Book Presentation: Italian Neorealism: A Cultural History by Charles Leavitt IV


Location: Zoom

Italian Neorealism Leavitt 1

Book Presentation on Zoom

In collaboration with NYU Department of Italian Studies

Italian Neorealism: A Cultural History (University of Toronto Press, 2020)

by Charles L. Leavitt, University of Notre Dame

The author in conversation with:

David Forgacs, NYU

Catherine O'Rawe, University of Bristol

Rebecca Bauman, SUNY

Moderated by Alfo G. Aguado, NYU

Charles Leavitt's Italian Neorealism: A Cultural History (University of Toronto Press, 2020) redefines neorealism as a cultural exchange and a field of discourse that shifted the confines of creativity and revised the terms of artistic expression in postwar Italy. The book studies how neorealist texts reflected and performed the contentious conditions of their creation, not just in their narrative but also in their form, language, structure. Moving away from essentialist readings, Leavitt explores neorealism through the interaction, even the contamination of discourses — "una confusione di linguaggio fra poesia e politica," in the words of Natalia Ginzburg. Neorealist texts, the book argues, cannot be divorced from their contextual debates — more than anything, neorealism was a vast cultural conversation.

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In English