International Conference on Giorgio Bassani

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Monday, November 14, 2016
10 am, Aula Magna, Rectorate Building
3 pm, “Organi Collegiali” Conference Hall
Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, Rome
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
9:30 am, Casa del Cinema, Largo Marcello Mastroianni 1, Rome
3:00 pm, “Levi Della Vida” Lecture Hall, Via dei Volsci 122, Rome

Sapienza University has organized an international conference dedicated to writer and poet Giorgio Bassani that will be held on November 14-15, 2016.

The conference represents the culmination of various initiatives that have taken place during the course of the year to celebrate the centennial of Giorgio Bassani’s birth (1916-2016) organized by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Tourism in Italian cultural institutes and cultural centres around the world. Moreover, various publications have been released, both in Italy and abroad, including a recently published biography by Paola Bassani and Elisabetta Sgarbi.

This international fervour reveals the importance of this writer, who stands out as one of the essential figures of the 20th century with his narration on Jews in Ferrara. The various initiatives shed light on Bassani’s intellectual presence, both in the editorial world and in cinema, as well as in defence of the environment and our cultural heritage, as key elements for the Italian identity. In fact, Bassani was a founder and president of the Italia Nostra Association.

The conference will trace all the decisive aspects of Bassani’s work and activities in Rome and Ferrara. The first two conference days will be held in Rome, with the essential collaboration of the Sapienza Department of Greek-Latin, Italian and Performance Arts Studies.

The conference will be inaugurated on November 14, 2016 by Sapienza Rector Eugenio Gaudio; the President of the National Committee for the Centenary, Giulio Feroni; the Rector’s Delegate for Cultural Initiatives, Franco Piperno, and by Paola Bassani, the writer’s daughter and President of the Giorgio Bassani Foundation. Italian Minister of Cultural Heritage and Tourism Dario Franceschini will also be present.

The conference will address Bassani’s presence in 20th century culture and the modernity of his work (Giulio Feroni); the Jewish condition and the tragedy of the Shoah (Alberto Cavaglion); the relevance of his correspondence and his cultural relationships (Paola Italia); his relationship with cinema through films inspired by his works (Emiliano Morreale); environmental activity (Marco Parini, Italia Nostra’s President); and his artistic interests and his presence in works of art (Marco Vallora). During the afternoon, the focus will shift to Bassani’s literary masterpieces, novels, short stories, poems, literary essays.

On November 15, conference will address the presence of the writer in the world of cinema and theatre, his collaborations with prestigious newspapers, his environmental commitment, and his vast trove of correspondence. This will include a projection of films inspired by his works and in which he collaborated as a screenwriter.

On November 16, the conference will move to Ferrara, with four sessions dedicated to the translation of Bassani’s works into other languages, his relationships with art critics, his environmental battles, and his collaboration with the University of Ferrara and the local section of Italia Nostra.

On November 17, the conference will address his 1962 novel “The Garden of the Finzi-Continis” and the original manuscript that was recently donated by Ferigo Foscari to the city of Ferrara Municipality and the National Museum of Judaism and the Shoah in Ferrara. This manuscript provides further elements of interest for the study of the novel.

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