Roberto Dainotto, "Sovversivismo: Gramsci on Reactionary Insurrections"

Friday, March 5, 2021 - 9:30am to 11:00am


Event Contact

Rogers, Sarah

Roberto Dainotto


Please join the Franklin Humanities Institute for its Friday morning series, tgiFHI! tgiFHI gives Duke faculty in the humanities, interpretative social sciences and arts the opportunity to present their current research to their departmental (and interdepartmental) colleagues, students, and other interlocutors in their fields.

Talk description:

Can a popular insurrection “from below,” passionately fought again constituted power, be the expression of the most reactionary of politics? That was the question that the “fascist revolution” had posed for Antonio Gramsci. The presentation examines Gramsci’s changing attitudes towards sovversivismo, or “subversiveness”: from the initial enthusiasm for the socialist movement’s ability to revolt against the liberal State, to the disillusion for a way of reducing politics to nothing more than the suggestive and romantic image of “revolution” as an ultimate combat of sorts — to a “question of mannerisms and style,” in Gramsci’s words; or, in Walter Benjamin’s, “an aestheticizing of political life.”

Speaker bio:

Roberto Dainotto’s publications include Place in Literature: Regions, Cultures, Communities (Cornell UP, 2000); Europe (in Theory) (Duke UP, 2007), winner of the 2010 Shannon Prize in Contemporary European Studies; and Mafia: A Cultural History (Reaction Books, 2015). He has edited Racconti Americani del ‘900 (Einaudi, 1999), a monographic issue of Italian Culture on Giambattista Vico (2017), and co-edited with Fredric Jameson Gramsci in the World (Duke UP, 2020).

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Friday, March 5, 2021 - 9:30am to 11:00am
Franklin Humanities Institute (FHI)
Event Co-Sponsors
Duke University Press, Literature, Romance Studies