ASMI hosts yearly conferences and supports various events both in the UK and internationally.

ASMI Annual Conference 2024

Italy and its Environments

29 & 30 November 2024, Senate House, University of London

Venezia, Italy by Jonathan Ford, (@jonfordphotos) for Unsplash

This conference aims to bring together scholars and practitioners across different research areas to discuss the transdisciplinary topic of ‘Italy and its environments’ in modern and contemporary times. In the burgeoning field of the Environmental Humanities, Italian environments represent major areas of inquiry for their critical re-assessment of Italian culture as well as for the interactions and connections of Italian environmental imaginaries at regional, national, and global levels. Environmental issues and sensibility towards threatened eco- and Earth systems are, in fact, inherently without borders and transnational. That is not to exclude diversity and difference in their effects and experiences at regional, national, and global levels.

This conference aims to foster new perspectives and dialogue, bringing these cross-disciplinary approaches and scales of analysis together by seeing Italy through the lens of the environment, and vice versa. The aesthetic appreciation of Italian landscapes and the imaginaries associated with them, environmental disasters past and present, colonial politics of land reclamation, the emergence of issues such as ‘ecomafia,’ Italy’s rural pasts and its transnational food economics, depopulation, and the imbalance in the culture/nature divide are all facets of the Italian historical and contemporary context which speak to wider concerns in the Environmental Humanities.

We encourage contributions that explore the environment within transnational, cultural, political, social, and historical frameworks; contributions linking Italian environments to global crises and networks; contributions looking at the Italian case through a comparative lens within European history and culture; among others. The conference seeks to feature papers from different disciplines – literary studies, gender studies, history, anthropology, planning, arts, social sciences, media studies, and philosophy (this list not being exclusive). Academics and independent researchers of all career stages are welcome to submit proposals for individual papers or entire panels.

Plenary Speakers:

Marco Armiero (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona), Serenella Iovino (University of North Carolina), Elena Past (Wayne State University), Valeria Siniscalchi (EHESS), Niccolò Scaffai (Università degli Studi di Siena)

Call for Papers:

Panels might include, but are not limited to the following conference themes:

  • Politics and nature
  • Tourism and the environment
  • Extreme climatic events and environmental disasters
  • Food, foodways and the environment
  • Ecocritical approaches to modern literature and cinema
  • Ecofeminism
  • Animal and plant studies
  • Political perspectives on green energy policies
  • Ecomafia and environmental crimes
  • Depopulation and le aree interne
  • Climate change
  • Environmental dimensions of colonization
  • Migrations and the environment
  • Public environmental humanities

The conference will be in-presence with the possibility of a few hybrid sessions. Papers can be presented either in English or Italian.

All proposals for papers or panels (300 word abstract per 20 minutes presentation either in English or Italian, plus a brief biography) should be sent to [email protected] by Monday July 1st 2024.
Acceptances will be communicated by Monday July 15th 2024. Accepted speakers will be required to join ASMI ( and register for the conference by 1 November. Registration details will be announced no later than September.

A few travel bursaries of £100 are made available to support the attendance of postgraduates and independent researchers.

Organising committee:

Roberta Biasillo (Utrecht University), Marzia Maccaferri (Queen Mary, University of London) Patrizia Sambuco (University of Dundee) Joseph Viscomi (Birkbeck University).

ASMI Annual Conference 2023

Mafias and the Italian State, 30 years on history, narratives and investigations

8 & 9 December 2023, Institute of Languages, Cultures & Societies (ILCS), University of London, Senate House

Palermo, Vucciria, photo by @ninociatto

Three decades since the mafia bombing campaign of the early 1990s, this year’s ASMI conference will explore the relationship between mafias and the State in the context of modern and contemporary Italian history. In tension between continuity and change, the mafias occupy a central role in public discourse today as they did in post-unification Italy. To what extent do existing approaches and models of analysis account for political, cultural and social processes of change? How do mafias respond to developments in legislation, policy and law enforcement strategies? To what extent can we consider the mafia a product of political, judicial and cultural construction? These are just some of the questions this conference will address.

