From Fascism to the “Years of Lead”: Italian Responses to Trauma

Event Date 2 December 2011
Royal Holloway University of London
Bedford Square
2 Gower Street
London WC1E 6DP

 

TRAUMA, FICTION, HISTORY seminar series

School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures

From Fascism to the “Years of Lead”: Italian Responses to Trauma

Introduction by Professor Colin Davies .
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Dr Ruth Glynn, Senior Lecturer in Italian, University of Bristol
‘Trauma and the Leaden Years’

The legacy of Italy’s widespread and prolonged experience of political violence in the period known as the ‘anni di piombo’ (years of lead, c. 1969-83) has begun to be interrogated through the prism of trauma theory. This paper sets out the case for pursuing such a reading of the anni di piombo as cultural and collective trauma paying close attention to issues of repression and hypervigilance in Italian cultural and legal responses to those years. It then turns to address, more specifically, the traumatic import of women’s participation in the political violence of the anni di piombo, with reference to critical perspectives on the roles traditionally assigned women in discourses relating to culture and nation.
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Dr Giuliana Pieri, Senior Lecturer in Italian, RHUL
‘Trauma and Memory after Fascism: Italian Art and Fascist Violence’

This paper will focus on Italian art in the period 1938-46 ca. As Italian Fascism entered its final phase, Italian artists began to show a  new violent imagery in their works. This paper will focus on war art and its contemporary and postwar reception as a means to interrogate the difficult and still debated legacy of Italian Fascism in Italy. I began to reflect upon the possible links between trauma theory and the reception of Fascism in postwar Italian culture when I curated the exhibition Against Mussolini: Art and the Fall of a Dictator (London: Estorick, 2010). Some of the images which will be the focus of my talk can be found in the exhibition website: http://mussolinicult.com
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