24 June 1968 the city of San Giovanni Valdarno opened its sixth “Premio di Pittura Masaccio” with a performance by eight students, grouped under the English acronym U.F.O. Titled Superurbeffimero n. 7, it was the last of the Urboeffemeri, a series of Happenings performed regularly in Florence since that February. The date of the opening  coincided with the religious procession for the city’s Patron, and the Happening escalated into a public riot and an inquiry by the magistratura on suspicions of blasphemy. Superurbeffimero n. 7 is a little studied collaboration between Umberto Eco and his students during his tenure at the Florentine Faculty of Architecture between 1966 and 1969. The counter-reactions in San Giovanni Valdarno, the tacit disappearance of Superurbeffimero n. 7 into a general pool of “youth protest,” and, Eco’s withdrawk from the field of architecture shorly afterward indicate the difficulty of penetrating the logic of that contested work. My paper exposes Eco’s semiologic text, published the...
      PubDate: Fri, 04 Feb 2011 12:00:00 GMT
  • Dino Buzzati's La famosa invasione degli orsi in Sicilia and the
           Possibilities of Children's Literature. Truglio, Maria
    • Abstract: This essay brings theoretical perspectives developed in the field of Children’s Literature Studies to bear on Dino Buzzati’s 1945 picturebook, La famosa invasione degli orsi in Sicilia. Through a close analysis of the composite (verbal and visual) text in the light of major trends in Italian children’s books from Edmondo De Amicis’ canonical Cuore (1886) through the fascist period, I suggest that Buzzati puts into question fundamental premises of children’s literature. I draw on the work of such scholars as Jacqueline Rose, whose ground-breaking study The Case of Peter Pan argues that children’s fiction is “impossible” insofar as it has been grounded in adult fantasies about children and about language; Perry Nodelman, who developed the notion of children’s literature as colonization; and David Lewis, who has worked on word and image interaction in picturebooks. I argue that Buzzati’s picturebook represents a rupture in the trajectory of Italian children’s literature through its radical questioning of the tr...
      PubDate: Wed, 02 Feb 2011 12:00:00 GMT
  • Reading Machiavelli Rhetorically: The Prince as Covert Critique of the
           Renaissance Prince. Ward, James O.
    • Abstract: In this essay, classical rhetorical theory is applied to show that Machiavelli's Prince was not intended as advice for a prince, nor as "political science," but rather as a very subtle, but nevertheless powerful, critique of the Italian princes of his day, the Medici included. While not a new reading of the text (the notion of the Prince as a crypto-republican work goes back even before the Enlightenment to the very first years of its appearance), this article places such an interpretation on the firm base of rhetorical theory together with a close reading of the text.  Classical rhetorical theory will thus be seen to be a powerful tool in the proper understanding of the text, a line of approach continuing the already important work of the past twenty years, which seeks to restore an appreciation of the fundamentally rhetorical nature of Machiavelli's literary technique and political thought. From this examination of the text against the background of rhetorical theory, one of the perennially vexing questions...
      PubDate: Thu, 07 Oct 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • Passing the Remote: Community and Television Viewing in Woobinda and La
           guerra degli Antò. Seger, Monica
    • Abstract: This paper explores television-modeled narratives in Silvia Ballestra’s La guerra degli Antò, of 1992, and Aldo Nove’s Woobinda, of 1996. In so doing, it considers both the role of a text's author and the majority/minority reception practices that lead to its social imprint. For a definition of reception practices it turns to the work of media and reception scholars such as Henry Jenkins and Ien Ang. Employing a soap-operatic narrative and respecting the viewing practices of a minority viewer group, Ballestra navigates contemporary TV language to shape receptive communities within, and outside, of her text. Nove, in turn, models his work on majority group viewing habits to exploit and parody the homogenizing, and conversely isolating, effects of this language. In Woobinda authority lies with television, the medium of debased culture, while in La guerra degli Antò the narrator asserts her authority by adopting and mutating the codes of this same medium. Each text serves an important function, Nove’s text...
      PubDate: Mon, 06 Sep 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • Another Map, another History, another Modernity. Chambers, Iain Michael
    • Abstract: In this article, the author criticizes the consensual cultural configuration of present-day Italy by displacing concerns of historical and intellectual identity onto a wider Mediterranean map. Elaborating an interdisciplinary and intercultural position that looks to languages and histories that Italian academic life and institutional culture tends to ignore, or repress, the disparaged sides of modernity – the South, the Mediterranean, the Muslim world – become the sites of a diverse critical understanding. Drawing upon the metaphorical powers of the sea itself, this “Mediterranean” view of modern Italy, of the formation of its cultural and critical languages, proposes a more unsettled and fluid cartography that renders inherited questions and “solutions” vulnerable to an inquiry that a national culture is unable to authorize. In particular, the desire for cultural and critical continuity, sustained in a diffuse historicist syntax and policed by moribund disciplinary protocols, is challenged via a “postcolonia...
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • Arrigo Boito's Short Stories. Perella, Nicolas J.
    • Abstract: Arrigo Boito (1842-1918) is the author of the four tales presented here for the first time in English translation: The Black Ensign, Clenched Fist, Iberia, and Trapeze. Outside of Italy, he is known almost exclusively as the composer of Mefistotele, an opera for which he himself wrote the libretto. He is in fact equally esteemed as a consummate librettist, above all for the remarkable texts he created for Giuseppe Verdi’s last two masterpieces, Otello, and Falstaff. But in his homeland, he ranks rather high among the literati as a significant poet in the period when Italian political unification (1860-1870) was at long last realized, and he and a number of other young literary rebels generally referred to as the "Scapigliati" (the disheveled or disorderly ones) wrote works meant to shock the complacent insular culture of the Italian bourgeoisie into a broader European context. The chief targets of their polemic were religion – more specifically Roman Catholicism – and the prevailing maudlin romanticism of the...
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • "As Men Do with Their Wives": Domestic Violence in Fourteenth-Century
           Lucca. Wieben, Corinne
    • Abstract: Marriage disputes, such as those contained in the records of the episcopal court of Lucca, offer a glimpse into the meanings and effects of domestic violence in the fourteenth century. In one case in particular, the case of Guilielino and his wife Sitella, violence is the centerpiece of the marriage dispute. In this conflict, Guilielino, complaining that Sitella had left his household against the law of marriage, petitioned the court to force the restitution of his wife and marital rights under penalty of excommunication. Guilielino and Sitella’s testimonies indicate that both parties sought to exploit social and legal preconceptions of gender. Guilielino insisted that the violence in question was not excessive, but moderate and appropriate for a husband who must correct his wife, while Sitella described Guilielino as inhuman and depraved, impugning his ability to provide for her or to control himself. To Guilielino, violence was a tool for correction and a means of confirming his masculinity. Sitella used la...