The programme includes short films by Federica Schiavello and Giovanni Izzo and a roundtable discussion on ‘The Forgotten Actors: Re-evaluating the role of women in the mafias’.

Keynote speakers:

Claire Longrigg (Deputy Editor, The Guardian) and Maurizio De Lucia (Chief Prosecutor, Palermo, Italy)

Download full programme (pdf)

ASMI Annual Conference 2022

2-3 December 2022, Italian Cultural Institute, London

Change, evolution and disruption in modern and contemporary Italy

ASMI 2022 Annual conference will take place in presence at the Italian Cultural Institute in London on 2 and 3 December 2022.

Among the various panels, there will be two keynote speeches in the Conference room:

Friday, 2 December: Prof. Clodagh Brook (Trinity College, Dublin): Intermedia in Italy: Mappings and contact zones (1900-2020)

Saturday, 3 December: Prof. John Foot (University of Bristol): History and myth: The March on Rome one hundred years on

You can download the programme here.

2021 ASMI Annual Conference

(Online) 3-4 December 2021


(A worker at the Weber factory in Bologna assembling a carburettor needle valve. Bologna, February 1950. Photographic archive, UDI Bologna)

This year ASMI annual conference will explore meanings and transformations of work in modern and contemporary Italy, including labour’s shifting geographies, discourses and representations. The decline of the Fordist factory and the diminishing centrality of factories into people’s life and Italy’s national identity triggered in the 1980s and 1990s a temporary decline in the study of labour. However, growing interest in issues such as homeworking, the feminization of work, precarity and “non-lavoro”, cognitive work, new digital professions, transnational flows of labour migration have recently signalled a revival of the field with original and thought-provoking research being carried out in history, political science, sociology, cultural studies and anthropology. Taking stock of this innovative and increasingly interdisciplinary scholarship, the conference will examine the key role played by work in Italy’s political, economic, cultural and social developments since unification and will provide a space to further encourage dialogue on work-related themes across disciplinary boundaries.

This conference will be held online, and Zoom links will be circulated to attendees signed on with Eventbrite tickets prior to the 3rd December. The conference is free. However, we encourage participants to support and join ASMI. ASMI membership is annual and includes a subscription to Modern Italy (four issues per year – Cambridge University Press)

The conference will include two keynote lectures:

Friday, 3 December, 9:30: Andrea Sangiovanni (University of Teramo): ‘Il lavoro immaginario. Le rappresentazioni mediali del lavoro in Italia dal miracolo economico ad oggi’.

Saturday, 4 December, 11:15: Maud Bracke (university of Glasgow): ‘Feminist thought and the question of work in the 20th Century’.

On the last day, there will be a screening of ‘Ragioni Politiche. Incontro con Vittorio Foa’, directed by Giuseppe Bertolucci and scripted by Giuseppe Bertolucci with Paul Ginsborg. Prof. Ginsborg will be present for some remarks.

You can find the complete programme and the links for the online sessions by following this link. You can also find more info on the panellists and keynote speakers here.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any queries and requests for clarification.

Association for the Study of Modern Italy (ASMI) Annual Conference

Live event: 4 December 2020, 15-17:30


Organising Committee:
Alessandro de Arcangelis (UCL), Fernanda Gallo (University of Cambridge), Giuseppe Grieco (Queen Mary, University of London), Joseph John Viscomi (Birkbeck, University of London).

