An Ambiguous Past: Fascism, the Resistance and “Structures of Feeling” in Italy (1943–1945)
Archie K. Davis Fellowship, 2018–19
Simonetta Falasca-Zamponi’s intellectual and research interests mainly fall within the areas of politics and culture. More specifically, she is concerned with studying the political as a site of cultural discourse, cultural identity, and cultural production. Her first book, Fascist Spectacle: The Aesthetics of Power in Mussolini’s Italy, for example, employed the category of “aesthetic politics” to analyze the role that symbolic discourse — in the guise of myths, rituals, images and speeches – played in the making of the fascist regime and the construction of Mussolini’s power. Her second book, Rethinking the Political: The Sacred, Aesthetic Politics, and the Collège de Sociologie, in contrast, utilizes the notion of the “sacred” to explore the influence of Durkheimian sociology upon 1930s French analyses of the nature of politics and the “crisis of democracy.” Through the case study of the Collège, with all the issues and controversies that it raised, the book focuses attention on the relationship linking the sacred, community, power and democratic institutions. She is also the editor of an unpublished lecture delivered by Georges Bataille at the Collège de sociologie (La sociologie sacrée du monde contemporain) and the author of a short book on the cultural meaning of waste (Waste and Consumption: Capitalism, the Environment, and the Life of Things).
- NHC Public Lecture: “Remembering Mussolini: Fascism, Representation, and Memory in Post-War Italy,” with Mia Fuller, December 4, 2018
- Falasca-Zamponi, Simonetta. “The Ambiguity of the Sacred: Revisiting Roger Caillois’s L’homme et le sacré.” Journal for the Academic Study of Religion 30, no. 1 (2017): 3–21.
- Falasca-Zamponi, Simonetta. “Ethnography and Anti-Aestheticism: The Case of Documents.” The International Journal of Arts Theory and History 12, no. 3 (2017): 21–32.
- Falasca-Zamponi, Simonetta. “The Politics of Aesthetics: Mussolini and Fascist Italy.” In Political Aesthetics: Culture, Critique and the Everyday, edited by Arundhati Virmani, 30-48. London: Routledge, 2015.
- Falasca-Zamponi, Simonetta. “Society as Representation: Durkheim, Psychology, and the Dualism of Human Nature.” Durkheimian Studies/Etudes Durkheimiennes 20 (2014): 43–63.
- Falasca-Zamponi, Simonetta. Rethinking the Political: The Sacred, Aesthetic Politics, and the Collège de Sociologie. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2011.
- Falasca-Zamponi, Simonetta. Waste and Consumption: Capitalism, the Environment, and the Life of Things. New York: Routledge, 2011.
- Bataille, Georges. La sociologie sacrée du monde contemporain. Edited by Simonetta Falasca-Zamponi. Paris: Lignes-Léo Scheer, 2005.
- Falasca-Zamponi, Simonetta. Fascist Spectacle: The Aesthetics of Power in Mussolini’s Italy. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997.