@Harvard U. - Cultural Materials / Material Culture: Abstracts due Nov. 23rd 2012

full name / name of organization: 
CHIASMI Graduate Student Conference in the Italian Studies, a Harvard and Brown Collaboration
contact email: 


FOR A QUICK SYNTHESIS OF OUR CONFERENCE VISION, see our CfP poster at http://chiasmiconference.com/?page_id=25


With this edition of Chiasmi we aim to de-provincialize the Italian Grad Student conference by taking it out of Italian departments (metaphorically, but not only).

We do not want to talk of interdisciplinarity in the abstract: we prefer to activate our tactile sensors & deal / communicate with fellow grads from diverse research environments;

We ask participants to engage in different presentational modes that go beyond the reading of a paper ex cathedra (a short documentary, prezi presentation, word cloud, show & tell, audience participation, sound clips, music, etc.);

we are gluttons for multi-medial, interactive, thought-provoking formats.

Call for Papers!

On behalf of the graduate students of the Italian Section of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at Harvard University and the Department of Italian Studies at Brown University, We are pleased to announce the sixth joint Graduate Student Conference for Italian Studies, to be held on Friday March 8th and Saturday March 9th, 2012 at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The conference is aimed at exploring the role of materiality in Italian culture. We welcome submissions from any related fields of research (literary studies, Anthropology, Art History, Comparative Literature, Fine Arts, Gender Studies, History, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Theater and Performance Studies, etc.), in order to establish
an interdisciplinary dialogue among the panelists. Our approach to the material culture/cultural materials Chiasmi will particularly highlight three major subsets for investigation: the presence of objects and their semiotic role within cultural systems of signs; the role of materiality in the production of cultural items and its influence on
their creation; the commodification and objectification of culture. With our focus on materiality, we also want to elicit papers that make use of diversified presentational resources (digital, multimedial, visual, etc.), in order to create a more culturally relevant, interactive, and thought-provoking space for sharing and learning.

Topics may include (but are not limited to):

Objects in literature and the arts
Corpus, corporeal, ethereal
Manuscripts, print and the new media
Cultural property
Paraliterature and letteratura di consumo
Urban environments and architecture
Photography and film
Digital vs. analogical
Commodification of literature
Pedagogy: teaching with things
The body as object

Presentations should not exceed 20 minutes (approximately 8-10 pages, double-spaced). Papers and presentations may be in Italian or English. We strongly recommend that participants use the language in which they feel more confident and make an explicit reference to the pertinence of their paper to the topic of the conference.

Please send an anonymous abstract (no longer than 300 words) and a cover sheet with the title of your paper, your name, affiliation, contact information, one sentence presentation proposal (documentary, film clips, prezi presentation, word cloud, artifacts to pass, music) and technical equipment needed as a Word file attachment to chiasmi@fas.harvard.edu.

Abstracts must be received no later than November 23rd, 2012.