DENUNCIA: Speaking Up in Modern Italy

Conference Poster

Posted in Conference Information by nyudenuncia on March 21, 2009

It’s hard to believe that the conference is only one week away! Please circulate this poster and the schedule to everyone you think might be interested.

Thanks to our graphic designer, Meredith Mullen, for pulling together all of the conference collateral so quickly and gracefully.


Conference Schedule

Posted in Conference Information by nyudenuncia on March 15, 2009

We are happy to announce the schedule for the Conference.   

All events take place at New York University’s Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò at 24 West 12th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. All panels will take place in the second floor library while the keynote address and the roundtable discussion will be held in the auditorium of the Casa.

The Conference is free and open to the public

Friday March 27: 

8:45-9:15AM  Registration and Coffee 

9:15-9:30AM  Opening Comments and Welcome from Organizers 

Valeria Castelli, Alessandra Montalbano, Jonathan Mullins 

9:30-11:00AM Dovere di cronaca: Cross-Century Approaches to Socio-political Critique 

Moderator: Elisabetta Bini (Department of History, New York University) 

Maiko Favaro, Harvard University 

“‘Il re è nudo’. Marco Travaglio e il giornalismo di denuncia nell’Italia contemporanea” 

Bruno Bonomo, Università La Sapienza, Roma and Università della Tuscia, Viterbo 

“The Vandals at home’. Antonio Cederna’s denunciation of the depredation of the Italian cities in the post-war period” 

Laura Bresciani, New York University 

“Le denunce sociali di Jessie White Mario”  

11:00-11:30AM Coffee Break 

11:30AM-1:00PM  Views of Society through Comedy and Tragedy  

Moderator: Jane Tylus (Department of Italian Studies, New York University) 

Maria Elena D’amelio, State University of New York-Stonybrook 

“I nuovi mostri della commedia all’italiana. Precariato e reality show in Tutta la vita davanti di Paolo Virzì” 

Paola Staboli, Independent Scholar 

“Connivenze e corruzione nella politica italiana nella commedia L’onorevole di Leonardo Sciascia”  

Inga Pierson, New York University 

“Children, Tragedy and Denuncia on the Italian Screen” 

 1:00-2:00PM  Lunch 

 2:00-4:00PM  Problematics of Remembering:  the Uses and Sites of Memory 

Moderator: Lidia Santarelli (Center of European and Mediterranean Studies, New York University) 

Tristan Kirvin, New York University 

“‘Servants of the Prince’: Informing, ‘Dissociation,’ and Remembrance of the Seventies”

Benedetta Tobagi, Independent Scholar 

“Living memory of the victims of Italian stragi and terrorism as a form of denuncia. Two models of action: Case della Memoria and Archives’ Network” 

Andrea Hajek, University of Warwick (UK) 

“Crash vs. Cofferati. The transference of a model of resistance” 

Camilla Zamboni, Ohio State University 

L’inutilità del bene: Demythologizing the Mafia through the defeat of the Anti-Hero” 

4:00-4:30PM  Coffee Break 

4:30PM   Keynote Address, Paul Ginsborg (Università di Firenze): “ ‘Exiles in the fatherland’: acquiescence and opposition in the Berlusconi era.”

6:00PM   Wine and Cheese Reception 

Saturday March 28: 

9:00-9:30AM  Coffee 

9:30-11AM  Filming Glocalization: the Territorial Dynamics of Protest 

Moderator: Joe Perna (Department of Italian Studies, New York University)

Luana Ciavola, University of Macquarie (Australia) 

“Filming the G8 2001: desire of the gaze, desire for revolt”  

Kim Ziegler, New York University 

“Whose Biùtiful cauntri? How a Local Documentary Denounces a National Problem” 

Dominic Holdaway. University of Warwick (UK) 

I cento passi: Popular Italian Film and Denuncia in the 21st Century” 

11:00-11:30AM Coffee Break 

11:30AM-1:00PM Stranded Speakers: the Juridical Determination of Subjects 

Moderator: Ara Merjian (Department of Italian Studies, New York University) 

Cristiana Giordano, University of Calfornia-Davis 

Denuncia: the Subject Verbalized. ‘Victims of Human Trafficking’ and the Politics of (Mis)Recognition in Contemporary Italy” 

