University of Notre Dame

Center for Italian Studies


Rome Seminar 2011

The Inaugural Rome Seminar

13 June – 1 July 2011

La Bocca della verità, Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Rome, Italy

The inaugural Rome Seminar—Italia “Glocale”/ “Glocal” Italy—focused on a cluster of issues of interest to scholars in the fields of literature, history, anthropology, classical antiquity, cultural studies, the arts, architecture, and postcolonial studies. The seminar explored both the history and the contemporary reality of Italy as a culture grappling with the need to construct a unified national imaginary while at the same time preserving regional and local distinctiveness, identity, difference. A major element of this phenomenon is the tension among cosmopolitanism, nationalism, and regionalism.

In broader, more abstract terms, reflection on “Glocal Italy” served as a starting point for reflections on the relations between centers and peripheries, identity and difference, the urban and the rural, the universal and the particular, national and minority languages or dialects, hegemony and subalternities, the global and the local.

Related issues included the relation between North and South and the supposed threats posed by the influx of people from the world’s less prosperous regions. Italy provides a particularly valuable context for an inquiry into Europe’s and, indeed, the world’s Southern Question.The combination of issues that the inaugural Rome Seminar examined are of significance to scholars and critics from various disciplines who are addressing some of the most urgent challenges of contemporary processes of globalization, and in particular the way in which these processes are accompanied by the resurgence of localism.