Saturday, 12 November 2011

Piazza del Quirinale, Rome 12 November 2011

Silvio Berlusconi's resignation is marked by shouts of buffoon, and a rendition of the 'Hallelujah Chorus'.

A Golden Tapir in Piazza Venezia, Rome

A golden tapir is presented to Silvio Berlusconi at Palazzo Grazioli, by an Italian satirical television programme, to mark his humiliating exit from office as Prime Minister.

Monday, 28 February 2011

Murder in the Cathedral

From the film 'La Notte di San Lorenzo' (1982) by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani.
('Hostias et preces tibi, Domine' Verdi Messa da Requiem 1874)

Monday, 7 February 2011

"the Paradise, The grave, the city, and the wilderness": travels between the past and future Rome

This phrase from Shelley's Adonais is a route into the concept of Rome as a palimpsest, more evocative in its four overlapping terms than Freud's famous image which compares the city to the human mind 'an entity, that is to say, in which nothing that has once come into existence will have passed away and all the earlier phases of development continue to exist alongside the latest one.' Shelley's words suggest the different ways , surely many more than merely four, in which the physical fabric of the city might be read, above all the city which remains a fundamental locus of European culture.

The pattern which can be read in its monuments, as forensic clues in some vast site of investigation, tie events across time to provide the matrix through which urban representation occurs. My paper will explore the city through the narratives which have animated its spaces in fact and fiction, or in the grey zone which includes both those realities. Rome as image of the city is as pervasive as the image of Rome, and therefore the readings of Rome stand proxy for many of the manifestations of the contemporary urban condition.

The above text is the abstract of my keynote paper at the forthcoming University of Warwick conference

Monday, 17 January 2011

The Postmodern Palimpsest: Narrating Contemporary Rome

The Postmodern Palimpsest:

Narrating Contemporary Rome

Saturday 26th February 2011

A one-day interdisciplinary conference

University of Warwick, Coventry, UK

Rome is privileged in its relationship with Western history, constructed over layer after layer, from Roman to Fascist ‘empires’: in this sense the city constitutes the urban palimpsest. In postmodernity, the sprawl, the latest metamorphosis of Rome, overlaps with historical images of the capital to form a shapeless and fragmentary identity. The aim of this conference is to probe this latest level of the city, to discern the new and the old, and the links and reflections of one onto the other

Keynote Speakers:

Eamonn Canniffe (Manchester)

Dr. John David Rhodes (Sussex)

For further information and to register:

Provisional Programme

Saturday 26th February 2011

Humanities Building, University of Warwick

09.00 – 09.20 Registration and Coffee

09.20 – 09.30 Conference Welcome and Introduction


09.30 – 10.30 Panel One: Re-Mapping the Ecclesiastical City

Chair: (tbc)

James Robertson (Manchester) – ‘Ecclesiastical Icons: Defining Rome through Architectural Exchange’

Marco Cavietti (Rome) – ‘Roma intra muros, Roma extra muros’


10.30-10.45 Tea/Coffee Break


10.45-11.45 Panel Two: Landmarks of Modernity

Chair: (tbc)

Allison Cooper (Colby College) – ‘Builiding a Symbolic Capital: The Monumental Planning of Modern Rome’

Keala Jewell (Dartmouth College) – ‘A Postmodern Gaze on the Gazometro’


11.45-12.00 Tea/Coffee Break


12.00-13.00 Keynote 1: Eamonn Canniffe (Manchester School of Architecture)


13.00 – 14.00 Lunch


14.00 – 15.30 Panel Three: Representations of Fragmented Cityscapes

Chair: (tbc)

Fabio Benincasa (Duquesne) – ‘L’odore del sangue da Parise a Martone. La mappa assente della Città Eterna’

Carmelo Princiotta (Rome) – ‘Dario Bellezza e la Roma dei poeti’

Marina Vargau (Montreal) – ‘Raccontare Roma dopo Fellini’


15.30-15.45 Tea/Coffee Break


15.45 – 16.45 Panel Four: Reinterpreting the Urban Map

Léa-Catherine Szacka (UCL) – ‘Roma Interrotta: A comparative historical analysis of the 18th century urban project on display (1978 to 2008)’

Richard Hayes (Cambridge) – ‘Las Vegas by Way of Rome: the Eternal City and American Postmodernism’


16.45-17.00 Tea/Coffee Break


17.00-18.00 Keynote 2: John David Rhodes (Sussex)

18.00-18.30 Roundtable Discussion


18.30-19.30 Wine Reception and Buffet


The conference is organised by Dominic Holdaway and Filippo Trentin

Friday, 14 January 2011

Piazza San Pietro, Rome 16 October 1978

On the announcement of his beatification 1 May 2011

Thursday, 13 January 2011

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