Alex Standen, University of Birmingham (UK) 

“‘Sorvegliare e punire’: Institutional Violence in Dacia Maraini’s Il manifesto and Memorie di una ladra” 

Valerie McGuire, New York University  

“Speaking Subalterns and Silvio Berlusconi: The Politics of Immigration in Scontro di civiltà per un ascensore a Piazza Vittorio” 

1:00-2:00PM  Lunch 

2:00-4:00PM  Troubling The Truth: Narrative Modes of Resistance 

Moderator: Chiara Ferrari (Department of Italian Studies, New York University) 

Raffaello Palumbo-Mosca, University of Chicago 

“The Flesh and Blood of Italy: Notes on Literature, Ethics and Society” 

Claire Watters, University of Birmingham (UK)  

“Laughing Matters: Italian Stand-up Comedians in the Berlusconi Era”

Elisabeth Fay, Cornell University 

“La morale mancata: Leonardo Sciascia’s Favole della dittatura

4:00-4:30PM Coffee Break 

4:30PM-6:00PM  Roundtable Discussion: Denuncia in the Academy?  

What is the relationship between academic criticism and research and the “io so” that the civic intellectual declaims, powerfully marking the history of denunciation from Pier Paolo Pasolini to Roberto Saviano? What convergences are there in the role of the public intellectual and the academic? Is there room for study of the voices of denuncia within the academy? What are the risks of engaging in such a dialogue?  

Moderator: Stefano Albertini (Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò and Department of Italian Studies, New York University) 

Teresa Fiore (California State University at Long Beach – New York University) 

Paul Ginsborg (Università di Firenze) 

Nelson Moe (Barnard College, Columbia University) 


Lodging Information in New York

Posted in Conference Information by nyudenuncia on January 24, 2009

We are recommending the following places to stay in New York.  Please book as soon as possible given the scarcity and expense of finding a hotel in New York.

Greenwich Hotel

636 Greenwich Street. Telephone (212) 443-4700.  The hotel is a student-style dormitory. Linens are provided. $45 for a shared bedroom with a shared bathroom. $65 for a private bedroom in a shared suite with a shared bathroom. You can make reservations yourself according to your travel plans by calling the telephone number given. This has been preferred choice of past IGSA conference participants.

Chelsea International Hostel

251 West 20th Street. (212) 647-0010. A good choice in a great location.  Dormitory-style beds are $36 with bathroom and private rooms are $80 (with a maximum of two occupants).

Hotel 17:

225 E 17th St. (212) 475-2845.  A more expensive option to the east of Union Square with lots of charm. ‎A recent check returned a $135 rate for the nights of the conference.

Paul Ginsborg, renowned historian, named keynote speaker.

Posted in Conference Information by nyudenuncia on December 10, 2008
Paul Ginsborg

Originally uploaded by *Luana*

Paul Ginsborg, Professor of European History at the University of Florence, has agreed to deliver the keynote speech for Denuncia: Speaking Up in Modern Italy.

Professor Ginsborg is the author of the following books:


  • Daniele Manin e la rivoluzione veneziana del 1848 – 49 (Feltrinelli 1978)
  • Storia d’Italia dal dopoguerra a oggi. Società e politica 1943-1988 (Einaudi 1989)
  • Dialogo su Berlinguer, con Massimo D’Alema (Giunti 1994)
  • L’Italia del tempo presente. Famiglia, società civile, Stato 1980-1996 (Einaudi 1998)
  • Berlusconi. Ambizioni patrimoniali in una democrazia mediatica (Einaudi 2003)
  • Il tempo di cambiare. Politica e potere della vita quotidiana (Einaudi 2004)
  • La Democrazia che non c’è (Einaudi2006
  • In 2006 Professor Ginsborg received the Serena medal for his work on Italian History. Ginsborg is a prominent figure in the anti-Berlusconi struggles today in Italy. His 2003 biography of Berlusconi was a best seller.  In their award to Ginsborg, the British Academny called Ginsborg “a public figure as well as a definitive historical interpreter”, exclaiming:

    “In a country overflowing with contemporary historians, expressing every possible political position, there is near-unanimity (except on the fringes) about the force of Ginsborg’s analyses; he is one of the most dominant figures in the field.”

