Blurred Borders: The Making and Fading of Italian Urban Landscapes

(Panel)


Italian / Cultural Studies and Media Studies

Giampaolo Molisina (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

The city images reveal the stratification of shared cultural meanings of the urban space over time. This space is an expression and reflection of local identity formation and dynamics. The intricate network of the actions of cities’ inhabitants is constantly conditioned by the cultural and spatial constraints of urban limits. However, in the contemporary world, the concept of “urban limit” should be seriously questioned. The boundaries of cities today have faded, and the urban frontiers are areas of opacity, constantly mobile, and undefined. The very notion of the city, as a completed organism, is continually questioned, to the extent that it can be argued that cities do not exist: there are only different forms of urban life. Therefore, the physical, social, and cultural separations that have historically distinguished the urban from the non-urban seem to have shifted: they are no longer on the “edge” of the city but inside it.

Amidst the incredibly rapid dynamism of urban growth - and the consequent formation and dissolution of forms of borders within the urban space - this panel aims to explore how Italian literature, cinema, media, and visual cultures suggest new interpretative perspectives and offer new possibilities for overcoming the dynamics of urban confinement, adopting a wide-lens interdisciplinary approach.

This panel aims to explore how Italian literature, cinema, media, and visual cultures suggest new interpretative perspectives and offer new possibilities for overcoming the dynamics of urban confinement, adopting a wide-lens interdisciplinary approach.