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Made in Italy and Culture



Made in Italy and Culture


The Week of the Italian Language in the World promotes Italian as a great language of classical and contemporary culture. Every year the diplomatic and cultural network of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation chooses a theme for this initiative and organizes a series of events in the third week of October. In 2016, under the High Patronage of the President of the Republic of Italy, for the XVI edition of the Week of the Italian Language in the World - October 18 through October 24 - the chosen theme is "L'Italiano e la creatività: marchi e costumi, moda e design".



As part of the events organized for the XVI ITALIAN LANGUAGE WEEK IN THE WORLD, the Embassy of Italy and the Italian Cultural Institute, in Washington DC, in collaboration with the Department of Italian at Georgetown University, COM.IT.ES, and Italians in DC/Parolab, invite you to the presentation of "Made in Italy and Culture: Survey on the Italian contemporary identity" edited by Daniele Balicco, in dialogue with Jhumpa Lahiri, author of "Three Last Metaphors" and Gianni Cicali, who explores the theme "Castiglione's Sprezzatura: A Long Journey".

Over the past forty years, “Made in Italy” transformed Italy into a country able to forcefully impose its self image as a modern commodity within the international market. An image that is at once stressed and endured, in a sense the answer to a global market demand, and in another sense the autonomous ability to use stereotypes, or overwhelming cultural heritage, for their own benefit.






RSVP available starting October 6, 2016

"Made in Italy and Culture. Survey on the Italian Contemporary Identity" (Palumbo) is a book edited by Daniele Balicco, a collection of 22 studies on contemporary Italian culture, including several disciplines (economics, fashion, design, agriculture, advertising, literature, philosophy, cinema, music, and education).

Daniele Balicco is Visiting Fellow in Theory and Critical Studies at the EHESS (École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales) of Paris. His theoretical work lies between cultural history, aesthetics and economics. In his first book - Non parlo a tutti. Franco Fortini intellettuale politico/I Don't Speak to Everyone. Franco Fortini, a Political Intellectual (Roma, 2006) - he analyzed the relationship between political power, the aesthetic dimension, and financial capital. He has continued to focus on this topic as the editor of a special issue of Allegoria (2014) devoted to Edward Said as a political thinker - Lotta politica e riflessione estetica in Edward Said / Edward Said between Politics and Aesthetics. These themes are also central to his more recent work as editor of the volume Made in Italy e cultura. Indagine sull'identità italiana contemporanea (Made in Italy and Culture. Inquiry into the Contemporary Italian Identity, Palumbo 2016). He also works as a freelance journalist for the newspaper Il Manifesto. He lives in Rome.

"Tre ultime metafore" ("Three Last Metaphors") was written by Jhumpa Lahiri in Italian and delivered as a public address during the conferral of an honorary degree in Italian language and culture that the author received from the University for Foreigners of Siena in April 2015. The lecture, conceived as an epilogue to "In Altre Parole" ("In Other Words"), further investigates the implications of the author's decision to write in Italian instead of English.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri is the author of two novels and two collections of short stories. Her most recent work, In altre parole (In Other Words) was written in Italian and received the Premio Internazionale Viareggio-Versilia. The Clothing of Books, an essay also written in Italian, will be published in November 2016. She is the English translator of Domenico Starnone's novel Lacci (Ties), forthcoming in 2017. She teaches Creative Writing and Translation at Princeton University.

Castiglione's "Sprezzatura: A long journey". In the small but extremely sophisticated court of Urbino, Castiglione wrote the "handbook" for the perfect courtier, a key figure within the aristocratic political system: Il Cortegiano (1528).  It enjoyed an immense success in Europe, and the "sprezzatura" is one of its most famous ideas, an idea that seems a bit forgotten today, but it was recently remembered in an article on Vespa, the famous and popular Piaggio moto scooter. The Italian Renaissance was not only paintings, or statues, but also know how. Castiglione dictated the rules for the perfect courtier, while Brunelleschi, some years before, created the modern architecture and the mathematical perspective.  In Renaissance Europe, and later, not only the Italian artists were traveling abroad (Rosso Fiorentino and Leonardo in France, for example, or the ideas of Palladio in England), but also the Italian language was one of the most diffuse languages among the royals, and Emperor Charles V considered the Florentines the best translators of texts.  I will discuss the sprezzatura, but also the connections between the ingenuity that from a glorious past is still living in the beauty of Italy today.

Gianni Cicali is Associate Professor of Italian Theatre at the Department of Italian of the Georgetown University. He holds a Ph.D. in History of Theatre (Università di Firenze), and a Ph.D. in Italian Studies (University of Toronto). He has published a book on eighteenth-century Italian comic opera (Attori e ruoli nell'opera buffa italiana). He is also author of a book on Renaissance Florentine theather (L'Inventio crucis nel teatro rinascimentale fiorentino). He published several articles on Italian Renaissance theatre, and eighteenth-century Italian theatre. His interests focus on music and religious theatre, on theatre and the fine arts, on 18th-century Neapolitan theatre.



Date: Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Time: From 7:00 pm To 9:00 pm

Organized by : Embassy of Italy, Istituto

In collaboration with : Georgetown University, Italians in DC and Parolab

Entrance : Free


Embassy of Italy