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AdI 2014: From Otium and Occupatio to work & labor in Italian culture.

Labor, work, and their changed conditions at the dawn of the 21st century are among the most discussed and debated questions of our times. In recognition of the topicality of this subject and in light of the historical centrality of Italy in the constitution of--but also antagonism towards--capitalist formations, Annali d'Italianistica will devote its 32nd issue to investigating the temporal and spatial articulations of work and labor in Italian culture, from the pre-industrial era to the Industrial Revolution and beyond. Coverage will thus span from the early Middle Ages to the present.

As the medieval organization of society underwent profound transformations in the course of the 13th century, so did conceptions of work and labor. During the late Middle Ages, the legitimacy acquired by various forms of work and labor facilitated the consolidation of corporate guild structures, networks of laborers' associations, and even demands for corporate representation. The late medieval re-conceptualization of work underwent further transformations during the Renaissance. Italian city-states emerged as pioneers in the creation of early forms of capitalist accumulation and wage-labor relations that would profoundly alter the material conditions of work and class structure. The changes in labor processes and class-consciousness of early modernity would be fully actualized with the integration of labor-saving technological inventions into large-scale modes of agricultural and industrial production. With the increased rationalization of work-productivity through the early doctrines of Taylorism and Fordism in the 20th century, Italy's role as a full-fledged, if belated, member of Western modernity was consolidated.

In addition to exploring literary and aesthetic engagements with the work and labor cultures that have emerged in different periods of Italian history, this volume also seeks to investigate present-day cultural responses to the transformations that have occurred in post-Fordist, late capitalist society. While experiencing, like most Western societies, the impact of the growth of information technology and the effects of global economic networks on its national labor market, including the new conditions of "lavoro immateriale," Italy is responding in contradictory ways: from enthusiasm over the freedom and flexibility deriving from geographical and temporal constraints enabled by cyberspace and cybertime, to the anxiety over the changes wrought by shifts in the global economic hierarchy.

Deadline for submission is September 30, 2013; the volume will be published in the fall of 2014. All contributions will be refereed. Essays, not to exceed 25 double-spaced pages, can be written in Italian or English, and should conform to the style-sheet criteria set forth by Annali d'Italianistica.

Prospective contributors should address all inquiries to both guest editors:

Norma Bouchard, University of Connecticut: Valerio Ferme, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA:

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Author:Bouchard, Norma; Ferme, Valerio
Publication:Annali d'Italianistica
Date:Jan 1, 2012
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