Italian alterdisciplinarity

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Calefato, Patrizia (2015)

The aim of this paper is to analyse the consequences, problems and possible opportunities derived from the absence of Cultural Studies as a specific and autonomous\ud ‘discipline’ in the Italian University, despite its wide diffusion across various academic subjects since the 1970s. I start my analysis from two ‘rupture texts’: Mario Perniola’s relevant essay entitled ‘Chi ha paura degli studi culturali?’ (2000) (‘Who is afraid of Cultural\ud Studies?’) and the website/volume entitled Studi Culturali (2003-2004), edited by Michele Cometa. Both texts focused on what had (not) happened in the Italian University in the\ud last decades of the 20th century and envisioned inter- or alter-disciplinary perspectives for the future. Over just the same period, however, from the late 1990s to the early 2000s,a problem occurred: the Italian university started its structural transformation from the Humboldtian model to the neoliberal model. Thus, is there a possible actua(bi)lity for Cultural Studies in Italy? What resistant pedagogical and interventional practices already exist, and what need to be built in totally different forms? I will try to respond to these questions focusing, above all, on the communicative dimension of the critical method of\ud Cultural Studies, choosing Fashion Theory and Social Semiotics as case studies.
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