Tag Archives: violence

Words of Violence in Early Modern Italy

pordenone_detail-1-jpgA one-day international conference, Words of Violence in Early Modern Italy, will be held at Palazzo Rucellai, Florence, on 11 December 2015, 9.00am-6.00pm. It will focus on written injurious words: humanist invectives, religious and political smear, slanderous libels and pasquinades. Social historians have engaged with the meanings and practices of verbal slur, gossip, and physically violent acts such as homicide, suicide, and punch-ups. This conference explores instead the conventions of written texts and how hurling textual insults was an effective (and affective) way to establish identity and gain consensus across diverse social echelons. The conference will qualify the type of violence unleashed by these slanderous texts and examine the connection between page and social context, as suggested by Judith Butler. In order to comprehend which words wound, one needs to understand the ritualization of linguistic injury and a sphere of practice that goes beyond the moment of utterance or the written page.

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Colonialism, landscape, violence

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© Armin Linke

Sabina Sestigiani (Swinburne University) will give a talk in English, ‘Writing Colonisation: Violation, Landscape and the Act of Naming in Italian and Australian Literature’, in Monash’s RISM series at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura (233 Domain Rd, South Yarra) on Thursday 11 June at 6.30pm. The talk will focus on Ennio Flaiano’s novel Tempo di uccidere (A Time to Kill, 1947), set in Ethiopia in the late 1930s at the time of the Italian Fascist colonial empire. It will discuss the novel’s depiction of the African landscape and indigenous people and will investigate the significance of violence in the colonial environment. Admittance is free but RSVP here is essential.

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Renaissance credit/Mafia organisation

EUR55_02Full disclosure: there is no relation between the two topics in the title above except their appearance in the same recent issue of the Archives Européennes de Sociologie/European Journal of Sociology (2014, v.55, no.2). In ‘The circulation of interpersonal credit in Renaissance Florence’ Paul McLean and Neha Gondal analyze a large network of interpersonal credit ties among Renaissance Florentine élite households to determine how Florentine personal credit was organised. After examining participation by people from different categories (neighborhoods, factions, and guilds), they conclude that use of credit provided an important mechanism for confirming élite membership and solidarity. In ‘How Do Mafias Organise? Conflict and Violence in Three Mafia Organizations’ Maurizio Catino tracks the relationship between organisational structure and type of criminal behaviour in Cosa Nostra, Camorra, and ‘Ndrangheta. Using historical, judicial and statistical evidence, he shows how differences in the degree of organisational hierarchy produce differences in both levels and targets of violence.

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Women, terrorism and trauma in Italian culture

Ruth Glynn   University of Bristol

Women’s participation in terrorist activity in Italy provides fertile terrain for scholars interested in issues of cultural, political and socio-psychological importance in contemporary Italy. women-terrorism-and-trauma-in-italian-cultureMy own fascination with the topic goes back to the re-emergence of domestic terrorism in Italy at the turn of the millennium and especially to the year 2003, which saw the arrest and unveiling of Nadia Lioce as leader of the ‘New Red Brigades’ and mastermind behind the organization’s killing of government consultants Massimo D’Antona in 1999 and Marco Biagi in 2002. 2003 also witnessed the 25th anniversary of the 1978 kidnapping and murder of Christian Democrat party president, Aldo Moro, and the release of two important films exploring the phenomenon of terrorism through the eyes and experience of a female protagonist: Marco Bellocchio’s Buongiorno, notte and Marco Tullio Giordana’s La meglio gioventù. Continue reading

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La legge è uguale per tutti…or is it?

Catherine Williams   La Trobe University

Upon hearing that Italy’s Constitutional Court has today released the reasons for its decision on the conflict between the powers of the President and the powers of Palermo’s Office of Public Prosecutions, the first thing that came to my mind was that comforting phrase inscribed on all Italian courts of law: ‘la legge è uguale per tutti’ (a maxim of such importance it is even given a constitutional guarantee in Article 3 of the Italian Constitution).

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The trattativa Stato-mafia: an introduction

Catherine Williams   La Trobe University

In the blistering Sicilian sun I sit, together with hundreds of students, awaiting the arrival of Antonio Ingroia who this morning* will participate in a public conversation as part of the Festival della Legalità (a week-long event held annually in Palermo). Behind me a group of boys scans the piazza and the palazzi towering above it for would-be assassins, keen to protect a man who has become, for many, a national hero.

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Una su tre

Luciana d’Arcangeli   Flinders University

Eccoci, è arrivato il grande momento: la “prima” (si dirà così anche nel digitale?) di questi post sul cinema e teatro italiano a cura di yours truly Down Under. Cosa troverete qui? Discussioni, spunti e segnalazioni interessanti (spero) ma sta anche a voi partecipare per rendere il tutto più  stimolante e, perché no, utile.

Il 25 novembre è la data designata dall’ONU come Giornata Internazionale per l’eliminazione della violenza sulle donne, ecco quindi trovato l’oggetto del nostro primo “incontro”.

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