65 Works

Transmorphisms in Sarah Kane’s Cleansed and Laura Wade’s Breathing Corpses

Zornitsa Dimitrova
This article shows how postdramatic works for the theatre invite us into conceptual regions wherein the distinction between the diegetic and the mimetic modes is effectively blurred. Not only does this interfusion of mimesis and diegesis make the boundaries between the ‘fictitious’ theatrical reality and the non-theatrical somewhat permeable, but it also invites us to re-conceptualize mimesis as an act of production within a work. This auto-generative mimesis accounts for a elfpropelled, non-purposive, and fluxional...

Sophoclean Beckett in Performance

Barry Allen Spence
While Samuel Beckett’s innovations for the stage place him in the vanguard of late twentieth-century theatre, his debt to ancient Greek drama is seldom discussed. This article argues that the richest engagement between Beckett’s theatre and the tragedy and comedy of ancient Athens can be seen in the performance, that is, postpublication phase of his plays’ composition. Beckett’s directorial control created an ongoing compositional process; using the evidence of his production notes, I demonstrate how...

“It is not a small thing to defeat a king”. The Servant/Messenger’s Tale in Euripides’ Electra

Guido Avezzù
In Euripides’ Electra, the narrative of Aegisthus’ murder (774-858) is generally appreciated for its vividness. Yet, both the dialogue that precedes the speech and the speech itself constitute an exception among the messenger-speeches in Attic tragedies for their length and emphasis upon dramatized speech, respectively. Furthermore, the unexpected opposition between ‘words’ and ‘deeds’ made by Orestes himself after his victory over Aegisthus (893-4) seems to substantially relativize the dramatic convention of the messenger-speech as a...

Terrorism as Ritual Process and Cultural Trauma: a Performative Analysis of ISIS’s Attacks in Europe

Vincenzo Romania & Serena Tozzo
Social sciences studied terrorism focussing mainly on causes, processes of recruitment, relationships with media and new media, propaganda. At the same time, Italian and European public opinion gave voice almost exclusively to military, political and economic analysis. Sociological reflection on Islamist terrorism focussed itself almost exclusively on the religious aspect of radicalisation of Islam, spending little efforts to widen the analytic perspective to the effects of ISIS actions on the (re)definition of the identity and...

Reviewers Committee 2015

Debora Viviani
Reviewers Committee 2015

Baudrillard Between Benjamin and McLuhan: ‘the Narcissistic Seduction’ of the Media Society

Andrea Lombardinilo
This paper aims to further investigate some aspects of Baudrillard’s analysis of the media society, influenced by Benjamin’s aesthetic teaching and McLuhan’s mediological legacy. His purpose is to probe the effects of the symbolic speedup fueled by the repeatability of messages and contents, constantly substituted by their immanent abstractions. The dominion of the signifier upon the signified, the replacement of the referendum with its referential highlights, the emphasis on the semiotic complexity of contemporary myths...

Theatrical Catharsis and Its Therapeutic Effect. Catharsis in Vienna at the Turn of the Century

Daniela M. Schönle
Around 1900, catharsis became “one of the most frequently discussed topics amongst scholars and an equally popular conversation topic at the Viennese salons” (Ellenberger 1970: 2.655). The so-called ‘Viennese discourse on catharsis’ emerged as a reaction to Jacob Bernays’s commentary on Aristotle’s Poetics in which he interpreted the effects of tragedy as a medical procedure. Another important premise for the diffusion and popularization of the topic in the Danube metropolis was the activism of Theodor...

Catharsis, Music, and the Mysteries in Aristotle

Andrew L. Ford
Of the many meanings of katharsis available to Aristotle, two have predominated in scholarly attempts to say what the word means in the Poetics when “the katharsis of pity and fear produced by pity and fear” is defined as the aim of tragedy. The past thirty years have seen a concerted effort among scholars of the Poetics to overturn Jacob Bernays’ appeal to Aristotle’s use of katharsis in his Politics (1342a10-11) with its medical meaning...

