NUI Galway Marks 150th anniversary of the Creation of Italy
Tuesday, 31 May 2011
NUI Galway has marked the 150th anniversary of the creation of Italy with an interdisciplinary one-day workshop focused on specific themes of debate. In 1861, with the creation of the Italian Kingdom, Italy became for the first time in her history a unified nation.
The one-day workshop at NUI Galway, held on Friday, 27 May, was called ’Debating the Italian Nation - Historical and Cultural Perspectives’.
NUI Galway staff from the disciplines of History and Italian were joined by prestigious overseas scholars to discuss the significance of the idea of the nation for contemporary Italian history, society, and culture.
According to NUI Galway’s Professor Paolo Bartoloni, Head of Discipline, Italian Studies: “The 2011 anniversary is an occasion to reflect upon this important event in history and its significance from different perspectives. Our intention is to pay respect to an idea, but also to read that idea against and in relation to the mediation of time, memory, history and culture. The history of unified Italy is a history of struggles, of significant achievements, of great individual and popular successes, starting from the Wars of Independence, to the Resistance, to the economic boom. And yet it remains a history intercalated by divisions: the division between the rich and poor Italy, the Italy of the north and the Italy of the south.
Professor Bartoloni added: “One of the most enduring historical catch-phrases to describe Italy is ’The Divided Italy’. This is a problematic division, a division that calls into question the very notion of unity. It is not by accident that time and time again attempts have been made to address and remove this division, an while it is imperative that economic, and power relation divisions, such as those still characterizing men and women relations, must be relentlessly tackled, it is also necessary that cultural differences be maintained.”
Some 150 people study Italian at NUI Galway, including the BA in Italian and the BComm in Italian. The University is offering an evening Diploma in Italian in September 2011.