Due to the current global circumstances, this year’s conference will be divided into a series of events – a Keynote lecture, a roundtable discussion, a series of podcasts/interviews, and (hopefully) an in-person event in June 2021 — which together explore a theme of growing interest to scholars of Italy. This year’s ASMI conference considers the relation between Italy and the Mediterranean against the grain of methodological nationalism and transnationalism. The Mediterranean waxes and wanes as a region of scholarly investigation. In recent years it has reasserted itself in public debate: popular uprisings unsettled long-standing political regimes; economic crises generated widespread precarity and insecurity, nationalist movements have reified some borders while condemning others, and climate change continues to affect Mediterranean landscapes. In all of this, Italy has played a central role. Its shores have received refugees; its youth have borne the consequences of economic crisis and continue along well-trodden paths of emigration; a new populism has emerged in the renamed ‘Lega’ (and in a broader right-wing coalition); its environment has been affected by both the changing salinity of the sea and the rising waters which transform its agricultural landscape. Italy’s connection to the Mediterranean is, in many ways, a driving force of its socio-cultural, political, historical and environmental challenges.

These processes have historical precedents; some appear in continuity with the past, while others demarcate divergences and suggest new horizons. Therefore, this unconventional ASMI conference sets out to examine Italy as an interconnected nexus of encounter – across space and time — that does not simply sit in the Mediterranean, but rather feeds upon historical changes in and beyond the region. In order to understand these changes, the ASMI 2020 interdisciplinary conference will consider social, political, and environmental conditions as well as cultural and intellectual undercurrents that place Italy in relation to its multiple seas.

Italian Mediterraneans, 1800-Present will commence with: 

Keynote Lecture:

Maurizio Isabella (Queen Mary, University of London)

The keynote is available to stream here

Roundtable Programme

4 December 2020

Introductory comments: 3:00-3:20pm

Katia Pizzi, Italian Cultural Institute & School of Advanced Study, U. of London 

Phil Cooke, Association for the Study of Modern Italy & University of Strathclyde

Fernanda Gallo (University of Cambridge) & Joseph Viscomi (Birkbeck, University of London)

Roundtable: 3:20-4:20

Naor Ben-Yehoyada, Columbia University

Norma Bouchard, Drexel University

Barbara Curli, Università di Torino

Roberto Dainotto, Duke University

Maurizio Isabella, QMUL

Konstantina Zanou, Columbia University

Pausa: 4:20-4:30

Discussion and Q&A: 4:30-5:30

The events on 4 December 2020 will be followed by a monthly series of podcasts and interviews (all will be available online) conducted by Alessandro de Arcangelis, Fernanda Gallo, Giuseppe Grieco, Valerie McGuire and Joseph Viscomi.

Association for the Study of Modern Italy (ASMI) Annual Conference

29-30 November 2019, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Belgrave Square, London SW1


Organising Committee:
Gianluca Fantoni (Nottingham Trent), Carl Levy (Goldsmiths), Marzia Maccaferri (Goldsmiths), Andrea Mammone (Royal Holloway), Marta Musso (King’s College London), George Newth (University of Bath), Franco Zappettini (University of Liverpool)

Keynote Speakers:
Federico Finchelstein (New School for Social Research) and Nadia Urbinati (Columbia University)


This year ASMI annual conference will explore themes of populism in Italy. From 1994 until the present day, the President of the Italian Republic has sworn in five governments which can be labelled as ‘populist’. From the first government of the post-Tangentopoli era, led by Berlusconi, to the ideologically ambiguous Five Star Movement-Lega coalition government in 2018. These developments in Italian politics raise a number of questions regarding the relationship not only between populism and democracy but also between populism and Italian character or Italian culture. It also brings into sharp focus debates surrounding the durability of the populist phenomenon and the potential challenges posed to the institutions of both the Italian Republic and the European Union.

In order to understand this global phenomenon, it is necessary to look at it from a historical perspective in its global context, and consider not only the social and political conditions but also the cultural and intellectual dynamics which have seen the rise of ‘populism’.
The conference will, therefore, explore the historic and cultural role of populism and in particular the discursive construction of ‘the people’ against a perceived group of ‘elites’ in political narratives from the Risorgimento until the present day.

