Il palcoscenico della nazione: 1909-1918
Title: Il palcoscenico della nazione: 1909-1918
Author: BERTILOTTI, Teresa
Citation: Florence : European University Institute, 2012
Series/Number: EUI PhD theses; Department of History and Civilization
This dissertation examines the forms and spaces of entertainment, such as theatres, cinemas and music halls, in Rome between 1911, when celebrations for the 50th anniversary of Italy’s unification took place, and the First World War. This was a time characterized by the emergence of popular and mass culture and by the spread of a specifically nationalist culture that changed dramatically after the war against Libya in 1911. By adopting a broad definition of "culture,” including both high and low culture, this dissertation explores the ways in which a specific theatrical tradition staged the nation’s history, in particular that of the Risorgimento, after Italian unification. It then broadens the analysis to other forms of entertainment. This dissertation argues that the 1909-1911 celebrations were marked by a renewed attention to the "patriotic” tradition, and spurred the emergence of new theatrical and cinematographic productions, which became particularly relevant in the context of the First World War, thus giving substance to the "culture de guerre”. I argue that theatre shows and movies avoided representing the violence and suffering that characterized the war, partly because of the existence of various forms of censorship. However, the presence of wounded bodies among the audience gave way to a dual representation, and transformed theatres, cinemas and music halls into privileged spaces where the war and the domestic front met. By taking into account the case-study of a girls’ school, I show the gendered dimension of civil society mobilization. Finally, this dissertation analyzes the role entertainment played in "building the enemy,” identified with Kultur, and the emergence of a moral discourse about entertainment, which coincided with the spread of popular culture - especially the cinema - and became even stronger and more complex with the outbreak of the First World War.
LC Subject Heading: Politics and culture -- Italy -- 20th century; Italy -- Politics and government -- 20th century; Popular culture -- Italy -- History -- 20th century; Italy -- Intellectual life -- 20th century; Theater -- Italy -- Rome -- History -- 20th century
Defence date: 7 November 2012; Examining Board: Professor Heinz-Gerhard Haupt, IUE (Supervisor); Professor Lucy Riall, IUE (Relatore IUE); Professor Martin Baumeister, Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München (Relatore esterno); Professor Catherine Brice, Université Paris-Est Créteil (Relatore esterno).
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