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • Battaglie navali, scorrerie corsare e politica dello spettacolo: Le
           Naumachie medicee del 1589. Alberti, Maria
    • Abstract: Many studies have recognized the political importance of Medici’s festivals during the age of the Grand Duchy. Starting from this assumption, this contribution intends to analyze certain 1589 wedding events from the perspective of Medici’s politics towards the Ottoman Empire and naval warfare against the Turkish corsairs. In particular, it focuses attention on the “Battle of Galleon,” which took place on April 25th, in Pisa along the Arno River, and the “Sea Battle” of May 11th, in Florence that was waged in the Palazzo Pitti’s Courtyard. From the comparison of official descriptions of these events with contemporary war chronicles, it is evident that scripts of both shows present a strict parallelism with real war practice. Besides, people who took part in them were effectively galley-slaves and seamen of Tuscan fleet. The similarity of these performances and their position in the Festival calendar (the first one right at the beginning, the second one at the ending) indicate an accurate strategy of communicat...
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • Bodies of Water: The Mediterranean in Italian Baroque Theater. Snyder, Jon
    • Abstract: In three seventeenth-century comedies by the Italian playwright, poet, actor and capocomico Giovan Battista Andreini (1576-1654), the Mediterranean Sea plays an ambiguous role, simultaneously separating and connecting families, peoples, cultures, and empires that are scattered around its shores. In these plays the Mediterranean cannot be thought of in geographical terms—i.e. as an ensemble of bodies of water—but rather as a scene of interaction, a stage upon which distance and difference are affirmed or overcome through dialogue, sometimes with surprising results. Embodied above all in the themes of piracy and slavery, on the one hand, and in the figure of the renegade, on the other, the function of the Mediterranean in La turca (1611), Lo schiavetto (1612), and La sultana (1622) is the subject of this essay.
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • Braudel’s Mediterranean and Italy. Marino, John A.
    • Abstract: This article reviews the Italian reception of the French historian Fernand Braudel (1902-1985) and his scholarly work. Beginning with the effusive encomia published in Italian newspapers on his death, it examines the reality behind these hyperbolic claims by asking three questions: 1) What were Braudel’s contributions to the study of history in general and Italian history in particular' 2) How did Braudel’s relationship with Italian scholars and Italian history create such a reputation that an academic historian had become a legend in his own time' 3) What remains of Braudel’s work and method over the past twenty-five years in Italy and beyond' A summary of Braudel’s theses and evaluations by leading historians suggest that while Braudel’s book La Méditerranée et le monde méditerranéen à l’époque de Philippe II may have as many errors as insights, it remains alive as a source of inspiration for the history of early modern Italy, prior to the establishment of the nation state. By subordinating political histor...
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • A Cinematic Grand Tour of Sicily: Irony, Memory and Metamorphic Desire
           from Goethe to Tornatore. Marrone, Gaetana
    • Abstract: A palimpsest of multiple Mediterranean cultures, Sicily is a crossroads of civilizations and a provincial backwater, traditional and yet, from time to time and in particular milieus, modernist. This essay undertakes a journey into Sicilian cultural spaces, places, and traditions beginning with the enlightened travelers of the Grand Tour and ending with postmodernist wanderings along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. My approach weaves film and literature together in order to map the multifaceted Sicilian identities. The island becomes an image for a magnificent past and for a present of missed opportunities, both individual and collective. Among the works and artists discussed, Goethe’s Italian Journey, Michelangelo Antonioni’s L’avventura, Nanni Moretti’s Caro Diario, Giuseppe Tornatore’s Nuovo Cinema Paradiso, Roberto Andò’s ,em>Il manoscritto del Principe, and Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa’s Il Gattopardo.
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • The Corrupting Sea, Technology and Devalued Life in Sergio Leone’s
           Spaghetti Westerns. Campbell, Timothy
    • Abstract: In much that is written about Sergio Leone’s “spaghetti westerns” – that genre of Italian cinema characterized by hyper-violence or cartoon-like formal properties or both – most critics invoke an Italian cultural rubric for deciding the films’ ultimate meaning. From the earliest critical readings of the “spaghetti western” that focused on Leone’s films as derived, cut-out copies of the mythic American westerns of Ford, Hawks, and Anthony Mann to the more recent attempts to locate Leone’s cinema within a more encompassing framework of native Italian visual tropes, Italian culture remains the final arbiter of acceptable interpretations. In the following essay, I take issue with that view by arguing for another perspective on Leone’s cinema, especially with regard to his first two westerns, Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More. I do so by associating the conflict and violent acquisition of power depicted in the films with a semantic chain that needs to be thought through a notion of the Mediterranean. T...
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • Dall' Italian Manner alla modernità liquida. Relazioni artistiche fra
           alcuni paesi arabo-mediterranei e l'Italia. Corgnati, Martina
    • Abstract: The relationship between modern Italian art and the development of easel painting and sculpture in the Mediterranean Arab world have hardly been explored by art historians; little is known about how much Italian artists and institutions have contributed to the formation of style, taste, and artistic consciousness, as well as specific techniques. The present study was started in order to trace the history and evolution of these artistic relations, and to delineate and evaluate their importance and significance specifically in the Mediterranean Mashrek (Lebanon, Syria, and Egypt). It was in this area in fact, that the interest for easel painting first emerged, exercising the deepest influence on the local cultures, and Arab painters of noteworthy talent and originality emerged who in turn trained a later generation of artists. After a preliminary discussion of the relationship between Italy and the Arab-Mediterranean world which addresses the perception of Italy by Arab intellectuals and artists and the very no...
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • D’Annunzio, la latinità del Mediterraneo e il mito della
           riconquista. Caburlotto, Filippo
    • Abstract: Several studies have already highlighted the importance of D’Annunzio’s biography and work in the context of Italian colonialism and military interventionism. This article seeks to relate D’Annunzio’s interventionist thought to the national and international debate on latinità and Mediterranean-ness, demonstrating its dependence on the collapsed duality life / art, which permeates the entire opus of the poet. Departing from the analysis of Merope, and analyzing the articles published by D’Annunzio in the French press in favor of Italy’s intervention in the Great War all the way to the pasquinate against the “barbarian” Hitler, the author argues that notwithstanding the influence of elements derived from both the French and Italian cultural milieux, D’Annunzio’s approach was fundamentally “personal” and based on the original combination of hagiography and mythography typical of his poetics. The poet utilized the poetic figures of Latinità and Italian Mediterranean destiny to re-elaborate and actualize Myth in ...
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • The Embarrassment of Libya. History, Memory, and Politics in Contemporary
           Italy. Labanca, Nicola
    • Abstract: The past weighs on the present. This same past, however, can also constitute an opportunity for the future. If adequately acknowledged, the past can inspire positive action. This is the maxim that we can draw from the history of Italy in the Mediterranean and, in particular, the history of Italy's relationship with Libya. Even the most recent “friendship and cooperation agreement” between Italy and Libya, signed August 30, 2008 by Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi and Libyan leader Mohamar Gadhafi, affirms this. Italy’s colonial past in Libya has remained a source of political tensions between the two nations for the past forty years. Now, the question arises: will the acknowledgment of this past finally help to reconcile the two countries'
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • Food for Thought. Fogu, Claudio; Re, Lucia
    • Abstract: Editors' Note for Volume 1, Issue 2.
