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Italian Experiments

2021 Remote Conference of the California Interdisciplinary Consortium for Italian Studies

Hosted by UC Davis March 26-27
Organizers Michael Subialka & Grace Delmolino

The conference is free & open to anyone! Just use the Zoom links below to attend. (All times are Pacific Daylight Time / UTC -7:00.)

Italian experiments have produced countless innovations in art, literature, design, architecture, science, politics, and more. The very nation/notion of Italy has constituted a kind of experiment at various points throughout history. In 2021, we are 100 years removed from the raucous premiere of Luigi Pirandello’s infamously experimental Sei personaggi, and we commemorate 700 years since the death of Dante, an author whose experiment in terza rima likewise became a staple of the Italian canon. Drawing inspiration from these bold experimenters, we aim to look at Italian experimentation in its many disciplines, media, genres, and forms. Not only within Italy but also across the Mediterranean and world, Italian innovation has made for an experiment with global impact.

Day 1: Friday, March 26 (all times Pacific)

9:45am Welcoming Remarks Julia Simon (Chair, Department of French & Italian, UC Davis)

10:00 – 11:00am Opening Keynote Address: Luca Cottini (Villanova)

From Literature to Entrepreneurship: Models of Experimentation, Creativity, and Innovation in Italian Industrial Culture

11:00 – 11:15am BREAK

11:15am – 12:15pm Bringing the Italian American Experience to Life: Italian Studies-Library Partnership for Online Archival and Research Instruction – A Roundtable on Digital Experiments for Contemporary Study

  • with Evelyn Ferraro, Kelci Baughman McDowell, and Leanna Goodwater (Santa Clara University)
  • Respondent: Adam Siegel (UC Davis)

12:15 – 1:15pm  LUNCH BREAK

1:15 – 2:15pm Experiments in Genre and Media: The Re-Elaboration of Ideas

  • Federico Pacchioni (Chapman University): “An Unbearable Guest: The Italian Puppet on the International Silver Screen”
  • Fabrizio Di Maio (UC Irvine): “Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Writing Expansions through Literature, Theater and Cinema. The Case of ‘Affabulazione’”
  • Respondent: Thomas Harrison (UCLA)

2:15 – 2:30pm BREAK

2:30 – 3:30pm Experiments in Reading: Working across Boundaries of Time and Geography

  • Filippo Gianferrari (UC Santa Cruz): “The ‘Element’ Dante in Primo Levi’s Il sistema periodico
  • Andrea Polegato (CSU Fresno): “An Experimental Approach to the Comparison between Machiavelli and Sunzi: the Notion of Efficacy”
  • Respondent: Austin Powell (UC Davis)

3:30-4:00pm BREAK

4:00 – 5:00pm Keynote Address: Serenella Iovino (UNC Chapel Hill)

Primo Levi’s Chewing Gum: A Semantics of Resistance for the Anthropocene

Day 2: Saturday, March 27 (all times Pacific)

10:30am – 12:00pm PhD Roundtable

  • Daniele Biffanti (Stanford): “The Empty Piazza in the Cinema sulla Resistenza – Analysis of a Mythologem”
  • Molly Bond (UC Riverside): “Spaces of Relief: The ‘Recanati School’ in the Sixteenth-Century Italian Marches”
  • Cherie Hamilton (UC Riverside): “The Great Language Experiment: Italy’s Questione della lingua and the Struggle Over Linguistic Hegemony”
  • Michele Segretario (UC Berkeley): “‘Vota Nardo!’ – Leonardo Vitellaro’s vernacular poetry as a tactic of collective resistance”
  • Joseph Tumolo (UCLA): “The Baroque Fold in Anna Maria Ortese’s L’Iguana

12:00 – 1:00  LUNCH BREAK

1:00 – 2:30pm Creative Experimentation across Media

  • Barbara Carle (CSU Sacramento): “Gained in Translation: Three Poems Read and Commented by a Poet-Translator and Italianist”
  • Fiamma Montezemolo (UC Davis): “GREEN, WHITE, RED, (MEDITERRANEAN BLUE)”
  • Sarah Prodan (Stanford): “Experiments in Historical Imagination: Playing at the Intersection of Scholarly Research and Creative Writing”
  • Respondent: Viola Ardeni (UC Davis)

2:30 – 3:00pm  BREAK

3:00 – 4:30pm Innovation and Invention

  • Brenda Rosado (UC Berkeley): “Lo’nventore…che non fui:” Boccaccio’s (Im)Modest Literary Innovation”
  • Cecilia Benaglia (CSU San Diego): “Esperimenti femministi contemporanei sul linguaggio: l’italiano inclusivo”
  • Mario Biagioli (UCLA): “What Does It Mean to Have an Invention? Galileo’s Compass between Thing and Text”
  • Respondent: Raphaëlle Burns (UCLA)

4:30pm  Closing Remarks – Grace Delmolino (UC Davis) and Michael Subialka (UC Davis)

5:00pm Guided Wine Tasting

  • Hosted by Danielle Callegari (Dartmouth) and Carmen Castaldi Gomez (LA Scuola, SF)
  • Purchase wines here!