Goliarda Sapienza in Context – Call for papers dall'università di Warwick


We are pleased to invite contributions for a one day conference entitled “Goliarda Sapienza in Context: Intertextual Relationships with Italian and European Culture”, to be held at the Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies, University of London on Saturday 1st June 2013.

After a long period of oblivion, interest in the Sicilian writer Goliarda Sapienza (1924-1996) is now rapidly increasing, both inside and outside of Italy. The provocative, anti-conformist and eccentric nature of both her figure and texts, partially responsible for the initial lack of a positive response from publishers and critics, is only now beginning to attract the critical attention it deserves.

A considerable amount of research is currently being carried out on her texts (including an English translation of L’arte della gioia due to be published in the US in 2013), with a central focus on the articulation of subjectivity through autobiographical writing and the complex representation of gender and sexual identities. The critical development to date has encouraged us to move beyond isolated textual analyses and attempt to situate Sapienza’s works within a framework of intertextual and contextual cultural references. Indeed, her texts are embedded in a fertile network of explicit and implicit intersections with Italian and European literature (English and French in particular), as well as with Western philosophical thought. Whilst representing a marginal voice Sapienza tried all her life, at times desperately, to establish a dialogue with her social context, and with L’arte della gioia she even conceived her writings as endowed with a beneficial message for the reader, thus pointing at a committed notion of literary exchange.
With these preliminary considerations in mind, topics for contributions may include (but are not confined to):

– Sapienza’s literary intertextuality, comparative analysis with other authors and research into her sources;
– Sapienza’s cross-disciplinary influences, with particular attention to cinema and drama;
– Sapienza in the history of Italian literature and in relation to the Italian literary canon;
– Sapienza and her time: political and moral criticism, her relationship with the publishing world, intellectuals and artists;
– Sapienza’s works outside Italy;
– Sapienza’s philosophical background, e.g. Epicureanism, the Enlightenment, Marxism and Anarchism;
– Sapienza and psychoanalysis;
– Sapienza and feminist discourse;
– Sapienza’s marginality.

Confirmed keynote speaker: Dr Charlotte Ross (University of Birmingham)

Abstracts, of no more than 300 words, for 20 minute papers in either English or Italian (with a preference for English to guarantee the interdisciplinary nature of the event), should be sent along with a brief (one A4 page) academic biography to: goliardasapienza2012@gmail.com before January 31st 2013.

This event is being held under the umbrella of the Institute for Contemporary Womens’ Writing and is sponsored by the Universities of Warwick (Institute of Advanced Study) and St Andrews. An edited volume based on selected conference proceedings and invited contributions is planned.

With all best wishes,

The organizing committee –

Alberica Bazzoni (University of Oxford), Emma Bond (University of St Andrews) & Katrin Wehling-Giorgi (University of Warwick)

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