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • From Egypt to Umbria: Jewish Women and Property in the Medieval
           Mediterranean. Frank, Karen A
    • Abstract: This article compares the financial activities of medieval Jewish women in Italy and the Mediterranean. Contrary to Jewish legal tradition, which curtailed women’s financial autonomy, by the later Middle Ages communities across the region increasingly allowed women to manage their own dotal property, inherit property from a variety of sources, and engage in loan banking. An examination of the historical developments of some Jewish communities in Egypt, Spain, and central Italy suggests that this only occurred in times of communal crisis. Because all Jewish communities in the Middle Ages owed their respective governments a fiscal contribution or faced expulsion, money needed to be controlled by competent managers. In times of crisis, this could include women. Thus, in times of Mediterranean convivencia, Jewish communities flourished and followed their own laws, including prohibitions against female financial autonomy. This article argues that in times of disintegrating Mediterranean convivencia, however, Jewis...
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • From Mare Nostrum to Mare Aliorum: Mediterranean Theory and Mediterraneism
           in Contemporary Italian Thought. Fogu, Claudio
    • Abstract: This article surveys both the place of 'modern' Italy in the resurgence of Mediterranean Studies in the last decade and a half, and the contributions by Italian Studies and culture at large to the contemporary discourse on Mediterranean-ness. The author frames the discussion of recent scholarship by and about Italian Mediterranean-ness in a paradox: notwithstanding the role that 'Mare Nostrum' played in Italian identity construction and foreign policy (before, during and after Fascism), modern Italy is given very short shrift in current Mediterranean Studies. By contrast, over the past two to three decades 'Italy' has both confronted an unprecedented wave of immigration from the Mediterranean basin, and become almost synonymous with Mediterranen-ness in the global market of images. Responding to this paradox, the author argues, Italian scholars and intellectuals have been progressively transfiguring the Mediterranean from 'Mare Nostrum' (our sea) to 'Mare Aliorum' (the sea of the other).
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • From the Mediterranean to the World: A Note on the Italian “Book of
           Islands” (isolario). Cachey, Theodore
    • Abstract: The “book of islands” or isolario, a novel form of cartographic book combining maps and narrative-historical chorography that was first invented and initially developed in Italy during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, represents an engaging and not yet fully exploited resource for historians of literature and cartography. The genre’s importance derives in particular from the way in which its development reflects the shift from medieval or pre-modern place to early modern and modern space during the age of discovery. In fact, to trace the development and expansion of the isolario genre, “from the Mediterranean to the world,” is to witness a capital example in the history of cartography of what Edward Casey has described as “the remarkable elasticity of scope of the employment of cartographic images.” Masterworks in the genre produced during the High Renaissance, Antonio Pigafetta’s Primo viaggio intorno al mondo (ca. 1525), a first-person account of the Magellan-Elcano circumnavigation of the globe (1519...
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • From the Other Side of the Mediterranean: Hospitality in Italian Migration
           Cinema. Lerner, Giovanna Faleschini
    • Abstract: In the last twenty years, Italy has experienced an unprecedented influx of immigrants from non-European countries, which has posed challenges to its social, political, and cultural structures. In the tradition of Neorealist political engagement, Italian film directors have been among the first intellectuals to explore the issues that the increasing diversity of the Italian nation poses to Italians and foreign-born immigrants alike, beginning with Michele Placido’s Pummarò (1990) and Gianni Amelio’s Lamerica (1994). This article focuses on three more recent examples of Italian migration cinema: Marco Tullio Giordana’s Quando sei nato non puoi più nasconderti (2005), Vittorio De Seta’s Lettere dal Sahara (2004), and Mohsen Melliti’s Io, l’altro (2007). In each of these films, the Mediterranean is constructed as a transitional space of personal transformation, where identities are defined, alliances formed and conflicts played out. It is a privileged space of dialogue and encounter with the other, reasserting th...
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • Gothic Negotiations of History and Power in Landolfi’s Racconto
           d’autunno. Jewell, Keala
    • Abstract: This article develops new models for the study of Italian Gothic prose in an international context. Poststructuralist paradigms that consider the intersections of subjectivity, identifications, and power structures (knowledge practices and spatial dispositions pertinent to the Gothic castle in particular) are applied for the purpose of explaining how Tommaso Landolfi generates two conflicting narrations in his 1947 novel Racconto d’autunno and puts one of them on top.
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • I nostri Saracini: Writing the History of the Arabs of Sicily. Mallette,
    • Abstract: During the nineteenth century, Sicilian Orientalists wrote the story of Sicily’s domination by the Arabs and the Arabic-language culture of the Normans – centuries of eventful history that had been lost to the West because European historians could not read Arabic documents. In their histories, Sicilians identified an alternate origin for European modernity: the vibrant Arab culture of the medieval Mediterranean transmitted to the continent through borderland states like the Kingdom of Sicily. This essay examines the lives and scholarship of three nineteenth-century Sicilian Orientalists – Pietro Lanza, Vincenzo Mortillaro, and Michele Amari – who worked to articulate a Mediterranean origin for European modernity.
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • ‘Il faut méditerraniser la peinture’: Giorgio de Chirico’s
           Metaphysical Painting, Nietzsche, and the Obscurity of Light. Merjian, Ara
    • Abstract: From their first unveiling in Parisian salons in the early 1910s, Giorgio de Chirico’s Metaphysical paintings (1909-1919) set off a discursive pursuit of their putative geographic origins. On the occasion of a 1927 exhibition, the prominent Parisian critic, Waldemar George, suggested a new rubric under which to file de Chirico’s images – a way, perhaps, to reconcile their irreducible incongruities into one fold: “réalisme méditerrané.” In the wake of widespread confirmation of his supposed Mediterraneanness, however, the artist himself insisted otherwise. What, then, prompted his umbrage at the notion of his art as quintessentially Mediterranean' It was, it seems, a particular kind of Mediterraneanism at which de Chirico took offense, and from which he sought – even in his earliest writings – to distinguish his own work. It was the work of Friedrich Nietzsche that arbitrated for de Chirico an authentic Mediterranean vision, one corrupted – or rather, uncorrupted – through its popularization as a benign cultur...
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • Il non detto, l'indicibile e l'esplosione: lettura incrociata di due
           scrittrici mediterranee. Zaouchi-Razgallah, Rawdha
    • Abstract: Silvana Grasso and Fadhila Chebbi are two “Mediterranean” writers. The visions of these women of the Mediterranean, represented both experientially and vis a vis their own writing highlight points of view that are unique and that actively and forcefully confront their status in their respective cultures. They write with great conviction, free from the notion that they may still be prisoners to ancestral chains that would bind them to their ‘heritage’ or places of ‘origin’. Their writings tend to oscillate between the realms of the personal, political and social, revealing a complex and cosmopolitan commonality in their approach to thinking and writing about issues of identity as they pertain to their shared cultural status as representatives of the Mediterranean basin. By reading and representing these two writers together, this article brings to light and puts at a crossroads two representations of Mediterranean-ness and the Mediterranean woman, by women—one a Sicilian novelist (Grasso) whose semi-autobiogra...
