CFP Austin MLA 2016 – The Politics of Public Celebrations

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    Rachel A. Walsh

    The Politics of Public Celebrations: This session would call for an exploration of the uses to which festive culture lent itself in 17th, 18th and 19th-century Italy. Lavish public celebrations were often meant to project the power of local rulers to the general public and served to underline or enforce ideas of universal order and transcendental hierarchy, especially in times of social unrest or in regions where such rulers (occupiers) were or risked to be very much resented –> the Spaniards in Naples in the XVII century. The Austrians in 18th-century Milan, with the help of moderately progressive intellectuals, organized celebrations for the births and marriages in the Maria Teresa’s family that would entail carefully choreographed popular entertainments, in order to project the image of a benign and enlightened govern. The history of how Carnival celebrations were allowed, restricted or outlawed, and more in general variously managed and/or controlled by the authorities (especially, but not exclusively, in Venice),  would also be a good topic for this session. And so would be the French propaganda and the celebrations around Napoleon’s victories during the Italian campaign etc. Please submit a brief CV and a 250-word abstract to Francesca Savoia ( by March 25, 2015.

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