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What Is Dead May Never Die: Italian Revivals of the Tragic (NeMLA 2019)

Washington, DC
Organization: Northeast Modern Language Association
Event: NeMLA 2019
Categories: Comparative, Popular Culture, Drama, Classical Studies, Cultural Studies, Film, TV, & Media, Mediterranean
Event Date: 2019-03-21 to 2019-03-24 Abstract Due: 2018-09-30

In today’s mass media landscape, reports of domestic tragedies, inexplicable violence, and familial collapse have become staples of the 24-hour news cycle. Meanwhile, television series like Game of Thrones (Il Trono di Spade) and soap operas like The Bold and the Beautiful (Beautiful) sensationalize transgressions like parricide, incest, and tyrannical impulses to massive global success.

These themes are the building blocks of the tragic genre. But how did we get to this point? This panel seeks to build a bridge between the classical genre of tragedy and the vestiges we witness in today’s landscape by inviting contributions that consider literary rewritings and cinematic adaptations of tragedy in the Italian tradition from the Settecento to the present. This can include, but is not limited to, topics and authors such as:

- Vittorio Alfieri’s revival of the genre in the late 18th century and the subsequent dramas of Alessandro Manzoni, Gabriele D’Annunzio, and Giacomo Leopardi in the 19th century

- Italian cinematic adaptations of tragedies, such as Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Edipo re (1967) and Medea (1969), Marco Bellocchio’s rendering of Pirandello’s Henry IV (1984), Mario Martone’s Teatro di guerra (1998), or the Taviani brothers’ Cesare non deve morire (2012)

- Modern and contemporary literatures or films that reimagine characters and/or themes from the genre (e.g. parricide, suicide, incest, familial strife, madness, or tyranny). Authors and directors might include those named above, or others like Luigi Pirandello, Grazia Deledda, Paola Masino, Elsa Morante, Ottiero Ottieri, Dacia Maraini, Dario Fo, and Elena Ferrante; or Vittorio De Sica, Giuseppe De Santis, Michelangelo Antonioni, Bernardo Bertolucci, and Alina Marazzi


Please submit abstracts by September 30, 2019 through the NeMLA online portal (requires creation of free username and login): https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/Login


Victoria Fanti