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • Il pane del Mediterraneo: profano e sacro. Matvejevic, Pedrag
    • Abstract: In this exciting anticipation of his new research project on bread culture in the Mediterranean, Pedrag Matvejević, paints a vivid picture of this primordial “product of nature and culture.” Bread participated in the settlement of nomad populations and the transformation of hunters into pastors, and of both into peasant; later it was used to distinguish civilized people from barbarians. Soon a uniform ritual culture formed around bread and spread across the Mediterranean. In this spreading of bread culture Mediterranean islands came to play a key role, and they continue to preserve some of these most ancient traditions up to the present day.
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • Il pensiero meridiano oggi: Intervista e dialoghi con Franco Cassano.
           Cassano, Francesco; Fogu, Claudio
    • Abstract: In this interview conducted by Claudio Fogu in July 2007, Franco Cassano answers questions on the evolution of his pensiero meridiano (southern thought) from the publication of the homonymous volume in 1996 to the present. The interview is conducted in Italian, and is available in video, edited in ten separate segments, and in a written transcription. The segments cover topics ranging from the relationship of pensiero meridiano and the Mediterranean basin today, to the impact of “9/11” on the evolution of southern thought, to recent criticisms of Cassano’s perspective by fellow theorists such as Iain Chambers. Cassano defends his pensiero meridiano from accusations of Eurocentrism, while also joining his critics in calling for an opening up of the newly formed intellectual koynè of philo-Mediterraneist to a more active engagement with politics and the larger public.
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • Il "Sud" come frontiera geosimbolica. Saffioti, Francesca
    • Abstract: Over the past decade a new form of pensiero meridiano (southern thought) has emerged affirming an image of Mediterranean-ness as a “different,” rather than “incomplete” or “opposite” form of modern identity. This article clarifies that southern thought should not be understood as an instance of localism or ethnic nationalism, but as a response to the pressures of globalization by means of a renewed connection to the characteristics of Mediterranean territoriality. If Occidentalization can be identified primarily as a critical process of uprooted-ness and de-territorialization, the experience and concept of confine (border, contact-zone) peculiar to the Mediterranean entails the impossibility of a single encompassing identity and the idea of a space of contamination. This is why –the author argues— Mediterranean-ness does not refer exclusively to a place of birth or belonging, but can be found wherever one opens herself to a plural and welcoming form of identity.
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • "ISTAMBUL KM. 4,253": attraverso il Mediterraneo di Pier Paolo Pasolini.
           Annovi, Gian Maria
    • Abstract: Pier Paolo Pasolini's work transcends the boundaries of the Italian peninsula. His analysis on Italian folk and subproletariat culture extends as far as considering similar situations in the so-called Third World, which Pasolini identifies with the Mediterranean area. This article provides a detailed mapping of Pasolini's peculiar Mediterranean geography, a mobile, unstable geography, defined in this article through a careful reading of his films, novels, essays, and letters. Beginning with a comparison between Uccellacci e uccellini (1966) and its original screenplay, the author shows that the boundaries of Pasolini's Mediterranean - a space conceived as irrational, barbarian and primitive - are constantly de-territorialized and re-territorialized. The article focuses in particular on Pasolini's movies dedicated to ancient Greece, Edipus Rex (1967) and Medea (1969), both shot in Mediterranean countries like Morocco and Turkey and yet visually contaminated and re-invented through the use of Italian, African a...
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • Italian Baroque Music in Malta: A Madrigal from the Music Archives at the
           Cathedral Museum in Mdina. Sansone, Matteo
    • Abstract: The Mdina Cathedral Museum in Malta owns the most important collection of Italian baroque music south of Naples. The collection consists mostly of sacred music since it originated in the archives of the music chapel in St. Paul’s Cathedral, but there are also secular compositions reflecting the tastes of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, who made their home on the island from 1530 to 1798. The museum’s musical holdings consists of 159 printed works by Italian seventeenth-century composers and over 600 manuscripts, some anonymous, of Italian and Maltese music. The number (33) of unique works, editions, or partbooks adds interest to the fund and makes it relevant to the history of Italian music with regard to the activity of music publishers – Roman, Venetian and Sicilian, in particular – who found in Malta a profitable market for their exports. The edition of a manuscript madrigal for tenor, bass and harpsichord continuo by a lesser Sicilian composer, Filippo Muscari, evidences the widespread, early baroqu...
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • Italian Renaissance Food-Fashioning or The Triumph of Greens. Giannetti,
    • Abstract: Along with clothes, manners, and ways of speaking, alimentary habits and food choices in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance were relevant indicators of social standing, economic status, and more broadly cultural identity. Conceptions of food in the Renaissance were also still influenced by the humoral-Galenic theory, which said that to keep the different “humors” of the body in balance, a good diet had to be the result of foods balancing the moist/water and the dry/air, the warm/fire and the cold/earth, recalling again the four Aristotelian elements. These prescriptions were tirelessly repeated by authors in Italy, the Mediterranean, and Europe in general, from the fifteen well into the sixteenth century, with only minimal variations. Most of them also insisted on the dangers of eating vegetables and fruit, as they were thought to be responsible for creating putrefaction in the stomach. It seems probable that this negative judgment derived mainly from the association of vegetables with peasant’s food or with...
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • The Italian Renaissance in the Mediterranean, or, Between East and West. A
           Review Article. O'Connell, Monique
    • Abstract: This essay considers trends in recent scholarship on the medieval and early modern Mediterranean, assessing how individual monographs and essays relate to the field as a whole. Recent works with an Italian focus have engaged with the major themes of Mediterranean encounter: merchant culture and commercial exchange, crusade, pilgrimage, and shared sacred geographies. This tendency is particularly prominent in the “high culture” fields — art and architectural history, literary history, the intellectual culture of humanism, political and diplomatic endeavors — that have traditionally been framed in the context of the Italian Renaissance. The idea emerging from the integration of the high culture of the Italian Renaissance into a larger history of cultural exchange is that the Renaissance owed a great deal to the exchanges between East and West. Furthermore, the impact of this exchange cannot simply be measured by finding the products and ideas that the West took from the East, or vice versa, but is found in the ...
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • Italian Women Writers and the Fascist 'Politica Islamica' in Colonial
           Libya. Hopkins, Rebecca
    • Abstract: This article considers the ways in which Fascist Italy imagined itself in relation to the southern Mediterranean, and specifically its perceptions of Muslim culture in Italian colonial Libya. Examining Augusta Perricone Violà’s 1932 novel Il rogo tra le palme, it shows how Italian women writers appropriated the 'politica islamica' that characterized various Italian visions of Muslim-Italian relations in the 1930s. Just as the 'politica islamica' imagined Italian relationships to Islam as a form of collaboration based upon shared values and the common goal of a highly idealized Muslim-Italian society, women writers at this time also imagined new relations of Muslim-Italian cultural kinship. This sense of cultural commonality, which typified Italian discourses of the late 1920s and 1930s, can be seen in the way that Perricone Violà’s novel turns to Islam as an important allegorical source of Italian women’s self-fashioning. While past scholarship has focused on the way Italian fascist women emulated Muslim wome...
