The Catholic University of America

March 23, 2006

Catholic University Hosts Symposium on Italy and the Bourgeoisie

The Catholic University of America will host an April 6 interdisciplinary symposium in which scholars from the United States and Europe will analyze topics related to the intricate relationship between Italy and the bourgeoisie since its onset as a unified country in the 1860s. Talks will focus on such diverse topics as the Italian bourgeoisie and its relation to/representation in terrorism, cinema and mass culture.

Italian culture in the 21st century is experiencing an identity crisis, says symposium organizer Stefania Lucamante, a CUA associate professor of Italian and comparative literature. Symposium organizers say that notions related to so-called progressive Catholicism, Old Europe, the intellectual impact of the European Union, globalism, post-feminism, post-Communism, new mafias/Old Mafia, hyper-materialism, Web world interconnectivity, sociopolitical tolerance and intolerance are some of the challenges that will make the 21st century distinctive from the last.

"This symposium gathers leading scholars of Italian arts, history and literature to examine what has been and will remain 'essentially Italian' as this century develops, and how the 'middle class' - traditionally so crucial to cultural analysis - is getting redefined," says Lucamante. "We anticipate a thorough analysis of the Italian bourgeoisie, its role as an indicator, inspiration and conscience in current pop and high culture, and what this means to today's intellectuals."

The symposium runs from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 6, in 111 Caldwell Hall on the university's campus. The event is sponsored by the Program of Italian of CUA's Department of Modern Languages and Literatures.

The following lectures will be presented:

"Making the Italian Bourgeoisie in Turin's World's Fairs Arena"
Cristina Della Coletta, University of Virginia

"Alonso e i visionari by Anna Maria Ortese. A Reflection on Bourgeois Culture and the Years of Terrorism in Italy."
Cosetta Seno Reed, Georgetown University

"Morte della patria and Mourning Elaboration: Memoirs and State of Consciousness after Otto settembre's Italy"
Giuseppe Tosi, Georgetown University

"Adriano Olivetti: A 'Socialist' Industrialist in Postwar Italy"
Claudia Nasini, The Catholic University of America

"Di buona famiglia. Bourgeoisie and Terrorism in Segreti segreti"
Giancarlo Lombardi, The College of Staten Island/CUNY

"Liliana Cavani and Her Relationship with the Bourgeois Class"
Gaetana Marrone-Puglia, Princeton University

"Conversation, Living Room, and Television: At the Threshold of Tele-Existence"
Gius Gargiulo, Université de Paris X Nanterre

"Portraits of Bourgeois Inside-Outside. Family Groups in Gianni Farinetti's Narrative"
Nicoletta DiCiolla McGowan, Manchester Metropolitan University

Events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at 202-319-5240. The symposium was made possible through the help of Catholic University's Graduate Student Association and one of its members, Colleen Sweet.

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Media contact(s):
· Chris Harrison, CUA Office of Public Affairs, 202-319-5600,
· Katie Lee, CUA Office of Public Affairs, 202-319-5600,