Sunday, 30 May 2010

The Postmodern Palimpsest: Narrating Contemporary Rome

Eamonn Canniffe has been invited to give a keynote lecture at the above titled conference organised by Dominic Holdaway and Filippo Trentin to be held at the University of Warwick in February 2011

The Postmodern Palimpsest: Narrating Contemporary Rome

«What better place to await the end, to see if everything ceases or not?»

- Gore Vidal, in Roma

The city of Rome has always been privileged in its relationship with Western history: constructed over layer upon layer, from Roman to Fascist empires, with corresponding iconic images. More recently, films by Pier Paolo Pasolini and Federico Fellini have contributed to capturing the changes modern Rome underwent, with suffocating traffic passing dazzling locations, long tracks down shadowed streets and lively social gatherings masking potential violence. These images have been qualified as embodying ‘modern’ Rome. The closing shots of Fellini’s Roma (1972) linger on dozens of mopeds fading into the distant black as they abandon the historical centre for an undefined urban sprawl. The sprawl, the latest metamorphosis of Rome, overlaps with historical images of the capital to form a shapeless identity, a fragmentary postmodernity.

This conference, which will take place at the University of Warwick in February 2011, aims to shed light on contemporary imagined geographies of Rome: it will investigate the void at the end of Roman palimpsest, addressing the following questions:

- Where present and past intersect and overlap synchronically, is it still possible to represent ‘reality’, or possible only to capture fragments of it?

- Can we still perceive the city as a ‘master narrative’, or do we need to challenge the notion of one city?

- How can the city be perceived in relation to Italian and to European landscapes?

- How does the image of Rome relate to contemporary global cities?

- How is this historical shift represented in global cultural products, and how do they redefine our perception?

The interdisciplinary nature of this event is acutely represented by its two keynote speakers: Eamonn Canniffe (Manchester School of Architecture; author of The Politics of the Piazza: the history and meaning of the Italian square) and Dr. John David Rhodes (Literature and Visual Culture, Sussex; author of Stupendous Miserable City: Pasolini’s Rome).

More details to follow.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Piazza Duomo, Milan 22 May 2010

Inter Milan fans celebrate their team's 2-0 victory over Bayern Munich in the Champions League final in Madrid

Thursday, 13 May 2010

"This is a wonderful book"

This is a wonderful book. I would highly recommend it to anyone who has traveled to Italy or would like to, to anyone interested in Italy in general and it’s fabled sense of la dolce vita, and to anyone interested in cities, history, architecture, art or the impact of technology on social life. Canniffe provides an excellent history of the political meaning of the Italian piazza from the Roman forum to the postmodern. The book reflects years of research transformed into a cohesive well-written text filled with beautiful photographs of Italian piazzas. The authors enthusiasm for and extensive direct experience in piazzas throughout Italy is something that all readers will appreciate, regardless of the particular interests that bring them to the book.
Rating: 5 / 5

Professor David Vogler of Wheaton College (Norton, MA) was kind enough to post the above comment on THE POLITICS OF THE PIAZZA here. David used the book in his paper Can you tell me where a person can go to find a decent piazza in this town? An Italian piazza and quality of life which he allowed me to publish here

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Canaletto: Piazza San Marco toward San Geminiano (1726-28)

On this politically difficult day Piazza San Marco presents a vision of enduring civil values from the walls of Buckingham Palace

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Protests in Roman Piazze: 7 May 2010

Neo- Fascists in Piazza della Repubblica

Anti-Fascists in Piazza Santissimi Apostoli
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