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • Italians and the Invention of Race: The Poetics and Politics of Difference
           in the Struggle over Libya, 1890-1913. Re, Lucia
    • Abstract: This essay is part of a book in progress about Italy and Africa in the modern and modernist Italian literary imagination and cultural identity, from Gabriele d’Annunzio to Ennio Flaiano’s Tempo di uccidere (1947). It argues that racism, colonialism, and imperialism are not an incidental, minor (and thus, understandably largely forgotten) component of Italian identity and Italian history, but that in the final years of “Liberal Italy,” they became increasingly a defining trait of the imaginary Italian national identity. As in the Risorgimento, literature and the literary imagination played a crucial role in this unifying process. In a nation whose wealth and growth after unification were effectively based on the exploitation of voiceless women and peasants and where parliamentary politics was soon reduced to cynical maneuvers, bargains, and intrigues, intellectuals, writers, and idealists had sought in vain a principle around which a strong sense of national identity and community could, however belatedly, tak...
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • Italy in the Mediterranean Today: A New Critical Topography. Fogu,
           Claudio; Re, Lucia
    • Abstract: Editors' Introduction to Volume 1, Issue 1.
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • La collina delle vette gemelle. El-Alamein al-Alamain El’-Alamain
           al-Almin El-‘Alamên Tel-El-Alamein…: Un reportage. Barile, Laura
    • Abstract: This text is comprised of twenty short prose segments that seek creatively to approach a historically overdetermined site, El Alamein, located about sixty-five miles from Alexandria, Egypt. What exactly do I mean by “approach”' I seek to grasp the sense of the physical reality of this desert site by the Mediterranean, and at the same time the multiplicity of stratified memories collected there as in a palimpsest. Rather than navigate the floods of ink spilled by historians, my text attempts to convey contemporary impressions of bygone days through the eyes of a visitor accompanied by a few of her friends. A visit to the monuments, and the events that may occur to anyone who sees these sites today with Egyptian drivers and guides, are also part of the picture. The text is meant to have a mobile structure, based on the technique of variation (most often employed in musical composition), so that the twenty segments may eventually assume for the reader a configuration different from the one momentarily assigned t...
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • La crisi dell’Autore nel Rinascimento. Vecce, Carlo
    • Abstract: Departing from Roland Barthes’ observations in his renown article “Death of the Author” (1968), the author of this essay goes back to the historical origins of the modern author in the late Middle Ages to argue that we should speak of a prolonged “crisis,” rather than “death” of author-ship in modernity. The direct relationship between author-ship and individuality was conceptualized by Dante in a famous passage of the Convivio on the etymology of auctor. During the Renaissance, however, this vertical relation was transformed in horizontal fashion by the twin revolutions of humanism and the printing press. In particular, the critical and philological method contributed to detach authors from their texts as testified by the examples of Poliziano’s Orfeo, Il libro del pergrino by Iacopo Caviceo, Sannazzaro’s Arcadia, and the writings of Leonardo Da Vinci. The essay focuses in particular on the latter, because of Leonardo’s repeated claim to be an ‘omo senza lettere’ (non-literary man), and his prolonged war aga...
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • La porta stretta. L'Italia e "l'altra riva" tra colonialismo e politiche
           migratorie. Dal Lago, Alessandro
    • Abstract: It is a known fact that Italians have not come to terms with their colonial past, and that xenophobic attitudes can be traced along the full political spectrum of Italian history and contemporary politics. In this essay, the author stresses the fact that Italians also turned colonialist when European colonialism was in decline, and racist when the rest of Europe put its racial tendencies under scrutiny. He further argues that the same attitudes of denial, delay, and blindness to the racial element in Italian society and politics can also be traced in the evolution of the social sciences from the end of the war to the early 1990s, when a sudden rise in immigration from the Mediterranean basin imposed the “racial other” to the center of both scholarly and political debates. As a consequence of this culpable delay, the author concludes that the principal attitudes towards Mediterranean migrants in Italian discourse, politics, and society still oscillate between criminalization on the right and a bland form of (m...
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • Lamento, ordine e subalternità in Salvatore Giuliano. Facchini,
    • Abstract: In an interview with Sebastiano Gesù in 1991, Francesco Rosi claimed that, “the discourse on power includes in itself the sense of death.” By focusing on the cinematic representation of mourning rituals, I investigate the relationship between power and death in Salvatore Giuliano. Rosi’s mise en scène of mourning entails a complex intertextual play among a variety of cultural materials drawn from the history of art, literature, and Mediterranean popular traditions. Employing a theoretical framework based on the theorizations of Ernesto de Martino and Antonio Gramsci about mourning rituals and folklore, I argue that in Salvatore Giuliano the representation of women’s lament becomes an expression of “the subaltern.” To substantiate my argument, I examine two scenes from Rosi’s film, in which mourning plays two different functions. In the first scene, mourning rituals are performed by Giuliano’s mother on the corpse of her son, restoring a sense of sacredness to his dead body. In the second scene, mourning gestu...
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • Latter-day Levantinism, or ‘Polypolis’ in the Libretti of Bernard de
           Zogheb. Halim, Hala
    • Abstract: This article analyzes the articulations of “Levantinism” as a cultural formation through a discussion of the libretti by the Alexandrian Syro-Lebanese writer and artist Bernard de Zogheb (b. 1924-d. 1999). While Levantinism, like the cultural formation Mediterraneanism, exceeds any geographical delimitations, it began its adjectival life as a derogatory colonial term applied by Europeans to the Eastern Mediterranean. Positing that the discourse of Alexandrian cosmopolitanism was largely Eurocentric in its multi-pronged appeal to Greek elements, the article suggests that “Levantine” was deployed to designate a colonial ambivalence towards that mimicry. An artist and librettist whose ethnic background firmly affiliates him with the Levant and whose diaries and letters attest to the tensions of coming to grips with that specific cosmopolitan formation, de Zogheb wrote his libretti towards the end of the colonial period and after. This article argues that these libretti, most of which remain unpublished, project ...
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • Legal Status of Jewish Converts to Christianity in Southern Italy and
           Provence. Zeldes, Nadia
    • Abstract: The presence of large numbers of unassimilated Jewish converts to Christianity in southern Italy and southern France in the later Middle Ages led to the creation of a legal anomaly as the neofiti (the New Christians) came to be regarded as a legal entity. At first, there was no special designation for this group, but in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries some official documents from southern Italy mention the term universitas neophitorum. Universitas, in the terminology of medieval legists from the twelfth century onwards, usually designated a group of people having juridical existence, and it was also used to denote “collectivity.” Universitas neophitorum can therefore be understood to refer to a group of converts forming a legal body. The present article supposes a causal link between mass-conversions, the ensuing doubts as to the sincerity of conversion, and the relegation of new converts and their descendants to the status of an unassimilated minority group regarded as a legal entity. Anoth...