Association for the Study of Modern Italy (ASMI) Annual Conference

30th November & 1st December 2018, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Belgrave Square, London SW1

The First World War in Italy and Beyond: History, Legacy and Memory (1918–2018)

Conference convenors:

Selena Daly (University College Dublin), Carlotta Ferrara degli Uberti (University College London), Hannah Malone (Freie Universität Berlin), Martina Salvante (University of Warwick)

The conference dinner will be held on 30th November at 8pm Prezzo, North Audley Street.

More information and payment options to follow.

The conference will explore the history, legacy and memory of the First World War in Italy from 1918 to 2018. As the War was one of the formative experiences of the modern Italian nation, the aim is to place the conflict in a longer chronological perspective and to highlight its lasting impact from a range of viewpoints. Drawing on recent innovations in the historiography,
the conference will shift focus away from the battlefields towards hitherto neglected areas of study, including the experience of civilians and everyday life, the transition from war to peace, and the post-­war climate and reconstruction. It will shed light on how the memory of WWI shaped Italy’s national identity and served political ends during the Fascist period and after the Second World War. The intention is also to escape the confines of national historiography
by placing Italy in comparative and transnational contexts. Thus, the centenary presents an opportunity to look with fresh eyes at the mark left by the War on the history, politics and society of Italy.

Confirmed keynote speakers:

Prof. Gunda Barth-Scalmani (University of Innsbruck) Author of numerous works on Italian-Austrian relations and the experiences of women during WWI, including Ein Krieg – Zwei Schützengräben, Österreich – Italien und der Erste Weltkrieg in den Dolomiten 1915–1918 (Bozen 2005) and Militärische und zivile Kriegserfahrungen 1914–1918 (Innsbruck, 2010).

Dr. Marco Mondini (University of Padua/Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Trento) Author of numerous bestselling books on Italy and WW1, including most recently Il Capo. La Grande Guerra del generale Luigi Cadorna (Il Mulino 2017) and La guerra italiana. Partire, raccontare, tornare 1914-18 (Il Mulino 2014). He is a frequent contributor to programmes on Rai Storia, e.g.

Association for the Study of Modern Italy (ASMI) Annual Conference

1/2 December 2017, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Belgrave Square, London SW1


The Culture and Politics of the Italian Family from the 19th to the 21st Century


Conference convenors:

Paul Ginsborg, Christian Goeschel, Sofia Serenelli and Alessandra Antola Swan

The conference dinner will be held on 1 December at 8pm at Tas Restaurant , 22 Bloomsbury Street London WC1B 3QJ.  For £32 each person will have a starter, main course, a glass of wine, a glass of mineral water and 12,5% service included.



25 November IHR University of London, Senate House, Malet Street, London

26 November ICI Italian Cultural Institute Belgrave Square, London    


The ASMI annual conference will be held jointly this year with the Institute of Historical Research’s Modern Italian History Seminar. The seminar, which is sponsored by ASMI, this year marks its twentieth anniversary. In that time, it has hosted numerous speakers who have given papers on many aspects of modern Italian history. One of the convenors of the seminar was Christopher Duggan, who was also Chair of ASMI at the time of his death in November 2015. The conference offers an opportunity to reflect on the state of historiographical debate on a range of themes that figured prominently in Christopher Duggan’s work, and to explore the roles of British historians and of the seminar itself in the historiography of Italy.

The conference will include sessions on the following themes: Fascism and Totalitarianism; Legacies of Fascism; The Mafia; Biography; British Historians and Italy from Mack Smith to Duggan, the History of the IHR Modern Italian History seminar.  There will be a number of invited speakers and some sessions will consist of panels which are wholly composed of them.

