- (part of a series)

Location: University of Oxford, UK

Conglomerati 1


Harold Lee Room, Pembroke College University of Oxford

Organized by

Dr Adele Bardazzi (Oxford) Roberto Binetti (Oxford) Prof Nicola Gardini (Oxford)

In collaboration with Italian Studies at Oxford



Prof Gian Maria Annovi (University of Southern California)

Prof Stefano Dal Bianco (University of Siena)

Prof Nicola Gardini (University of Oxford)

Prof John P. Welle (University of Notre Dame)



Prof Andrea Afribo (University of Padua)

Prof Gian Maria Annovi (University of Southern California)

Dr Adele Bardazzi (University of Oxford)

Prof Alberto Bertoni (University of Bologna)

Roberto Binetti (University of Oxford)

Prof Stefano Dal Bianco (University of Siena)

Prof Nicola Gardini (University of Oxford)

Dr Francesco Giusti (University of Oxford)

Prof Peter Hainsworth (University of Oxford)

Prof Thomas Harrison (University of California, Los Angeles)

Prof John P. Welle (University of Notre Dame)

Prof Jennifer Scappettone (University of Chicago)

Prof Lucia Re (University of California, Los Angeles)

Prof Emanuela Tandello (University of Oxford)

Prof Emanuele Zinato (University of Padua)


The Conference

Andrea Zanzotto’s poetry (1921, Pieve di Soligo – 2011, Conegliano) stands out both in Italy and internationally for its intellectual rigour and stylistic inventiveness. According to Zanzotto, poetry is a very peculiar alphabet whereby poets can question the world well beyond the limits of writing.

While celebrating the centenary of the poet’s birth, this two-day conference (8th- 9th March 2021) seeks to elicit discussion on the multi-faceted importance of Zanzotto’s writing and thought, and on the numerous strands of its legacy, both within and beyond the intellectual European canon. Not only is Conglomerati the title of his last published collection, but it also represents a central and recurring metaphor in his work. In geological terminology, ‘conglomerate’ refers to composed fragments of pre-existing rocks that have cemented together. For Zanzotto, it designates a mixture of various elements clustered in one single linguistic entity without making a coherent whole. Such elements derive from various disciplines, languages, and traditions. Each element remains individual while also gaining a new metaphorical significance within the all-encompassing structure. The ensuing spectrum of gnoseological options is encyclopaedic, bringing forward a never-ending idea of modernity.

Zanzotto's vast production reveals a unique connection with the present. According to his interpretation, poetry is not only a linguistic medium but must also be read as an ‘event’. On the one hand, this characteristic of Andrea Zanzotto's poetic thought has a deep connection with the past and the roots of modern thought; on the other hand, it provides an instrument for exploring the future, propelling the reader to investigate seemingly unpoetic fields, such as ecology, psychology, and sociology. Poetry, in this sense, is able to live anchored with solid roots in the past while it also aspires to act as an instrument apt for the investigation of the future.

Therefore, this conference offers an unprecedented chance not only to re-assess one of the most interesting voices of Italian literature, but also to re-think the role of poetry within the present times. In addition to scholars from within Italian Studies, Conglomerati, in this sense, welcomes a broader participation from different subjects and fields of inquiry.

The conference program is available here