    We are incredibly honored that Professor Ginsborg has agreed to come to New York to anchor our conference.

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    Call for Papers

    Posted in Conference Information by nyudenuncia on December 9, 2008



    Io so. Io so i nomi dei responsabili di quello che viene chiamato golpe (e che in realtà è una serie di golpes istituitasi a sistema di protezione del potere). Io so i nomi dei responsabili della strage di Milano del 12 dicembre 1969. Io so i nomi dei responsabili delle stragi di Brescia e di Bologna dei primi mesi del 1974. […] Io so. Ma non ho le prove. Non ho nemmeno indizi.
    Io so perché sono un intellettuale, uno scrittore, che cerca di seguire tutto ciò che succede, di conoscere tutto ciò che se ne scrive, di immaginare tutto ciò che non si sa o che si tace.

    –Pier Paolo Pasolini, “Che cos’è questo golpe?,” Corriere della Sera, 14 Novembre 1974

    Mi avvicinai a questo quadrato con al centro due lastre di marmo bianco, piccole, e vidi la tomba. “Pier Paolo Pasolini (1922-1975).” […] Mi sembrò d’essere meno solo, e lì iniziai a biascicare la mia rabbia, con i pugni stretti sino a far entrare le unghie nella carne del palmo. Iniziai a articolare il mio io so, l’io so del mio tempo. Io so e ho le prove. Io so come hanno origine le economie e dove prendono l’odore. L’odore dell’affermazione e della vittoria. Io so cosa trasuda il profitto. Io so. E la verità della parola non fa prigionieri perché tutto divora e di tutto fa prova. 

    –Roberto Saviano, Gomorra, 2006

    To denounce the injustices of his own time, Saviano revives Pasolini’s words of dissent: “Io so.” This is a claim to knowledge positioning its speaker in an antagonistic relation with the established order. What kind of knowledge does this “io” know? Does denuncia implicitly invoke a collective “we”? Why does it seem that the only way to comment on Italian civil society is through singular voices breaking the silence of the status quo? When do these voices emerge and what is so politically and culturally urgent about their utterance? Does the denuncia in some way strand its speaker, leaving it without recourse to civil or legal redress? How do these denunciations affect and impact the public sphere? How does the institutional order respond, in some cases co-opting or censoring these interventions?

    As an interrogation into the dynamics of power, denuncia adopts various registers of protest: opposition, disapproval, critique, condemnation, activism. From an interdisciplinary perspective, this conference will attempt to understand the place of denuncia in Italian leftist political culture and how it is articulated through a variety of media: press, radio, television, internet, books, films, documentaries, photography, cartoons, music, and so forth. While we will focus on modern Italy from the unification to the present, we welcome papers that are transnational and trans-historical in scope.

    Possible topics may include but are not limited to:

    Fields of denuncia

    corruption, bourgeois conformism, policies of migration/immigration, racism,  patriarchy, organized crime, neo-conservativism and neo-fascism, globalization, terrorism, environmental concerns, workers’ conditions, church-state relations, real estate speculation, censorship…

    Voices and Forms of denuncia:

    satire, journalism, literature, film and other forms of visual culture (including graphic art, photography, and performance), music, theater, urban studies, philosophy…

    intellectuals, student movements, anti-war organizations, queer and feminist politics, centri sociali, associations, inchieste, unions, magistrates, demonstrations, strikes, occupations…

    Historically articulated denuncia:

    Unification of Italy, First World War, Fascism, Second World War and the Resistance, Post-War Italy, Marshall Plan and the Cold War, 1960’s Economic Boom, ‘68, Anni di Piombo, the 1980’s and media privatization, Tangentopoli, Berlusconi’s contemporary Italy…

    A 250-word abstract and cover letter with name, academic affiliation and contact information should be sent by Monday, January 5, 2009 via email to the Conference Committee at:




    Or via post to:

    Italian Graduate Student Association

    Casa Italiana-Zerilli Marimò

    24 West 12th Street New York, NY 10011

    Attn: Conference Committee

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