See below the Conference Programme. PDF version here 

ASMI Annual Conference 2016 

The Force of History: Critical Perspectives on the Historiography of Modern Italy

25 November     Institute of Historical Research (IHR)

26 November    Italian Cultural Institute (ICI)


Friday 25 November    

Institute of Historical Research (IHR), Wolfson room


10.00 – 10.30   Registration


10.30 – 10.45  

Welcome (Lawrence Goldman, Director IHR) and Opening remarks (Stephen Gundle, Chair ASMI)


10.45 – 12.30   Panel I/Wolfson Room I

British historians and the history of Italy

Chair: Ilaria Favretto (Kingston University)

John Foot (University of Bristol)

Giulia Albanese (Università di Padova)

David Laven (University of Nottingham)

Marco Meriggi (Università di Napoli Federico II)


12.30 – 13.30    Lunch break (please make your own arrangements)


13.30– 15.00    Panel II / Wolfson Room I

Duggan’s Crispi in Transnational Perspective

Chair: Axel Körner (University College London)

Anne Bruch (Universität Hamburg)

Giles Pécout (École Normale Supérieure, Paris)

Marcella Sutcliffe (University of Cambridge)


15.00 – 15.30   Tea break


15.30 – 17.00   Panel III/Wolfson Room I

Twenty Years of the IHR Modern Italian History Seminar

Chair: Carl Levy (Goldsmiths, University of London)

Adrian Lyttelton (Johns Hopkins University  – Bologna Center)

Daniela Luigia Caglioti (Università di Napoli Federico II)


17.00 – 18.00    Keynote speaker/Wolfson Room II

Marie-Anne Matard Bonucci (Université Paris 8)

‘Fascismo, violenza, totalitarismo


18.00 – 19.00. ASMI Annual General Meeting / Wolfson Room II


20.00. Conference dinner

Tas Restaurant. 22 Bloomsbury Street London WC1B 3QJ


Saturday 26 November

Italian Cultural Institute (ICI)


9.00 – 9.30     Registration


9.30 – 11.10      Panel I Lecture Hall

Fascism and Totalitarianism

Chair: Maria Sophia Quine (Oxford Brookes University)

The Politics of Consent

Keynote: Paul Corner (University of Siena and Director of Centre for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes)Dictatorship as Experience: Perspectives and Problems

Kate Ferris (University of St Andrews). Outside the State? The Politics of Everyday Life in Fascist Italy

Ugo Pavan Della Torre (Independent researcher). The Italian National Association of Disabled Servicemen (ANMIG) and Fascism

Panel I/II Room Library

Legacies of Fascism

Chair: Marzia Maccaferri (Goldsmiths, University of London)

Cultural Legacy

Hannah Malone (University of Cambridge). Architectural legacies of fascism 

Dario Pasquini (Independent researcher). Longing for purity. Fascism and Nazism in Italian and German satirical press (1943-1963)

Giuliana Pieri (Royal Holloway, University of London). Fascist Art: a disputed legacy

Beatrice Sica (University College London). A Battle of Images in Postwar Italy: Unseated Knights as Champions of Anti-Fascism

Panel I/III Room 1st Floor Hall

The Mafia

Chair: John Dickie (University College London)

Vittorio Coco (Università di Palermo). Christopher Duggan, la mafia, il fascismo

Carolina Castellano (Università di Napoli). Criminal groups in Campania between Fascism and the Second World War: a case-study

Daron Acemoglu (MIT), Giuseppe De Feo (Univ. of Strathclyde), Giacomo De Luca (Univ. of York). Men of honour and men of order: Social conflict and the expansion of the mafia in the Sicilian countryside

Samantha Owen (Curtin University, Western Australia). Celebrating Unity: Danilo Dolci, clientelism, Waste and transnational conversations


11.10 – 11.30     Tea break

11.30 – 13.10     Panel II/Lecture Hall 

The Mafia

Chair: John Dickie (University College London) 

Keynote: Salvatore Lupo (Università di Palermo). Il fascismo e la Mafia. 