Profit, Pleasure, and Purgation - Catharsis in Aristotle, Paolo Beni and Italian Late Renaissance Poetics

Brigitte Kappl
The Cinquecento has seen an unprecedented flourishing of literary theory. While many other issues are disputed, nearly all critics agree that poetry should entertain and delight, but also produce some kind of moral benefit. When Aristotle’s Poetics enters the debate, interpreters seek and find in his work a confirmation of their view. In his celebrated notorious catharsis clause, Aristotle seems to hint at the moral effect that should be obtained by tragedy. Since he does...

'Catharsis'. From Lessing's Moral Purification to Goethe's Purity of Form

Sotera Fornaro
The present essay addresses Goethe’s interpretation of ‘catharsis’. Goethe reacted to a moral interpretation of catharsis (propounded by a long line of critics from Brumoy to Lessing) by maintaining that Aristotle understood catharsis as an artistic process only. In his opinion, catharsis was a kind of ultimate effect that, while not acting on the spectators’ morality, certainly affected their satisfaction and contentment and was, in fact, the necessary fulfilment of any well-structured and consistent tragedy....

\"All my plots and purposes\": Staged Diegesis in Shakespearean Drama

Alessandra Squeo
The relevance of narrative as a fundamental, although long undervalued aspect of Shakespearean plays has been increasingly explored by scholars in the last few decades (Rees 1978; Richardson 1988; Wilson 1995; Hardy 1997; Holland 2000). Further inquiries into the playwright’s assorted repertoire of diegetic elements (Nünning and Sommer 2011) have also been encouraged by the most recent contributions of post-Genettian, cognitive and trans-medial narratology (Fludernik 1996; Hermann 1999; Ryan 2004) that have re-conceptualized narrativity as...

Specificities of the Third Sector: the Relational Approach

Sandro Stanzani
The paper considers the recent critical and sceptical perspectives of social sciences on the Third sector. Above all, it reflects on the difficulty in identifying specificities of this supposed sector of contemporary society. Starting from this scenario, the author introduces the perspective of relational sociology as a possible way of defining a specificity of the sector, on the basis of the different ‘semantics of social relation’. In the second part of the work, a review...

Shorter and Shorter: Samuel Beckett’s Challenge to the Theatre

Laura Peja
Samuel Beckett’s poetics of “less is more” has anticipated and even partly shaped the evolution of contemporary drama and theatre as one of the fundamental models of the performative turn of the last decades. His late style as a dramatist and a director has influenced contemporary performative theatre in artistic, socio-cultural, and even commercial terms (formats, bills, venues and unconventional settings such as installations, exhibitions, and urban spaces). Nevertheless, his most challenging pièces, the shorter...

Edward Gordon Craig and the “smallest drama in the world”

Didier Plassard
Edward Gordon Craig’s Drama for Fools was planned as a long cycle of very short plays, to be daily performed in changing places. Based on the alternation between the episodes of a continuing story and its interludes, it systematically introduces disruptions: in order to bring a variety of atmospheres (with parodic rewritings as well as satirical miniatures), but also to comment what is happening on stage, from an audience-based point of view. Craig’s predilection for...

In a New Connected World

Costantino Cipolla & Antonia Roberta Siino
In the last decades, societies had to face great social changes. In the current globalised world, individuals are always more connected one to each other and the social network in which they are inserted have a deep influence on them. At the same time, ancient phenomena like the terroristic one have shown great capabilities in adapting to them. Even if secular and religious terroristic groups are not so different as they could appear, different explanations...

Human Security and Cooperative Security

Raffaele Federici
The paper will examine different and competing understandings of human security and stresses the task of reconciling these differences as an important challenge for the advocates of an emerging norm inside the local urban or sub-urban communities. It focuses on the perceived tensions between its two salient aspects: ‘freedom from fear’ (more favoured in the West) in terms of a fear of losing power that corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge...

