Warwick Italian Seminar Series
Fascism then and now
with Francesca Billiani (Manchester), John Foot (Bristol), Claudio Fogu (UC Santa Barbara)
Wednesday 8th December, 2021
At the beginning of October, a group of neofascists assaulted the main office of the CGIL, the most important workers’ union in Italy. The action had a huge symbolic resonance, it’s just the most visible event that witnesses the presence of the extreme right in Italy. This presence is evident in arts and culture, too, with the discussion about monuments or the use of former fascist buildings as sites of exhibition.
What does it mean to talk about (Italian) Fascism in the twentieth century? How do we account for it? Next year will be the 100th anniversary of the rise of the Fascist Regime: is there a danger of going back a century or are we talking about a different fascism?
We will discuss these and other issues with a panel of experts:
· Francesca Billiani (Manchester), author of Fascist Modernism in Italy. Arts and Regimes (I.B. Tauris, 2021)
· John Foot (Bristol), author of Blood and Power. The Rise and Fall of Italian Fascism (Bloomsbury, forthcoming in 2022)
· Respondent: Claudio Fogu (UC Santa Barbara), author of The historic imaginary. Politics of history in fascist Italy (Toronto UP, 2003)
· Chair: Luca Peretti (Warwick)
Francesca Billiani is Professor of Italian at the University of Manchester where she teaches contemporary Italian literature and culture. Her research focuses on the Fascist period, censorship, literary journals, modernism, history of publishing, and intellectual history. Her new monograph Fascist Modernism in Italy. Arts and Regimes is out with I.B. Tauris/Bloomsbury, 2021. She is currently working on a project about Public art in Italy in the 20th century.
John Foot is Professor of Modern Italian History in the Department of Italian, University of Bristol. He is the author of numerous books and articles on Italian history, culture and politics. His Blood and Power. The Rise and Fall of Italian Fascism will be published by Bloomsbury in June 2022.
Claudio Fogu is Professor of Italian Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He published The Fishing Net and the Spider Web. Mediterranean Imaginaries and the Making of Italians (Palgrave, 2020) and The Historic Imaginary. Politics of History in Fascist Italy (University of Toronto Press, 2003). He is editor in chief of California Italian Studies and part of Storie in Movimento.