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • The Light and the Line: Florestano Di Fausto and the Politics of
           'Mediterraneità'. Anderson, Sean
    • Abstract: The prodigious works of Roman architect Florestano Di Fausto have long been overlooked by historians of modern architecture. As a technical consultant to the Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Di Fausto designed and constructed numerous Italian diplomatic offices throughout Eastern and Western Europe, South America, and the Near East. But he is most recognized for his colonial urban planning schemes and government buildings from 1923 until 1940 in North Africa and the Aegean. His works in these divergent locales conferred an eclectic sensibility to an already complex negotiation of ancient and “modern” architectural forms present in Italy’s colony of Libya as well as in the Dodecanese Islands. Furthermore, the range of projects Di Fausto completed in both settings attests to Italian modernism’s engagement with arabisances in the reworking of colonial architecture and urbanism. His designs must be seen as a counterpoint to other European modernists of the period who sought to remove any lingering symbols of the pa...
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • L’Italia, è ancora un paese mediterraneo'. Maraini, Toni
    • Abstract: The title of this essay may seem provocative, but in light of recent developments in Italian history, it is a legitimate question to ask. Italy has changed. Italy’s own sense of mediterraneità – and other people’s understanding of this identity – as well as the representations of memory and politics of and in the Mediterranean, beg further discussion. In an Italy increasingly defined by mass culture and a mass media that focuses on “cultural conflicts” and the “culture of fear,” discourses hinging on economic competition, production, profit, and neo-liberal victories, have increasingly obfuscated real and profound problems. This essay discusses how recent socio-economic, cultural, political and racial discourses have pushed Italy towards a place in which the original idea of mediterraneità no longer seems to have any value. Therefore the question remains: can this term be redeemed'
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • L'ombra del padre. Il caso Calvino. Adami, Stefano
    • Abstract: The life and experiences of Italo Calvino's family in exotic places -first in Mexico, then in Cuba - has been widely discussed among Calvino scholars, and the general public. Calvino - who was born in Cuba, and lived on the island the first six years of his life, considered with care his roots in such places, and decided to celebrate his wedding with Esther Singer in Cuba. He also set some important short stories in Mexico. The general notion about Calvino's father Mario's plan of moving from Italy to South America, has also been discussed by scholars - and by Italo Calvino himself, who when writing about his father wrote of Mario's strong desire for a new life, and his desire to know more of the world and its different cultures. He attributed these desires to his strong socialist beliefs. In fact, a very singular event caused Mario Calvino's sudden departure from Italy. He had been framed in a complicated, unclear plot to kill the Russian Czar Nicolas II. It is a story that has never been explain...
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • Mapping Metageographies: The Cartographic Invention of Italy and the
           Mediterranean. della Dora, Veronica
    • Abstract: This article discusses the emergence of Italy as a discrete object in the Mediterranean in the history of Western cartography. In particular, it focuses on different coexisting Renaissance mapping traditions that rested on two opposed spatial understandings and experiences of the basin: on the one hand, as a functional region and a sequence of interconnected places grounded in an older Ancient and Medieval tradition of itineraries, mappae mundi and portolan charts; on the other, as a compact geographical area defined by forms and dimensions (through Ptolemaic chorographic mapping). These two different spatial understandings persist in contemporary debates about the nature of the Mediterranean region. The latter can be likened to the “great Mediterranean body,” or formal organic unit conceived by Braudel. The former is a vision “from the sea” in line with the “functional” approach recently proposed by Peregrine Horden and Nicholas Purcell, who portray the Mediterranean as a space made of coastal flows and con...
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • The Mediterranean Comes to Ellis Island: The Southern Question in the New
           World. Moe, Nelson
    • Abstract: Between 1890 and 1915, approximately four million Italians emigrated to the United States. The categories of the "Mediterranean" and the "South" played an important role in the way this immigrant population (the largest in the United States) was imagined, represented, and administered. These categories (among others) informed both scholarly discourse and public discussion of the "new" immigration and of the place of Italians and of other Southern European peoples in American society.
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • Mediterranean Passages: Abjection and Belonging in Contemporary Italian
           Cinema. O'Healy, Aine
    • Abstract: Due to the confluence of economic and geopolitical circumstances, in the early 1990s Italy became a destination or transit point for large numbers of asylum seekers, refugees, and other aspiring immigrants who found their way to Italian shores aboard fishing trawlers, rafts, speedboats, or rusty cargo ships. Reversing the country's status as an emigrant nation, this phenomenon rapidly changed the demographic face of Italy and drew attention to the porousness of its maritime boundary. Although most immigrants no longer arrive by sea, images of Italy's "boat people" have attained iconic status in the national imaginary, lending to the ongoing representation of Italian immigration a distinctly "Mediterranean" valence. This essay explores a cluster of films made in Italy over the past eighteen years, films that feature images of illicit maritime migration and clandestine disembarkation. In contrast to the xenophobic tone that has often characterized the representation of immigrants in Italy's mass media, most of ...
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • Mediterranean Pathways: Exotic Flora, Fauna and Food in Renaissance
           Ferrara. Ghirardo, Diane
    • Abstract: Noble courts in Renaissance Italy demonstrated their status, in part, through the collection of exotic foods and animals. The greater the distance and expense of such items, the higher the status of the princely court. The Este rulers of sixteenth-century Ferrara mounted costly banquets in which luxury spices enlivened the dishes and confirmed the family’s high status among Italian principalities. Water buffaloes and rice both arrived at court via Mediterranean waters in the late fifteenth century, the former as a producer of cheese for the two most famous duchesses, Eleonora d’Aragona and Lucrezia Borgia, while the latter soon lost its status as a rarity unless garnished with rare and expensive spices brought through the port of Venice. The very evanescence of such displays only enhanced their value as indices of princely status.
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • Mediterranean Transformations: The Frontier Apulia and its Filmmakers
           after 1989. Laviosa, Flavia
    • Abstract: The increased mobility in the Mediterranean area is strictly connected with the events of 1989. When Eastern Europe’s ideological borders were demolished, the Southern Italian region Apulia was relocated on the Mediterranean map, and from being on the periphery of the Adriatic, unexpectedly it came to occupy a new, centered place. This geographical repositioning inevitably turned Apulia into a free western frontier and an open shore for waves of migrants. This essay discusses the historical events, international political factors, and global economic interests that determined the new destiny of the region. Since the spirit of the frontier has always inspired writers and filmmakers, it was no accident that Italian directors have chosen Apulia as the set and setting for their new, human odysseys and modern heroes. In order to explain the reasons for the rich film production in Apulia, first, this essay presents the directors whose works contribute to the genre of films on migration and transit to and fro the di...
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • Migrant Identities from the Mediterranean: A Southern Italian vista.
           Curti, Lidia
    • Abstract: This article is based on “Communicating Migration,” a collective research project that is part of a wider program seeking to promote the economic and cultural revitalization of five townships in the Matese, a mountainous area northeast of Naples. The project has explored the phenomenon of migration in two of the localities involved, Gallo Matese and Letino, from a historical, geographical, and cultural point of view. Since the 1950s, these two villages have experienced substantial flows of emigration, leading to a subsequent crisis in the local, traditional economy and the abandonment of their town centers. The article traces the key concepts elaborated in the research, such as that of the archive, the relation between migration and memory, and the articulations of tradition and transformation generated by modernity and technology. The methodological background is drawn from an interdisciplinary formation, uniting anthropology, architecture, and philosophy, alongside artistic and literary expressions, all com...
