We are looking for original, unpublished contributions for a collected edition (provisional title: Discorsi d'Italia. Potere e rappresentazioni dall'Unità ad oggi) which reflects on the relationship between discursive formations and power in Italy since 1861.
According to Foucault, societies produce discursive formations which organize people’s perception of reality and distinguish between truth and falsehood. Discursive formations also influence the way in which ideas are turned into actions.
The production of discourse is subject to practices of control, selection, organization and redistribution. Discourses, thus organised and ordered, in their turn combine to create a “disciplinary society”; emerging from a power they don’t depend only on it but rather they help to shape and perpetuate it. Power is not necessarily represented by a single recognizable subject, such as the State as “sovereign power”, but it is understood as “bio-power” that permeates and shapes the social body and individuals, by regulating and normalizing their existence.
Although the relationship between discourse and power is not limited to our times, it takes on a particular relevance in contemporary society, where the increase of patterned discursive formations (sexuality, parenting, pedagogy, hygiene) has facilitated the penetration of social and self-disciplinary regimes into the most intimate domains of modern life, through new ways such as scientific disciplines, new medias, etc.
From a Foucauldian perspective, we are looking for contributions which reflect on the following questions:
How in Italy, since 1861, is the production of discours de vérité linked to specific mechanisms and institutions of power?
Which powers have acted, or are acting now, in the production of hegemonic discourses in Italy?
Scholars as David Forgacs and Stephen Gundle (2007) have highlighted, for instance, how the orientation of mass culture in Italy is influenced by the political and institutionalized powers as well as by other forces, such as cultural industries .
Contributions should reflect on the different ways in which the relationship between discourse and power takes form, considering specific cultural products (books, movies, music, advertising, iconographic representations, etc.) and analysing how they are both result and instrument of power's design. Proposals from different social sciences are strongly encouraged.
Please submit abstracts of no more than 500 words and a short biography to
by 1st April 2012. Authors of accepted proposals will be notified by 10th April 2012. Full papers should be sent by 1st September 2012. The languages of the volume will be Italian and English.
Editorial and stylistic conventions will be sent at the same time as notification of acceptance of the abstract.
Silvia Aru, PhD (Trieste)
Valeria Deplano, PhD (Cagliari)
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