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Published on Thursday, January 17, 2008


Through a multidisciplinary approach that brings together history, politics, literature, legal studies and international relations, this conference re-examines the significance of 18 April 1948. It assesses in what ways the legacies of WWII, of the fascist regime and of Liberal Italy have influenced the foundation of the new Italian Republic and to what degree 1948 can be seen as a 'watershed in the history of Italy'.


18th April 1948 : Italy between continuity and rupture

Friday, 18 April 2008 - Palmer Building, University of Reading

10:30-11:00 Registration

11:00-11:30 Welcome (Risso/Duggan)

11:30-1:00 Parallel sessions

Session A: Elections in context

  • Mark DONOVAN (University of Cardiff), 'The 1948 election: A decisive event, but an anomalous election within a transitional political phase'.
  • Manuela WILLIAMS (University of Strathclyde), 'The Red Scare: American propaganda, the Cold War and the Italian election of 1948'.
  • Robert VENTRESCA (University of Ontario), 'Defining political identity after fascism: Catholics, Communists and the Democratic Process in the Italian Election of 1948'.

Session B: 1948: Rupture or continuity?

  • Daniela FELISINI (Università di Roma 'Tor Vergata'). 'Italian economy between continuity and openness: The State-owned sector in the new Italian Republic'.
  • Michela PONZANI (INSMLI), 'Trials against partisans in the Italian Republic. The consequences of the 18 April 1948'.
  • Grazia DE MICHELE (University of Reading), 'A difficult memory. Italian colonialism in the school textbooks of Republican Italy'.
1:00-2:30 Lunch

2:30-4:00 Plenary session
Key-note address by Sergio Romano, The temptations of neutrality.

4:00-4:15 Coffee break

4:15-5:45 Plenary session
  • Ilaria POGGIOLINI (Università di Pavia), 'Italy's Peace Settlement and the Origins of the Cold War.'
  • David ELLWOOD (Università di Bologna), 'A cold war propaganda battle.'
  • Antonio VARSORI (Università di Padova), 'The 1948 Italian Elections in Cold War history.'
7:30 Dinner for speakers and chairs only.
.............................. ......................................................

Saturday, 19 April 2008 -

Italian Cultural Institute, London

9:30-9:45 Welcome

9:45-11:15 Parallel sessions

Session A : Intellectuals and 1948

  • Guido TINTORI (FIERI), 'Outsider's vision: Gaetano Salvemini and the 1948 elections.'
  • Paolo Orlando FERRARA (Università di Trento), 'The engagement of the Catholic journals during the one-year political campaign for the elections of 18 April 1948.'
  • Theodore ELL (University of Sydney), 'Piero Bigongiari, intellectual partisan and idealistic European.'

Session B: Political and social actors.

  • John POLLARD (University of Cambridge), 'Fresh thoughts on the factors determining the role of the Vatican in the run-up to the 1948 general elections in Italy.'
  • Sara LORENZINI (Università di Trento), 'De Gasperi and the Renewal of Italian Foreign Policy, 1943-1954.'
  • Roger ABSALOM (Sheffield Hallam University), 'Coming from afar : Italian peasants in 1948.'
11:15-11:30 Coffee break

11:30-1:00 Plenary session
  • Stephen GUNDLE (University of Warwick), 'Alida Valli, Fosco Giachetti and the star system in 1948.'
  • John FOOT (University College London), 'The Bartali Myth: 1948 and the Tour de France.'
  • Lorenzo SANTORO (Freie Universität Berlin), 'Music and Ideology, 1948 as year zero of Italian 20th century classical music.'
1:00-2:30 Lunch

Chris WAGSTAFF (University of Reading), 'Scola, De Sica and 1948.'
Screening of C'eravamo tanto amati (1977) by Ettore Scola, with English subtitles.

To register: http://www.reading.ac.uk/humanities/conferences/hum-event-ItalyContinuityRupture.asp


  • University of Reading Italian Cultural Institute in London
    Reading, Britain


  • Friday, April 18, 2008
  • Saturday, April 19, 2008


  • Italy, post war history, elections


  • Dr Linda Risso
    courriel : l [dot] risso [at] reading [dot] ac [dot] uk

Information source

  • Risso Linda
    courriel : l [dot] risso [at] reading [dot] ac [dot] uk


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« 18th April 1948: Italy between Continuity and Rupture », Conference, symposium, Calenda, Published on Thursday, January 17, 2008, https://doi.org/10.58079/c8i

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