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • Penelopi in viaggio ‘fuori rotta’ nel Decameron e altrove.
           ‘Metamorfosi’ e scambi nel Mediterraneo medievale. Morosini, Roberta
    • Abstract: Travel literature is abundant in the 14th century, and several literary works narrate a journey into the Mediterranean Sea: many are the stories of men traveling into those waters, but a few feature female protagonists. The intervention of this essay is twofold. First, on the basis of Fernand Braudel’s definition of the Mediterranean as a “sea-movement” it explores the role of the Mediterranean in The Decameron by Boccaccio and “elsewhere,” especially Boccaccio’s own Filocolo, Piero da Siena’s Bella Camilla, Le Roman de Floriant et de Florete and other stories featuring women navigating in the Mediterranean in 14th century literary works. Second, it establishes who the women traveling in those waters are by asking why they travel and whether or not they themselves chose to travel. Above all, it examines the consequences of their travels on their lives. From here we arrive at the ironic title of this essay: “Mediterranean Metamorphosis.” When we wonder to what extent women have or have not been modified by the...
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • Pensiero verticale: negazione della mediterraneità e radicamento
           terrestere in Vincenzo Cuoco. Dainotto, Roberto
    • Abstract: Rediscovered in fascist Italy, when Cuoco’s epistolary novel was read in a nationalist and anti-Jacobenean key, or even as the allegorical anticipation of Mussolini’s Italian imperialism, Plato in Italy is today regarded as a minor literary work to be quickly forgotten and archived as the pathological allegory of all the evils of Italian nationalism. By focusing on the figure of the Mediterranean, the reading proposed by this essay aims at re-reading Plato in Italy in a figural, rather than allegorical, way: its goal is to question canonical interpretations of the novel by restituting Cuoco’s nationalism to its radically anti-authoritarian logics.
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • Predrag Matvejević’s Mediterranean Breviary: Nostalgia for an
           “Ex-World” or Breviary for a New Community'. Botta, Anna
    • Abstract: In recent years, the declining importance of the nation-state and an increase in globalization have encouraged scholars to move towards the borderless world of seas and oceans, giving special attention to their diasporic movements of people and goods. Lately, this “new thalassology” has witnessed an outburst of Mediterranean studies. Yet the resurgence of the Mediterranean in the postmodern, anti-nationalistic arena must be critically assessed. The risk in such studies is a reinforcing of old stereotypes, what the anthropologist Michael Herzfeld calls “Mediterraneism.” The present article highlights the work of two scholars and one writer who alert us to the manifold dangers of Mediterraneism and who offer standpoints for launching a serious interrogation of Mediterraneism. Roberto Dainotto points to the asymmetries couched in the alluring metaphors of liquidity and flows. Iain Chambers views the Mediterranean as a space of solid borders that entail the production and consumption of the immigrant as outcast. ...
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • The Return of the Battle of Algiers in Mediterranean Shadows: Race,
           Resistance and Victimization. O'Riley, Michael
    • Abstract: In late summer 2003, when resistance to the American occupation in Iraq acquired the profile of a war of guerilla insurgency through increased bombings and acts of sabotage, the office of Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict at the Pentagon designed and distributed e-mail flyers for those involved in “wot,” or the war on terror. The email with the cautionary heading, “How to win a battle against terrorism and lose the war of ideas,” was an invitation to a special screening of the 1966 masterpiece film, The Battle of Algiers, by the Italian Marxist director, Gillo Pontecorvo. The U.S. government was not the only party interested in Pontecorvo’s classic, although it undoubtedly contributed in great measure to popular interest. The understandable paradox of such identifications remains that the film is largely known as a leftist film, particularly as a new-leftist film of the 1960s and that decade of anti-colonial struggle. Associated with Algeria’s independence, the Cuban revolution, Vietnam, the Black...
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • Rituals of Charity and Abundance: Sicilian St. Joseph's Tables and Feeding
           the Poor in Los Angeles. Del Giudice, Luisa
    • Abstract: This essay explores the mid-Lenten Tavola di San Giuseppe (St. Joseph’s Table) in Los Angeles, situates this tradition within its historical and geographic cultural contexts, and seeks to interpret its various meanings. The custom of preparing food altars or tables in honor of St. Joseph is an expression of Southern Italian (conspicuously Sicilian) folk religion, which had at its core, on the one hand, a propitiatory sharing of abundance (as a rite of spring), the cultural exorcism of hunger, and on the other, within its Italian Christian matrix, an affirmation of the patriarchal family and an intertwining practice of hospitality and caritas. In its diaspora manifestations, the tables are a symbolic representation of the migration narrative itself (transposed in the Josephine dramatization of the Holy Family’s flight into Egypt), along with an immigrant success codicil. This essay reconstructs the cartographies and stratified meanings of this food ritual in Los Angeles, largely employing the methodologies of ...
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • Routes to Modernity: Orientalism and Mediterraneanism in Italian Culture,
           1810-1910. De Donno, Fabrizio
    • Abstract: This essay examines the way in which the cultural areas of “the Mediterranean” and “the Orient” interacted as geographical tropes in Italian discourses of modernity between romanticism and futurism. It argues that this relationship dates back to the emergence of a northern European romantic “Oriental Renaissance,” critical of the Italian Renaissance. The Oriental Renaissance proposed to move beyond the Mediterranean and towards the Orient and India in search of the roots of European civilization. This article explores the Italian response, which involved at first a revival of classicism within Italian academic orientalism and then a rehabilitation of the Mediterranean as the source of European civilization within anthropological mediterraneanism. It then goes on to explore how some of the anti-classicist and romantic tenets of the Oriental Renaissance were finally embraced by futurism through yet new orientalist and mediterraneanist narratives. The essay concludes that the discourses of orientalism and medite...
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • Strade, Muri, Terra, Città, Mare. Sud Italia e mediterraneità
           postmoderna nel cinema inizio secolo. Ciccotti, Eusebio
    • Abstract: The spaces of the city and its periphery have always been central themes in cinema. From its origins, throughout the silent era (Lumière, Ruttman, Vertov, Murnau, Vidor, etc.), and with the advent of sound, and the establishment of cinematic genres, the city remained a central subject, which the spectator followed throughout the course of the 20th century. In a certain sense, audiences watched cities grow and transform before them on the film screen. Italian cinema was no different. It had chosen the city as its semantic and iconic space, explicitly, at least, from Roma città aperta (1945). The question now, in the 3rd millennium becomes: How are the neometropoli and neoperipheries of Southern Italy, poised between Mediterranean modernity and post modernity, reflected in contemporary Italian cinema' This article focuses on three cities (and their provinces and peripheries) of this new South: Napoli, Bari and Palermo, examining the poetics of directors that straddle two generations of Italian filmmaking (Beppe...
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • Tonnare in Italy: Science, History and Culture of Sardinian Tuna Fishing.
