Università del Piemonte Orientale (Vercelli, Italy) invites paper proposals for a conference exploring the routes and branches of literary and cultural exchanges from Italy to the United States in the years 1945-1975. The conference is the third in a series of events taking place within the framework of the transdisciplinary research project Transatlantic Transfers: the Italian presence in Postwar America 1949 1972 (PRIN 2017, 2020-23) developed in partnership with Politecnico di Milano, Università degli Studi Roma Tre, and Università di Scienze Gastronomiche di Pollenzo.
Politecnico di Milano, Università Roma Tre, Università di Scienze Gastronomiche di Pollenzo, and Università del Piemonte Orientale organize a conference which invites contributions unveiling the cultural complexity of the transatlantic transfer during a period ranging from 1949 (the date of the inauguration of the exhibition XX Century Italian Art at the Museum of Modern Art in New York) to 1972 (when the show Italy: The new domestic landscape opened at the same institution); in addition to this, it aims at identifying the occasions and the vectors that made the transfer possible.
Transatlantic Transfers: the Italian presence in post-war America (TT) will shift the research agenda from charting the cultural Americanization of Italy to retrieving context-specific instances of the Italianization of style in the U.S.A., and from a national/international to a transnational/global framing of the history of relations between Italy and the U.S.A.
The Research is designed to trace the emergence, manifestations, and meanings of an Italian style [the so called “made in Italy”] - distinctly “Italian” and “modern” - that originated in Italy and became internationally known in the 1950s and 1960s, but whose visibility has depended on a complex international and intercultural infrastructure for cultural, political, and economic exchange between Italy and the U.S.A.
It is also designed to investigate how specific Italian works of art, literature, film, design, fashion, visual culture, architecture, food and popular culture were introduced to American audiences (through events, exhibitions, book reviews, advertisements, festivals), between 1949 and 1972, and how a recognizable modern style associated to Italian iconographic people (writers, artists, designers, intellectuals and movie stars) was appropriated as a marker of distinction in the identity formation of an upward mobile, cosmopolitan, affluent American middle class.