February 2013 / Workshops, Italian Interdisciplinary Modernism, February 2013 at the Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò New York University

The workshop will take place on Friday 22 February 2013 at the Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò New York University, 24 West, 12th Street, New York NY10011: http://www.casaitaliananyu.org/.

Papers and discussion on the day will address the following questions which form the core of the rationale of the project.

  1. Causes: where do the roots of modern interdisciplinarity lie? Why has it taken place in Italy over this period (1900-1940 ca) and what contributed to it? What is the place of technology, artistic milieu, journals, cafés, printing etc. in the development of cross-fertilisation?
  2. Change and development: can one map developments across the whole period? Does the idea of working between artistic genres and disciplines change over time?
  3. Philosophical and ideological underpinnings: how do metaphors of border enable us to understand interdisciplinarity better? What does interdisciplinarity tell us about the concepts of facilitatiting, policing, transgressing? How does border crossing relate to fragmentation? How do emancipation and freedom fit in?
  4. Policy implications: how can interdisciplinarity inspire new patterns of research and teaching?
  5. Specific additional questions for this workshop: how does our understanding of Italian modernism affect trends in museum display and curatorial choices? Has the way in which Italian art, fashion and design have been shown to US, UK, and Italian public painted the right picture by not taking an interdisciplinary stand?


The open morning session has three position papers by leading specialists in early 20th-century Italian cultural history, cinema and the visual arts.

9.45-10.00: Welcome (Dr C. Brook and Dr G. Pieri)

10.00-11.00:  David Forgacs, ‘Disciplines, Arts, Industries, Technologies, Spaces’.

Prof. Forgacs holds the Guido and Mariuccia Zerilli-Marimò chair in Contemporary Italian Studies at NYU. He has published several volumes on 19th and 20th century Italian intellectual history, cinema, and the cultural industries.

11.00-12.00: Vivien Green, ‘Exhibiting Italian Futurism in 2014: l’opera d’arte totale’.

Dr Vivien Green is curator of 19th and early 20th-century art at the Guggenheim Museum, NY. She specializes in European Modernism with a concentration on Italian art. She is currently working on the forthcoming exhibition on Italian Futurism at the Guggenheim (scheduled for 2014).

12.00-13.00: Stephen Gundle, ‘Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Cult of Mussolini’.

Stephen Gundle is Professor of Film and Television Studies at the University of Warwick (UK). His research interests are in 19th and 20th century cultural history with special emphasis on cinema and television.

Each paper will be 40 minutes long and will be followed by a questions and answer session.