           Emery, Katherine B
    • Abstract: Through a case study of a Sardinian tonnara, this article provides an interdisciplinary look at the science, culture, and history of fishing in the Mediterranean. The Mediterranean Sea and the crystalline waters of Sardinia, in particular, are currently confronting a paradox of marine preservation. On the one hand, Italian coastal resources are prized nationally and internationally for their natural beauty as well as economic and recreational uses. On the other hand, deep-seated Italian cultural values and traditions, such as the desire for high-quality fresh fish in local cuisines and the continuity of ancient fishing communities, as well as the demands of tourist and real-estate industries, are contributing to the destruction of marine ecosystems. The synthesis presented here offers a unique perspective combining historical, scientific, and cultural factors important to one Sardinian tonnara in the context of a larger global debate about Atlantic bluefin tuna conservation.
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • Transnational Multimedia: Fortunato Depero’s Impressions of New York
           City (1928-1930). Chiesa, Laura
    • Abstract: This essay looks at the experimentation done by the Italian futurist Fortunato Depero during his short stay in New York City (1928-1930) and shows how Depero, as a foreigner, experienced the capital of the twentieth century during its making, capturing crucial elements – immigration and plurilingualism, fashion and transnational commerce, the incessant construction of skyscrapers, billboard advertising and cinema, the music hall and its theatrical and delirious scenography. A close, selective reading of Depero’s unfinished project New York–Film Vissuto, shows Depero’s avant-gardist take on this experience and fosters connections and comparisons with other international modernist actors who experienced or lived in the city (Le Corbusier, Frederich Kiesler, Léonide Massine, and Katherine Drier). Depero was in New York during the Great Depression as well as a time when an incredible energy was just starting to crystallize in art, architecture, film, music, and literature. Depero translates bits of experience int...
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • The Treaty of Friendship, Partnership and Cooperation between Libya and
           Italy: From an Awkward Past to a Promising Equal Partnership. Kashiem,
           Mustafa Abdalla A.
    • Abstract: Italian-Libyan international relations entered a new era when the two countries signed the Treaty on Friendship, Partnership, and Cooperation on August 30, 2008. The treaty allowed Italy to extend its interests into the southern basin of the Mediterranean in order to balance Atlanticism and Europeanism in the region. The treaty enabled Libya also to create a partnership with a northern ally that was until recently described as an adversary. In politics, however, there is no such thing as permanent enemies or absolute friends. This study focuses on Italian-Libyan international relations within the framework of the Treaty on Friendship, Partnership and Cooperation; and subsequently, a content analysis of the treaty's text reveals that political, economic, and cultural aspects represent new dimensions in the contemporary bilateral relationship. The convergence of national interests and the impact of globalization, among other elements, are among the crucial factors that prompted this new era of partnership betwe...
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • Tunisia, Contested: Italian Nationalism, French Imperial Rule, and
           Migration in the Mediterranean Basin.. Choate, Mark I
    • Abstract: This article explores the contradictions in Italy’s relationship with the Mediterranean basin, taking Tunisia as a focal point. Tunisia was a paradoxical case at the intersection of Italy’s foreign policy: it was a former Roman imperial colony with a strategic location, but it also possessed a large and vibrant Italian emigrant settlement, like the Italian “colonies” of Buenos Aires, Sao Paolo, New York, and San Francisco. This situation caused much confusion in debates over how Italy should develop its international influence. Faced with a choice of priorities, the Italians of Tunisia called for Italy to concentrate on establishing territorial colonies in the Mediterranean, rather than cultivating Italian emigration worldwide. In 1881, France surprised Italy by seizing control of Tunisia, skewing Italian policy and fomenting a sense of weakness and insecurity. Italy’s “loss” of Tunisia encouraged the belief that Italian imperial motives were more deserving and more sincere, and Nationalists used the wealthy ...
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • Verdi’s Aida across the Mediterranean (and beyond). Guarracino,
    • Abstract: This essay considers Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Aida and the context of its production and reception on both sides of the Mediterranean Sea. It starts from Edward Said’s insightful discussion in Culture and Imperialism describing Verdi’s work as pivotal to an understanding of both cultural and economic relationships between Europe and Egypt. Yet, this essay also counterpoints Said’s reading, taking into consideration Aida’s role in the construction of both an Italian and “European” cultural identity inside and outside Europe, as opera was “exported” to the colonies, allowing colonial elites to recreate a “European” atmosphere at the heart of such burgeoning metropolises as Cairo or New York. In this context, the multifarious incarnations of Aida featured in the essay open operatic representation to the contested space of the Mediterranean and, more widely, to voices from the margins of European modernity. First, accounts of the reception of Aida show an osmosis between European and Egyptian cultural productions; ...
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • Waste Growth Challenges Local Democracy. The Politics of Waste between
           Europe and the Mediterranean: a Focus on Italy. Mengozzi, Alessandro
    • Abstract: This article investigates the politics of waste from an Italian perspective as part of a European and Mediterranean space. Waste is a contested field where several ideas, interests and governance patterns have been producing different management models and, despite the European Union’s harmonization targets, “waste wars” continue. The division of North and South is often explained by the “Mediterranean Syndrome,” but the article challenges the view of South European countries as environmental laggards with weak environmentalist movements. Differences among countries are strong – Camorra’s waste traffic is an emblematic case – but the political spacing is more complex and requires a trans-scalar view. Historical legacies and geographical sets must be taken into account too. The modernization process however is dynamic, and three shifts have been detected as groups articulate more participatory governance of waste management.
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • Watery Graves. Dal Lago, Alessandro
    • Abstract: Written in the style of a seventeenth-century Jesuit sermon, “Watery Graves” (“Fluidi Feretri” in the original Italian) takes its title from a sonnet by Giacomo Lubrone, a distinguished Jesuit orator and poet of the period. The piece was inspired by the death of a group of young Senegalese who left Dakar or a nearby port for the Spanish Canary Islands on Christmas Eve in 2005. After drifting thousands of miles off course, the boat eventually ran aground off the Caribbean Island of Barbados. “Watery Graves” is an invective against the blindness of the wealthy and “developed” Western world that allows thousands to die in the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, and the African deserts while claiming to safeguard the “European Fortress” against immigrants. As is typical of Baroque sermons, the text is also a pastiche, drawing on the Western literary tradition of maritime meditations from Coleridge to T.S. Eliot and Paul Valèry. The sermon was performed on stage at the Naples Theatre Festival in June 2008 with Massimo Po...
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
  • Without Precedent: The Watts Towers. Harrison, Thomas
    • Abstract: This article begins by addressing the oft-asked but never answered question of why Sam Rodia built his Watts Towers — one of the most perplexing architectural structures of the twentieth century. It ends with the conclusion that the finality of such a work is a complex combination of factors that could not have been foreseen when the Italian immigrant set out on his thirty-three year endeavor in 1921: (a) the physical form of the towers themselves, with their agglutinative, rung-upon-rung structure, which were largely improvised, (b) the implicit hermeneutics of such a structure, considering the fact that its towering verticality stands ten meters away from railroad tracks upon which 100,000 commuters passed each week, watching this artist “perform” his work and questioning by proxy their own horizontal projects, (c) the almost fortuitous “discovery” of these towers after Rodia abandoned them in 1954 by intellectually motivated members of the University of Southern California community, who proceeded to save ...
      PubDate: Wed, 17 Feb 2010 12:00:00 GMT
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