Italian Sociological Review, Vol 7, No 3 (2017): We are family. Same-sex families in the Italian Context

We are Family. Same-Sex Families in the Italian Context...271 The State of Studies and Research on the Homosexual Parent Family in Italy...275 Pictures of Lesbian and Gay Parenthood in Italian Sociology. A Critical Analysis of 30 Years of Research...301 ‘In September, they will start to ask: “So you’re all coming here for Christmas?”’. Rainbow Families and the Gift of Kinship...325 Good and Healthy Parents. Non-Heterosexual Parenting and Tricky Alliances...351 It is not mine. Surrogacy between...

Opera as Social Status: The Private Teatro Sociale as a Reproduced Disposition to Mantua’s Cultural Habitus

Vlado Kotnik
That opera was and can still be a great source of social status, prestige, cultural and symbolic capital, is already quite well known. That it can play such a role successfully in an utterly specific and intricate manner, which today seems entirely anachronistic and obsolete, is rarer to find. One such example notorious for remaining a class in itself is connected to the Mantua opera house called Teatro Sociale, which is privately owned by the...

Changing Your Lifestyle to Change the World. Who Is Willing to Take up the Challenge of the Globalisation of Risks?

Paola Di Nicola
This article aims to analyse the degree to which a sample of the Italian population has assimilated a new form of awareness of consumption. The focus is not on concrete behaviour, but on the willingness to ‘renounce something’ – in terms of consumer goods – for a general interest. It cannot be assumed that all consumers have the same level of sensitivity to the issues raised by environmentalists, the fair trade movement or degrowth; some...

Just two cues: Achille Campanile’s upside-down tragedy

Elisa Martini
A bonfire should “make this false and conventional literary world crash down loudly”, since it cannot gracefully ‘jest’ and ‘laugh’ anymore. This is Achille Campanile’s wish, the same he cultivates in his Tragedie in due battute [Tragedies in Two Cues]. These ‘tragedies’ are quick pieces of witticism which materially live in the narrow space of a slip of paper – the physical boundary of Campanile’s ‘tragic’ writing – and whose brevity serves their author’s purpose...

‘In September, they will start to ask: “So you’re all coming here for Christmas?”’. Rainbow Families and the Gift of Kinship

Luca Guizzardi
The article explores the social processes of kinship formation in lesbian and gay families. Analysing the stories of twenty-three rainbow families, the article pinpoints the reason why both mothers and fathers want to develop kinship networks and kinship connections. Through kinship bonds, all members are asked to agree to be publicly recognised as close relatives of the new-born. Feeling joy or shame about that, the members can accept or refuse this gift.

Italian Sociological Review, Vol 7, No 1S (2017): Lookin beyond the Glass. The Importance of Baudrillard's visions after ten years form his death

Lookin beyond the Glass. The Importance of Baudrillard's visions after ten years form his death


Domenico Secondulfo & Debora Viviani
Ten years on from the death of the sociologist and philosopher Jean Baudrillard, the legacy of his thinking continues to bear fruit. It could almost be said that absence has bestowed even more generous gifts than presence. After all, death often played a dominant role in Baudrillard’s intellectual outlook. As the world advances into postmodernity, or whatever it will be called when it has been fully grasped, the perspectives in his works have become not...

Miraculous Organ: Shakespeare and 'Catharsis'

Thomas C.K. Rist
Noting that Aristotle’s Poetics was not published in England until 1623, this article begins by surveying the traces of cathartic thinking in early modern cultural theory, paying special attention to Sir Philip Sidney’s Defence of Poesy as the era’s most significant expression of that theory. Showing the Defence is not a sufficient cause of Shakespearean cathartic thinking, it traces extant ideas of purgation in England’s wider literary, Christian and medical traditions, arguing these provided Shakespeare...

Good and Healthy Parents. Non-Heterosexual Parenting and Tricky Alliances

Chiara Bertone
Does a challenge to heteronormative assumptions on parenting also involve a challenge to an imperative of good parenting bearing the responsibility of raising healthy, well-developed children, endowed with the resources to achieve happiness, and to avoid social and personal pathologies? Or is this notion, and the medicalised frame upon which it is grounded, rather mobilised for the social and legal recognition of diversity in the forms good parenting can take? Seeing non-heteronormative parenting as an...

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  • 2017

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