Machines in 20th Century Literature, Philosophy and Cinema

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Giorgia Bordoni - UNC University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
contact email: 

This panel aims to explore the machinic metaphor in the Italian and European literary, cinematographic, and philosophical panorama of the 20th century. Since the Industrial Revolution, machines have established themselves as a crucial, pervasive, and unavoidable presence of individual life and collective existence. The disturbing and fascinating vitality of the machine has shaped all social, political, and economic relationships. Even the literary, cinematographic, and philosophical space was crossed by the new myth of the machine and met its complexity: it refused or exalted it, let itself be inspired by it, analyzed its profound meaning. Experiencing the complex dialectic between humans and machines, always tense between fascination and terror, literary and cinematographic invention as well as philosophical reflection have produced works of great aesthetic value. According to Michel Carrouge, “the mythical mana has passed down from the ancient kingdoms of nature (human, animal, vegetable, mineral) to the mechanical kingdom.” This panel focuses on how Italian and European literature, cinema, and philosophy dealt with the semantic constellation of such a new semantic kingdom of machines. 


Please, submit your abstract (from 200 to 300 words) by September 30, at NeMLA web site,