Manoela Patti (Università di Palermo). Il fascismo, l’antimafia e la selezione della classe dirigente locale. Il caso palermitano

Tommaso Baris (Università di Palermo). L’accusa di associazione mafiosa negli esposti anonimi tra realtà ed autorappresentazione del regime fascista

Panel II/II Room Library

Fascism and Totalitarianism

Chair: Maria Sophia Quine (Oxford Brookes University)

Cultures of Consent

Richard Bosworth (Jesus College, Oxford). Fascism and other Italian Histories in the Emotions of Claretta Petacci and her Family

Enrica Asquer (Gramsci Institute, Bologna). Writing to the Regime: Conflicts and Contradictions in Fascist Jews’ Letters to Demorazza

Alice Gussoni (Pembroke College, Oxford). Gaetano Salvemini and the Anti-Fascist Struggle from Abroad

Giuliana Minghelli (McGill University). History and Emotion in Franco Fortini’s I cani del Sinai

Panel II/III Room 1st Floor Hall

Legacies of Fascism

Chair: Marzia Maccaferri (Goldsmiths, University of London)

Political and Intellectual Legacy

Nick Carter (Australian Catholic University). ‘I’m busy flying.’ Remembering Italo Balbo: aviator, pioneer, adventurer; Squadrist, Fascist, murderer

Carl Levy (Goldsmiths, University of London). The Social, Cultural and Political History of the Term ‘Totalitarianism’ (the Italian Dimension): some reflections on a new project

Margherita Sulas (Università di Cagliari). La persistenza del mito mussoliniano nella destra postfascista italiana negli anni del centrismo

13.10 – 14.10    Lunch break (please make your own arrangements)


14.10 – 15.50    Panel III/Lecture Hall

Legacies of Fascism

Chair: Marzia Maccaferri (Goldsmiths, University of London)

Removals and Commemorations

Keynote: Marcello Flores (Università di Siena and INSMLI)

The Legacies of Fascism: continuities and ruptures

Mirco Carrattieri (Università di Bologna and INSMLI). Who is afraid of Predappio? The debate about a national museum of fascism in Mussolini’s birthplace 

Charles Leavitt (University of Reading). “La favola dell’anno zero” in Post-Fascist Italy

Panel III/II Room Library

Fascism and Totalitarianism

Chairs: Maria Sophia Quine (Oxford Brookes University), Adrian Lyttelton (Johns Hopkins University  – Bologna Center)

A People’s Dictatorship?

Simone Duranti (Università di Siena). Instruments of Propaganda? The Fascist GUF (Gruppi Universitari Fascisti) and the Limits of Totalitarianism’

Gioachino Lanotte (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano). Mussolini and his Orchestra: Songs and Radio Between Propaganda and Censorship.

Giuliana Minghelli (McGill University). History and Emotion in Franco Fortini’s I cani del Sinai

Panel III/III Room 1st Floor Hall

The Mafia

Chair: John Dickie (University College London)

Rossella Merlino (Bangor University). Redefining mafia “culture” beyond culturalism: the case of Cosa Nostra and religion

Amber Philips (University of Bristol). Ndrangheta in the news: contrasting national and regional press representations of the 1969 Montalto summit

Luca Palermo (Seconda Università degli Studi di Napoli). Ethics and aesthetics: street art for the regeneration of a real estate confiscated from the camorra. An Italian study case


15.50 – 16.30    Tea break

16.20 – 17.30  Documentary film:

‘Bologna 2 agosto 1980: la strage’

Chair: John Foot (University of Bristol)

Followed by Q&A with Director Vanessa Roghi (Università di Roma La Sapienza)

General Information

Suggestions for ACCOMODATION can be found here:


Friday – 25 November 2016

Institute of Historical Research (IHR)

Senate House

Malet Street

London                  WC1E 7HU


Closest Tube Stops: Russell Square (Piccadilly Line), Tottenham Court Road or Goodge Street (Northern Line).

Closest Landmarks: British Museum and Russell Square.

Where to go for lunch

There are a number of cafés in the area as listed below, however we also suggest that you might like to bring your own lunch or sandwich to have in Senate House. On the Friday the Senate House Café will be open on the ground floor or you may want to head to:

RADA café: 62-64 Gower St, London WC1E 6ED

Waterstone’s café: 82 Gower St, London WC1E 6EQ

There are also many cafés and bars on Store Street, a 3-minute walk due West from Senate House.

