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Words of Violence in Early Modern Italy

Date: Friday 11 December 2015
Time: 9:00am - 5:00pm
Venue: Palazzo Rucellai, Via della Vigna Nuova, 18, Florence, Italy.
Contact: Andrea Rizzi (arizzi@unimelb.edu.au)

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This international conference focuses on written injurious words: humanist invectives, religious and political smear, slanderous libels and pasquinades. Social historians have variously engaged with the meanings and practices of verbal slur, gossip, and physical violent acts such as homicide, suicide, and punch-ups. This conference explores instead the conventions of written texts and how hurling textual insults was an effective (and affective) way to establish identity and gain consensus across diverse social echelons.

This conference will qualify the type of violence unleashed by these slanderous texts and examine the connection between page and social context, as suggested by Judith Butler (1997). In order to comprehend which words wound, one needs to understand the ritualization of linguistic injury and a sphere of practice that goes beyond the moment of utterance or the written page.


The conference is supported by:

The Australian Research Council
The Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions
International Studies Institute (ISI), Florence

Image: PORDENONE Pilate Judges Christ (detail), 1520, Fresco, Cathedral, Cremona (Italy)