California Italian Studies, Vol. 11 "Epistemes of Contagion"

Claudio Fogu's picture
Subject Fields: 
Italian History / Studies

California Italian Studies Vol. 11

Co-editors: Cristiana Giordano, Rhiannon Welch

From the introduction:

“This  volume  of California  Italian  Studies is  dedicated  to Italy  and  the  Epistemes  of Contagion: Touch, Contact, Distance.  […] Long  before  it  became  ground  zero  for  the  coronavirus  in  the West,  the  thought  of  contagion  had persistently  inspired  cultural  production  in  Italy.  From  Boccaccio  to  Tiepolo  and  Manzoni, to Agamben, Cimatti, and Esposito,  Italian  art  and  philosophy  have  long  pondered  the  contours, colors, and textures of contagion, and its paradoxical status as both a condition of and a threat to the human community.”

“A question that runs through each of the essays contained in this issue [concerns] the degrees of closeness between apparently discrete  forms of  knowledge (novels,  poetry,  philosophy, painting,   human   and   more-than-human, etc.), categories (shame/pudore; genius/insanity; individual/community), historical periods (ancient, medieval, early modern, modern, contemporary,  yesterday,  tomorrow),  conventional  disciplines  and  fields  (anthropology,  art history, critical theory, history, literary analysis, psychiatry, politics) and our engagements with them  today.”

“In addition  to  article-length  essays  that  look  back  to  works  from  the Trecento through  the  1960’s, we gathered contributions that speak more immediately from the present: the interview with Lala Hu  on  the  experiences  of sino-italiani at  the  outset  of  the  pandemic;  the “Notes from  the  Field” section, which contains reflections from anthropologists doing  fieldwork  in  Italy  during  the pandemic (dell’Oca, Blais-Mcpherson), along with a contribution by philosopher Luisa Bonesio; and Giovanna Parmigiani’s ethnographic work on neo-animist conceptions of care among pagan communities in Salento will all draw  readers  into  the  immediacy  of  the  pandemic’s  impact  in Italy. Essays on works by Boccaccio, (Muyo, Rosaldo), Alessandro  Manzoni  (Trigg),  Giovanni Antonelli and Enrico Moraelli (Rozenblatt), Annie Vivanti (Albaum) Primo levi  (Miglianti), and  Amelia  Rosselli  (Dani)  reflect  instead  on  the  distant  and  not-so-distant  past  from  the perspective of our pandemic  present,  shedding  new  light  on  familiar  and  less  familiar  works from across the Italian tradition, while critically questioning some of the presuppositions of both theoretical and literary canonicity along the way.”


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Claudio Fogu

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