You can also find a map of the area here:

Saturday – 26 November 2016

Italian Cultural Institute (ICI)

39 Belgrave Square

London                  SW1X 8NX


Closest Tube Stops: Hyde Park Corner (Piccadilly Line), Victoria (Victoria Line, Circle Line and District Line).

Closest Landmarks: Hyde Park Corner, Wellington Arch, Harrods.

Where to go for lunch

There are a number of cafés in the area as listed below, however we also suggest that you might like to bring your own lunch or sandwich to have in the basement canteen or you may want to head to:

The Pret a Manger

132 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, London SW3 1HY

+44 (0)20 7932 5337

The Green Café

16 Eccleston Street, Belgravia, SW1W 9LT

+44 (0)20 305304

The Fine Cheese Co.

17 Motcomb Street, Belgravia, SW1X 8LB,

+44 (0)20 75362109

You can also find a map of the area here:

ASMI Conference 2015

Educating Italy (1796-1968 ca): Local, national and global perspectives.

4-5 December 2015, The Italian Cultural Institute, London.

Conference Organizers: Dr Claudia Baldoli (Newcastle University), Dr Marcella P. Sutcliffe, University of Cambridge/ Institute of Education (UCL); Maria Patricia Williams (Institute of Education (UCL).

Keynote speakers: John Davis (University of Connecticut) and Mario Isnenghi (Ca’ Foscari)

The history of education in Italy provides the focus of the Annual ASMI conference 2015. We are interested in papers which will contribute towards weaving the narrative of Italy’s educational pathway by embracing a variety of perspectives on education, both formal and informal, within Italy and beyond, including the connected histories which crossed the nation’s geographical boundary during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The discipline of history of education has expanded widely in the last few decades. Not only have scholars been exploring the history of pedagogy, national school systems, curriculums, institutions, teachers and the history of textbooks, but also the trajectories of informal education. This has included research on youth clubs, scouts and military organisations, historical pageants, cinema, television, art and architecture and forms of organised memory, through museums and official memorials. The conference plans to reflect this broad perspective. Scholars from
disciplines, including Italian studies, film, media and communication studies, literature studies, cultural studies, politics, pedagogy and history, are invited to contribute papers.
The aim of the conference is to bring together scholars from different disciplines to analyse the forms which contributed to the civil, political, intellectual education of the Italians. The conference welcomes (but is not limited to) approaches which focus on the history of educating the Italians not only as an inward-looking process, on the construction of italianità, but as an endeavour which rested on cultural encounters, ideological exchanges and comparative studies which may be read in the context of the ‘transnational turn’.

Possible topics include:
1. Education, religion and ideology
2. Education in making Italians and the national character
3. Women’s education in the 19th and 20th centuries
4. Educating the nation at war
5. The adult education movement in Italy
6. Education in the colonies or the diaspora
7. Questions of bilinguism, including border regions
8. Regional and national identities
9. Transnational networks of scholars
10. The media and education
11. Historiographical perspectives

Please send proposals of a maximum of 250 words and information about your institutional affiliation and status (100 words) by 15 July 2015 to [email protected]
All those presenting a paper at the conference will be required to join ASMI and register for the conference by 1 November 2015.

ASMI Conference 2014

The Italian Crisis: Twenty years on

21-22 November 2014, The Italian Cultural Institute, London

In 1994, the Association for the Student of Modern Italy organised a conference around the theme of the ‘Italian crisis’. Silvio Berlusconi had just been elected as Prime Minister and the country was in dire economic straits. The political system was in tatters after the tangentopoli scandals. The crisis was analysed from a political, cultural, historical and social viewpoints in a conference which was extremely well attended and led to fascinating discussions after every paper.

The papers from the conference were then collected and published in the first issue of the journal Modern Italy.


Conference organisers:
John Foot and Gianluca Fantoni.

