Tue, November 17, 2015
18:00 – 19:00
Villa La Pietra
Via Bolognese, 120
50139 Firenze, ITALIA
On October 1, 1943, at 9:30 the Allied Fifth Army entered Naples and established a military government that lasted until January 1, 1946. Yet, while the Allies where slowly advancing toward Naples, suffering heavy losses, the Neapolitans rose up against the occupying Nazis and their Fascist fellow citizens and liberated their city. In contemporary representations of those few days, the clash of perspective could not have been stronger: Allied media used phrases such as “the capture of Naples,” “the take of Naples,” “the fall of Naples,” while Italian leaflets and improvised independent journals reported about the “liberation” of the city, a term soon embraced by the Allied sponsored media for obvious reasons. The history of the liberation of Naples soon ossified in epic tales of street revolts or in folkloristic vignettes of the interactions between Neapolitan civilians and Allied soldiers. The talk analyzes the ways in which some of these tropes emerged and, at the same time, shows how a broad range of positions was obscured rather than explained by the categories liberation/occupation.
Associate Professor, Chair, Italian Department, Rutgers University
Paola Gambarota is Associate Professor of Italian at Rutgers University. Her research focuses on European historical avant-garde and eighteenth and nineteenth-century theories of language and nation. She is the author of Surrealismo in Germania (Udine: Campanotto, 1997) and the award-winning Irresistible Signs: The Genius of Language and Italian National Identity (University of Toronto Press, 2011), winner of the 2010 MLA Scaglione Award for best manuscript in Italian Litarary Studies and of the 2011 American Association for Italian Studies Book Award. Her work has been published in several U.S. and European academic journals. She is currently an ACLS, Frederick Burkhardt Fellow at the American Academy in Rome, where sie is working on her book project entitled American Naples: Cross-Cultural Memories of an Occupation (1943-1945).