Appel à communication pour le colloque annuel de l’ American Association for Italian Studies

Nouvelle imageNouvelle imageThis year, the Italian Art Society is glad to sponsor three sessions at 
the annual conference of the American Association for Italian Studies 
to be held in Zürich, Switzerland (May 23-25, 2014).

Two sessions treat Photography and one treats Early Modern 
Architecture. We welcome your paper abstracts.

Photography and Power
Organizers: Marco Andreani (Macula, Centro Internazionale di Cultura 
Fotografica), Marco Purpura (Balthazar, Polo di Studi sul Cinema)
Sponsor: Italian Art Society

For a half century after its inception, photography was believed to 
offer the most accurate reproduction of reality. During the twentieth 
century, critics largely contested the “transparency” of photography 
and claims of its objectivity. Far from being a neutral tool for 
recording reality, photography has been employed as an instrument of 
power through which a certain notion of reality is produced. This panel 
seeks contributions that focus on the relationship between photography 
and power in its various manifestations in Italian culture throughout 
the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. How has photography been used 
by the nation-state? What does the photographic frame tell us about the 
cultural and economic practices that produced it? What role did 
photography play in the establishment of a stardom industry? How was 
photography employed in the creation of the appearance of power over 
the Fascist ventennio and the Berlusconian ventennio? How has 
photography been employed as a critical medium? Is there a specifically 
Italian interpretation of the digital revolution of the medium? 
Proposals that examine the modalities of production, distribution, 
consumption, and collection of photography in their social, economic, 
and political components are particularly welcome. Possible topics 
might include, but are not limited to, nationalism, colonialism, the 
Southern Question, emigration and immigration, the paparazzi 
phenomenon, stardom studies, the industry of photojournalism, and 
gender representations.

Please send a 300-word abstract and a short bio in Italian or English 
to Marco Andreani<> and Marco 
Purpura<> by December 
5, 2013

Photography and Writing: from Illustrated Novels to Weekly Magazines
Organizers: Pasquale Verdicchio (University of California San Diego), 
Nicoletta Pazzaglia (University of Oregon)
Sponsor: Italian Art Society

This session explores the relationship between photography and writing 
in Italy. In the course of the twentieth century, the growing diffusion 
and consumption of photographic images did not receive adequate 
attention within circles of Italian intellectuals, trained in the 
humanities, a tradition founded on the primacy of writing and which was 
imbued with idealism à la Benedetto Croce and relied on a clear-cut 
distinction between high culture and low culture. Such a lack of 
interest in photography persisted on the part of several Italian 
journalists, almost exclusively relying on written texts, as well as on 
the part of prestigious literati and writers. Nonetheless, the 
undisputed commercial success of illustrated magazines played a 
significant role in the development of major political phenomena and 
cultural trends throughout the century, including Fascism and 
Neorealism. Further, in the 1960s, illustrated weeklies such as Epoca, 
Tempo, and L’Europeo published popular supplements that included 
hundreds of photos and were often edited by major journalists, 
including Enzo Biagi and Indro Montanelli. Similarly, some writers 
embraced the relatively new medium: Giovanni Verga worked as a 
photographer, Elio Vittorini’s Conversazione in Sicilia came out in an 
illustrated edition, Cesare Zavattini and Paul Strand produced a 
photo-book, Un paese, and Lalla Romano made photographic “novels.” We 
welcome contributions that address the relationship between photography 
and writing in Italy from a variety of methodological and disciplinary 

Please send a 300-word abstract and a short bio in Italian or English 
to Nicoletta Pazzaglia<> by 
December 5, 2013.

Maestri ticinesi, magistri grigioni: Swiss-Italian Architects and 
Craftsmen in Early Modern Europe
Organizer: Susan Klaiber, Winterthur, Switzerland
Sponsor: Italian Art Society

The Italian-speaking regions of early modern Switzerland exported 
significant expertise in the building trades throughout Europe.  These 
émigré architects, builders, and craftsmen such as stuccatori worked 
for courts, monasteries, and other patrons in present-day Germany, 
Austria, Italy, Poland, Czech Republic and elsewhere.  While often 
well-studied by scholars in both Switzerland and the respective regions 
of migration, international awareness of such careers generally remains 
low, with notable exceptions such as Francesco Borromini.  Taken 
collectively, though, Swiss-Italian architects and craftsmen played 
important roles as agents of cultural transfer with their itinerant 
careers in early modern Europe. These figures include Domenico Fontana, 
Carlo Maderno, and Carlo Fontana in Rome; Enrico Zuccalli and Giovanni 
Antonio Viscardi in Bavaria; and Giovanni Battista Quadro in Poland.  
The scholarly literature on such men is as rich yet dispersed as the 
architectural culture they embody.  Representative publications 
include, in Italian, the exhibition catalogue Il giovane Borromini 
(1999), and books by Tommaso Manfredi (2008) and Marcello Fagiolo (ed., 
2008); works in German by Sabine Heym (1984), Max Pfister (1991), and 
Michael Kühlenthal (ed., 1997); or several publications in Polish and 
Italian by Mariusz Karpowicz.  Many of these studies are only available 
regionally. This session aims to break down these geographic and 
linguistic barriers and move toward a comprehensive view of  the work 
of the “maestri ticinesi” and “magistri grigioni” with a comparative 
transnational approach.  The session welcomes papers on any aspect of 
Swiss-Italian involvement in the building trades anywhere in Europe, c. 
1400-1800.  Preference will be given to papers highlighting ties of 
workers (dynasties, networks), designs, techniques, or materials to 

Please send a 300-word abstract and a short bio to Susan Klaiber<> by December 5, 2013.

For more information, see and

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