24-25 April 2020 Writing the World Wars University College Cork


Keynote Speakers:

Prof Ruth Ben-Ghiat, New York University

Prof Barbara Meazzi, University of Nice Sophia Antipolis

Prof Phil Cooke, University of Strathclyde

Prof Federico Faloppa, University of Reading


Giovanni Pietro Vitali and Silvia Ross

Department of Italian, School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures,

University College Cork

The World Wars are two historical events that were characterized by an abundance of documents written by individuals. The upsurge of popular writings concerned all countries involved in the two Wars. These documents are important both historically and linguistically. The study of writings on war has always been extremely important but it has recently found a new vigour due to the recent centenary of the First World War, and because of the emergence of new theories, such as: gender and conflict theories, or the development of new tools, for example, Digital Humanities.

Our aim is to take stock of the state of studies on writing the two World Wars.

The focus of this conference is to start from a comparative and multilingual perspective, and then move on to the specific case of Italy. These two days of study stem from an MSCA-funded project, titled Last Letters from the World Wars: Forming Italian Language, Identity and Memory in Texts of Conflict.

The first day will be devoted to contributions— to be delivered in English – on writing about the two World Wars in a wider, multilingual and transnational context (e.g. British, French, Spanish, German etc.). The subsequent day will be dedicated to Italian studies and papers in either English or Italian will be accepted. The decision to dedicate the second day to the Italian context is linked to the desire to celebrate April 25th, the anniversary of the liberation from Nazi occupation in Italy.

By war writing we mean primarily:

– Popular writings such as letters, diaries and reports.

– Literature that takes the world wars as its topic.

– Professional and technical writings such as: legal texts, war bulletins, the press and periodicals.

Papers will also be considered on the following subject areas:

– Audio and video documents, such as documentaries or films dedicated to the two war events.

– Graphic and artistic representations, such as propaganda posters or illustrations in newspapers and photographs.

All proposed communications will be presented in a plenary session format in order to promote exchange. This conference is designed to reflect practically on the interdisciplinary study of the two wars across several disciplines.


The organizers invite submissions for 20-minute presentations to be delivered in English (first and second day) or Italian (only on the second day). Please send a 300-word abstract, contact details and a brief bio by Tuesday, 10 March 2020 to Giovanni Pietro Vitali – giovanni.vitali@ucc.ie –and Silvia Ross – s.ross@ucc.ie.

Please note: there will be a fee of €30 to help defray catering costs. Postgraduates, ECRs and the unwaged will not be charged a fee.

Conference web site: https://www.ucc.ie/en/italian/conferencesexhibitions/

Sponsored by the Department of Italian, UCC and the Centre for the Advanced Study of Languages and Cultures, UCC. 


Giovanni Pietro Vitali – Marie Skłodowska Curie Action European Fellow

Department of Italian,

School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures

University College Cork

(Visiting fellow at the University of Reading and New York University)

Associated Researcher (Creative Multilingualism Program) University of Oxford

Last Letters Links

Email: lastletters.msca@gmail.com
Sito: http://www.ultimelettere.it/LastLetters/
YouTube: http://bit.ly/2UekHc8
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lastletters.msca
Twitter: https://twitter.com/lastlettersmsca




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