Keynote speakers:
Paul Ginsborg
Tito Boeri, Bocconi University Milan

Conference location:
The conference will be held at the Italian Cultural Institute in London.

ASMI Conference 2013

Iconic Images in Modern Italy: Politics, Culture and Society

22-23 November 2013, University of London, Senate House


Keynote speakers:

Fabrice d’Almeida, Pantheon-Assas University, Paris
Maria Antonella Pelizzari, Hunter College (CUNY), New York.


This conference will explore the many different ways in which images and symbols have circulated in modern Italy since 1800. The intention is to consider images of all types and explore their role in generating perceptions of Italy and the Italians, creating a shared visual culture, articulating political battles and ideologies, embodying gender differences and giving shape to commercial culture. It is expected that a significant part of the conference will be devoted to photography (Alinari brothers, Luce Institute, humanist photography, street photography and paparazzi images, and glamour imagery) and to iconic photographs (for example, Mussolini harvesting, Aldo Moro as prisoner of the Red Brigades). However, space will also be devoted to other media including popular illustration and cartoons, advertising, party symbols and election posters, postcards, art, magazine and book covers, graffiti and cinema. The aim is to explore the genesis and meaning of images which for one reason or another have become widely known and which occupy – or have occupied – a place in the collective imaginary.

These may include particular advertising campaigns, movie stills or scenes, brand images and star portraits as well as images, moments or people who for a brief moment captured national or international attention. Religious imagery is important as are images and visual clichés inherited from the recent and remote past. Among these will be triumphs (in sport for example) and tragedies (such as disasters and certain deaths), and representations of the physical environment, including changing cities and the landscape.

The conference will aim to attract contributions on a wide range of topics with the intention of bringing the visual and symbolic dimension of different events and experiences to the fore, as well as exploring case studies, professional trajectories and the present-day visual landscape.

ASMI Conference 2012

BASTA! Patterns of Protest in Modern Italy: History, Agents and Representation

23rd – 24th November 2012, Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies, London


The great number and variety of protests around the globe that have defined the year 2011, provide the focus of the Annual ASMI conference 2012 on the topic of protest in Italy: How does Italy protest – throughout its history and in the present? How do individuals, organisations and institutions express their opposition and protest? Which forms of protest (e.g. civil, political, folkloristic, intellectual, ideological, organisational, legal, illegal) have been established with time and which other forms have developed recently? What are the issues, topics and conditions that make Italians turn to protest?

The purpose of the conference is to bring together scholars from different disciplines and to investigate the historical, political, sociological and cultural roots and forms of expression of protest and protest movements and their dynamics and reception in Italy – topics surprisingly unexplored by academia.

Issues like the contents, strategies, agents, participants, promoters, social dynamics or social and political consequences of protest have been hardly analysed so far.

ASMI Conference 2011

The Italian ‘Character’: Virtues and Vices

15 – 16th December, Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies, London


The debate on national identity is often associated with qualifying the defining traits of a nation’s ‘character’. The question of defining the Italian ‘character’ came sharply to the fore in the aftermath of Italy’s unification, when the challenges of ‘making Italians’ raised questions about their national characteristics.

Francesco De Sanctis saw in Machiavelli the ‘precursor of the values of a nineteenth century liberal patriot, opening the way to individual autonomy, fatherland, nationality, liberty, equality, virility, work and seriousness’; in Guicciardini, however, De Sanctis also saw the signs of ‘a more feeble and corrupt generation, who, while sharing Machiavelli’s aspirations, lacked will and was unable to pursue them.’

The 2011 ASMI Conference will explore representations and discursive constructions of the Italian ‘character’ in the light of the virtues and vices which have historically been attributed to or divined within it.

We welcome inter- and cross-disciplinary contributions aimed at reflecting on how the Machiavellian model of republican virtue of citizens and ‘the man of Guicciardini’ shaped the way Italians imagined themselves from the Jacobin republics to the republic of parties.