The Years of Alienation in Italy project first took shape in 2014, when the editors began to discuss the possibility of organising a conference on the cultural representations of the notion of alienation in Italy.
The goal was to tackle the notion of alienation in spatial terms, by examining the way in which literary and cinematic depictions of the factory and the asylum frequently blurred the dividing line between industrial alienation and clinical madness; and to investigate the specificities of an Italian approach to alienation by interpreting the ubiquitous presence of the term in social and cultural discourses, in the light of the country’s troubled history in the 1960s and 1970s.
The project took a more concrete form in 2015 when a two-day workshop was co-hosted by the University of Kent (15 May 2015) and the University of Cambridge (22 May 2015). The workshop was financed by the Kent Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (KIASH), the Italian department of the University of Cambridge and the journal Italianist.
The Years of Alienation in Italy is inspired by this exchange and discussion, the focus of which it maintains and expandsThe Years of Alienation in Italy offers an interdisciplinary overview of the socio-political, psychological, philosophical, and cultural meanings that the notion of alienation took on in Italy between the 1960s and the 1970s. It addresses alienation as a social condition of estrangement caused by the capitalist system, a pathological state of the mind and an ontological condition of subjectivity.