Tag Archives: violence

Violence in the borderlands

Defined as ‘borderlands’ by Tracey Banivanua Mar, the sugar towns of North Queensland in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries hosted a great variety of ethnic groups: Chinese, Indian, Japanese, ‘Malay’, Pacific Islander and later South European. Violence between members of different groups was common. In ‘Beyond whiteness: violence and belonging in the borderlands of North Queensland’ (Postcolonial Studies, February 2020, online ahead of publication) Maria Elena Indelicato examines the case of three South Sea Islanders attacking an Italian farmer in the city of Ingham in 1927. The motive behind that particular attack remains unknown. Indelicato treats it not as a random episode but as a sign of the way in which migrants were involved in the subjection of ‘natives’ and South Sea Islanders. Violence can thus be seen as a claim to belonging by migrants, Italian or not, and as a technology used by settlers to manage ‘undesired’ populations.

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Indelible/Indelebile Conference in Adelaide: associated events

The VPS Research Group has organised a number of free Italian events/performances open to the public and linked to its international interdisciplinary conference Indelible (Eng) / Indelebile (It) – Representation in the arts of (in)visible violence against women and their resistance, to be held at Flinders University at Victoria Square, Adelaide, on 23-25 October 2019. The links to the various options can be found on the conference webpage under ‘Visual and Performing Arts Events’. All events are part of La Settimana della Lingua Italiana nel Mondo/The Italian Language Week in the World and there is also another free performance (in Italian): Affabulazioni. Storie, fatti e fattacci, narrati da un Giullare pazzo e una Musicista con la testa fra le nuvole (in Italian). This performance is organised by the Italian Consulate in Adelaide at UniSA at 6.30pm on 23 October. Book online here through the eventbrite website which has details of the location.

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Women and violence in Italian literature

The journal Spunti e Ricerche has published Women and Violence in Italian Literature (2018, vol.33), a special issue edited by Gregoria Manzin and Barbara Pezzotti. The nine contributions draw on examples mainly from 20th century novelists (Maraini, Albinati, Patti) but include discussions of a play (Dacia Maraini’s Passi affrettati) and poetry (the works of Margherita Guidacci). Also addressed is the place of gender violence in Federico De Roberto’s novels (I Viceré, L’imperio, Ermanno Raeli)  the portrayal of violence in religious schools in colonial Somalia by postcolonial Italo-Somali authors (Scego, Ali Farah), and  the representation of female characters in the crime fiction series by Scerbanenco, Lucarelli, and Verasani. Although the contributors don’t neglect the socio-political context of the works they analyse, their primary emphasis is mostly on the texts themselves – the narrative strategies employed, the embedding of violence in the relations between male and female protagonists, the ways in which the representations of particular acts – the delitto del Circeo, the bombing of Bologna railway station – depict the general role violence plays in everyday life. Overall, the discussions contain valuable insights into the descriptive and often deceptive powers of Italian fiction; they also push us to understand the implications – and perhaps the consequences – of literary treatments of violence better than we have been able to grasp so far.

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Il plotone perduto: il 26 marzo 1944

Il 26 marzo del 1944, settantacinque anni fa, quindici soldati italoamericani furono trucidati dai nazisti ad Ameglia in Liguria dopo il fallimento di una missione di sabotaggio. Un episodio quasi trascurato dagli storici: e i quindici soldati sono ricordati solo da una lapide in un borgo remoto. Il 26 marzo, al Centro Studi Americani di Roma (via Caetani 32), si è tenuto un convegno con dibattito e approfondimento della storia del “plotone perduto” con interventi dello storico Massimo Teodori, il Procuratore generale della Corte militare d’appello, Marco De Paolis, il vicedirettore di Repubblica, Gianluca Di Feo, il vicedirettore di Rai Cultura, Giuseppe Giannotti, e il presidente della Oss Society, Charles Pinck. La Repubblica (Rep) ha raccontato il massacro, con una versione anche in inglese.

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The new deadline for the submission of paper proposals to the international Interdisciplinary conference, INDELIBLE / INDELEBILE  – Representation in the arts of (in)visible violence against women and their resistance, supported by ACIS on 23-25 October 2019 at Flinders University in Adelaide (South Australia), is 30 March 2019 (details for submissions below). Our interdisciplinary conference aims to contribute to the ‘glocal’ conversation on the topic of gendered violence and at the same time raise awareness of the global extent of the problem by analysing ways in which both such violence and resistance to it are represented in the arts. While a key strand of the conference will concern the arts in contemporary Italy, its scope will be broad, encouraging comparison with other societies across space and time. Keynote speakers will be Dacia Maraini (accompanied by a performance of her Passi affrettati) and Sarah Wendt. We welcome papers engaging with any of the following (and associated) topics, in relation to poetry, literature, theatre, opera, music, cinema or other visual arts: Continue reading

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‘An Eye on Italy’: analysing Italian visual culture

A selection of papers from a conference in Adelaide in late 2016, An Eye on Italy: Continuities and transformations in Italian visual culture, has just been published in the online journal FULGOR (vol.5, no.3, June 2018). As the editors (Luciana d’Arcangeli, Sally Hill and Claire Kennedy) note, the theme of violence recurs in most of the papers: Claudia Bernardi’s analysis of Fernando Di Leo’s adaptation of Scerbanenco’s I ragazzi del massacro (1968); Luciana d’Arcangeli’s examination of the place of women in Matteo Garrone’s noir films; Brigid Maher’s exploration of the representation in the film and comic-book versions of Massimo Carlotto’s Arrivederci amore, ciao; and Barbara Pezzotti’s comparison of the film and tv versions of Giancarlo De Cataldo’s Romanzo criminale (2002), focusing on the representation of the Bologna station massacre of 1980. The issue, all of which is directly accessible, is completed by Sally Hill’s consideration of the relation between maternity and disability in recent Italian films and by a short interview with De Cataldo.

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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


© 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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