Prize Winner for Futurism and the Radio

American Academy in Rome Prizes 2008-2009

Paul Mellon Post-Doctoral Rome Prize in Modern Italian Studies

MARGARET FISHER

Video Director and Publisher, Second Evening Art / BMI

Through the eyes of children: a re-assessment of the role of futurism in the development of early Italian Radio under Fascism

Italian futurists who broadcast and theorized about radio from 1929 to 1941 are often credited with an historic role in shaping the style and character of early Italian Radio. Children’s programs offer a stunning view of the progressive agenda of early Italian Radio before futurist involvement with broadcasting, and an excellent vantage point from which to open new lines of inquiry into futurist radio activity and writing. To establish the condition of Italian Radio before the futurists, I will examine Italian Radio’s pioneering phase which partnered children with technology. I will compile a data base of broadcast activities and texts related to both groups, children and futurists, and publish a bi-lingual sourcebook of previously unavailable texts and scripts. With this foundation in place, I will continue with a critical overview and essays on special topics: child protagonists in futurist radio dramas; government policy and futurism; the global vision of early Italian Radio as one prototype for the Internet; and a survey of the embrace of futurism by early Italian Radio to the present day.

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