Roberto Dainotto, "Sovversivismo: Gramsci on Reactionary Insurrections"
Friday, March 5, 2021 - 9:30am to 11:00am
View Roberto Dainotto's full tgiFHI talk here!
For more on Dr. Dainotto's work, read his interview in our "Meet Your Humanities Faculty" series. He describes how the popularization of the novel occurred at the same moment as the politicization of the masses, and how literary inventions not only represent, but also affect political and economic realities. He asks how we may be able to respond to crises today through not applying, but translating Gramsci.
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.”
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).