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CFP for the summer school “Dis/similar: identity and hybridization in Italian culture”.


5-6 September 2019, University of Birmingham (UK).


Tensions around different discourses on identity, and the dynamics of hybridization have always permeated Italian culture on many different levels, leading to cultural confrontations with the dissimilar, the irregular, the other, and the unexpected over the course of the centuries. The formal, content-based and ideological contrast between norm/tradition versus innovation/transgression represents an evident – but not unique – manifestation of this tension. The recent connection between Italian Studies and other Cultural Studies approaches (such as Gender Studies and Postcolonial Studies) has led to a further rethinking of the very same definitions of identity and hybridization also in light of concepts such as gender, performativity, race and national identity.

Our summer school aims at investigating primarily the multiple modalities through which the ideas of identity and hybridization have evolved in Italy from the beginning of the modern age to the contemporary period, bearing in mind the critical debates that have always accompanied – and at times even inspired – the metamorphoses of the cognitive, artistic, literary and theoretical horizons.

The event also aims to inspire reflections on the very identity of Italian Studies and Italianistica and their actual statute by involving proactively Ph.D students and young researchers with the aim of facilitating an exchange and encouraging an interdisciplinary approach to the subject. The main field of research are Italian Literature, Gender and Cultural Studies, Film Studies and History of Art.

Our summer school will offer workshops as well as roundtables and lectures where postgraduates can discuss their projects and the topics emerging from the on-going debates. Papers, discussions and roundtables will be conducted in both English and Italian.


The summer school will be held at the University of Birmingham (UK) on the 5th and 6th of September 2019. Applicants are kindly encouraged to send an abstract of up to 300 words and a short bio-bibliography (either in Italian or in English) to the email address by the 20th of July 2019. The selected participants will be contacted by mid-July. The registration fee for both days is £25, which includes two buffet lunches and coffee breaks. Registration for Ph.D students from the University of Birmingham is completely free. Travel and accommodation expenses are to be paid for directly by the individual participants.

Confirmed keynote speakers: Charlotte Ross (University of Birmingham), Luca Quattrocchi (Università degli Studi di Siena), Danielle Hipkins (University of Exeter).

Scientific committee: Charlotte Ross (University of Birmingham), Ita Mac Carthy (Durham University), Clodagh Brook (Trinity College), Danielle Hipkins (University of Exeter).

Organizers: Maria Elena Alampi, Maria Del Buono, Elisa Saturno Paasche, and Anna Lisa Somma.

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