Italian Experiences of Trauma through Film and Media
This volume offers new approaches to considering Italy’s traumatic experiences through a wide array of media, including film, documentaries, docufiction, websites, YouTube videos, advertisements, newspapers, and literature, that have not yet been fully analyzed. It looks at the trauma inflicted on Italians not, simply, as national or cultural traumas but, rather, as the creation/identification of subnational and transnational communities shaped by these trauma cases. The term “subnational”, or “transnational”, community is used mostly in reference to human beings, as they form those communities; however, they are also connected to a specific place, namely Italy. In addition, whereas “things” cannot become traumatized, this book also considers “living things,” such as the environment and the nature, which may create further trauma(s) for people.
Alberto Baracco is Researcher in Film Studies at the University of Basilicata, Italy, and his main areas of research are film philosophy and film ecocriticism. His recent works include the two books Philosophy in Stan Brakhage’s Dog Star Man (2019) and Hermeneutics of the Film World (2017), and the essay “The Tree that Therefore I Am. Humans, Trees, and Gods in Cosimo Terlizzi’s Cinema” (2021).
Rosario Pollicino is Instructor in Italian Studies at the University of South Carolina, Columbia, and he holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Western Ontario. His scholarly interests include literary, cultural, documentary and film studies, with a specific focus on transnational Italy and Mediterranean studies. His scholarly articles have been published in Quaderni d’Italianistica, NeMLA-Italian Studies, and InVerbis, among others.
"This tightly focused collection of essays, edited by Alberto Baracco and Rosario Pollicino, offers a multidisciplinary and insightful study of the link between individual and collective trauma, and the ensuing formation of sub- and transnational communities through such shared experience. The overarching proposition is that individual and collective trauma are not mutually exclusive (as posited by Jeffrey C. Alexander in his 2004 essay “Toward a From Italica 100.1 (2023). Theory of Cultural Trauma”), but that individual trauma often creates a collective echo and resonance. Overall, this volume is highly commendable for promoting awareness of the collective nature of trauma experiences through its interdisciplinary contributions and theoretical approaches. As Pollicino cogently argues, this collection “analyzes trauma as a product of modern and contemporary society and its study becomes imperative in understanding new and current problems” (12). Co-editor Alberto Baracco concludes with a concise and illuminating overview of the volume by contextualizing it within the claim that “we are witnessing an aesthetic culture of trauma through the ever-increasing production of the technologically-mediated elaboration of traumatic experiences” (197). His considerations unify the essays by identifying each scholar’s contribution to the subject and emphasizing the three temporal dimensions of trauma which unite these essays: present trauma, traumatic memory, and the future consequences of trauma."
Annachiara Mariani Associate Professor of Italian, University of Tennessee, USA
"This edited volume provides an insightful approach to the mapping of the Italian geographies of trauma through the lens of film, literature, and new media. A remarkable merit of this collection of essays is that it sheds light on the generative potential of both trauma and media, understood as platforms for community-building. While giving visibility to the afterlives of lesser-known traumatic events, the authors advance a timely reflection on the constitutive entanglement of individual and collective experiences of trauma. Moreover, by focusing on subnational and transnational communities, this book seeks to question conventional definitions of italianità, offering a valuable and refreshing analysis of contemporary Italian society."
Peter Lešnik Assistant Professor of Film and Media Studies at the School of Advanced Studies, University of Tyumen, Russia
Paola Della Valle
Moira Di Mauro-Jackson
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