A five-week seminar for college and university faculty on the Risorgimento, the nineteenth-century quest to form a unified nation-state in Italy.
In this seminar held at the American Academy in Rome, project directors John Davis (University of Connecticut) and David Kertzer (Brown University) incorporate substantial new scholarship to examine questions that surround the Italian Risorgimento. Beginning by addressing such questions as how unified the enterprise actually was, the seminar considers, for example, the comparison of Italian to contemporary European nationalist movements. It examines the tensions between proponents of the Risorgimento and religious and secular minorities, and the place of the south in the national discussion. Readings include Davis's Italy in the Nineteenth Century (2000) and Kertzer's Prisoner of the Vatican (2004). Also among the readings are Isabella Maurizio's Risorgimento in Exile: Italian Emigrés and the Liberal International in Post-Napoleonic Europe (2009) and Bayly and Biagini's Giuseppe Mazzini and the Globalization of Democratic Nationalism (2008). Professors Emily Brown (art history, City University of New York Graduate Center) and Philip Gosset (musicology, University of Chicago) bring an interdisciplinary dimension to the program's historical focus with the study of Risorgimento opera, painting, and popular representations of visual culture. Making use of Rome as a historical site, the program includes museum talks and guided walks of buildings, monuments, and neighborhoods related to the Risorgimento. Finally, Davis and Kertzer intend to meet weekly with each participant to tailor readings, provide guidance on the use of local archives, and introduce participants to Italian scholars. In addition to active support for publication, they plan to hold an online workshop during the following academic year to continue the discussion begun over the summer and share updated teaching materials.