Italy Made in England: Contemporary British Perspectives on Italian Culture

Provisional Programme 
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‘The Italy perceived by the British travellers is – at the least – “half-created” by them. Or, to put it in less romantic and more fashionable terms: it is a construction, an “Italy made in England”’

M. Pfister, The Fatal Gift of Beauty: The Italies of British Travellers

Our proposal is to bring together scholars and specialists from a wide range of disciplines to answer the following critical questions: why are some aspects of Italian culture overlooked, given that an Anglophone, and indeed global, audience engages keenly with several others? What are the reasons for this selection? How is Italy perceived within global culture, and indeed, how many and what kinds of Italies circulate today? This will span from the Renaissance image of Italy as a pinnacle of culture to the modern-day ‘sick man of Europe’. By including experts from History, Philosophy, Film Studies and Art History, as well as Italianists, we hope to broaden our understanding of the subject we study as well as probe wider questions about the nature of audience reception and the (mis)fortunes of culture beyond national boundaries in today’s world.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

Bill Emmott - former editor of the Economist, author ofGood Italy, Bad Italy
and co-creator of the documentaryGirlfriend in a Coma with Annalisa Piras.

Donald Sassoon - Department of History, Queen Mary, University of London

Organisers: Giacomo Comiati / Martina Piperno / Kate Willman