Call For Papers: Harvard-Brown Graduate Student Conference

CHIASMI: Harvard-Brown Graduate Student Conference in Italian Studies
Harvard University
April 4-5, 2009



War and Peace: Reflections on Harmony and Conflict in Italian Culture

On behalf of the graduate students of the Italian Section of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at Harvard University and the Department of Italian Studies at Brown University, we are pleased to announce the second joint Graduate Student Conference in Italian Studies, to be held on April 4-5, 2009 at Harvard University.

This conference presents a forum in which to investigate questions of war and peace in the context of Italian culture and history. In recognition of the centenary of the publication of the Futurist Manifesto, we are seeking to reexamine the conceptualization and supposed dichotomy of conflict and harmony. What are the most crucial battles being waged in Italian culture today? Which historical conflicts have had an ongoing impact on the Italian landscape? How do texts problematize the concepts of war and peace? How can literature itself be used as a weapon or a tool for establishing equilibrium?

We will consider proposals from all periods and disciplines. Proposals may address, but are not restricted to, the following topics:

• Cultural warfare; culture-makers and their debates
• The mythologizing of “war-makers” and “peace-makers”
• Organized crime and political corruption
• Political protests and terrorism
• Anti-militarism, conscientious objection, civil disobedience and pacifisms
• Gender wars; class and economic warfare
• The struggle for Italian unification and its consequences
• Geographical, nationalistic, and religious tensions
• Italian involvement in the world wars and other military engagements
• Fascism and Italian imperial aspirations
• Futurism and the avant-garde
• Italy’s role in current global conflicts
• Internal struggle in psychological, emotional and physical manifestations
• The role of media, propaganda and visual culture
• The palliative function of humor

Presentations should not exceed 20 minutes (approximately 8-10 pages of double-spaced text) and may be in Italian or English.

Please send an anonymous abstract (no longer than 300 words) and a cover sheet with the title of your paper, your name, affiliation, contact information (including telephone and e-mail address), and technical equipment needed, as a Microsoft Word file attachment to For more information go to


%d bloggers like this: