[Appel à communications] CON QUALE AUTORITÀ? La narrazione storica come strumento di (de)legittimazione


By what authority? The historical narration as a (de)legitimizing instrument is a Student Conference for graduate students and Ph.D. students who have worked and work on thesis and research projects in the fields of Archeology, Ancient, Medieval, Modern and Contemporary History. The Student Conference aims to encourage dialogue between students and doctoral students from different backgrounds within an inspiring and stimulating context in which to discuss their ongoing or concluded research. The Call for Papers aims to stimulate a wide reflection, in a chronological interval ranging from the ancient age to the contemporary, on the use of historical narration as a means of legitimation or delegitimization of authority, understood not only in the political-identity sense, but involving awide range of institutional actors who represent power throughout history.

The key concepts of the 2022 edition are those of “authority” and “historical narration”. GeorgeOrwell, in his masterpiece 1984, has written that: «Who controls the past, controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past» . From time immemorial, every community, whether politicalor not, from small settlements to the largest state companies, has developed mythologies andhistorical narratives aimed at giving meaning to its existence in the world. Such narratives, inaddition to being bearers of meaning and identity bonds, have been developed, reworked, rewrittenand distorted over time, in function of those who hold power to strengthen and consolidate theirauthority and their rule. In this sense, Benedict Anderson defined «imagined communities», the artificial identity architectures constructed by collectivities through a mythopoietic process.

The recent discussions on the usefulness of building a collective and shared memory highlights the complicated interweaving that is created between public opinion and the use of history. Actually, contemporary debate must confront the constant «hunger for history» of society: historiographical reflection moves, therefore, within an intricate labyrinth of memorial claims and social demands.

Dates of Conference: 24th-25th-26th May 2022

Modalities of submission and selection

Candidates must submit their application by 4th February 2022.

Under penalty of exclusion, the following documents (in two different files, if it’s possible) must be

attached to the application:

  • Abstract and bibliography: maximum length 500 words (bibliography excluded)
  • Curriculum Vitae et Studiorum.

The materials must be sent to the following e-mail address: studentconference@unipv.it

Contributions will be evaluated anonymously by the members of the scientific Committee; the selected candidates will be contacted by email within the 28th February 2022. Participants admitted to the Student Conference will have to send by 30th April 2022 the paper on which they will base their speech (minimum 20,000 – maximum 40,000 characters).

Scientific Committee

  • Silvia Benini – PhD student in Contemporary history
  • Gabriele Brusa – PhD student in Ancient history
  • Christopher Calefati – PhD student in Contemporary history
  • Generoso Cefalo – PhD student in Ancient history
  • Elisa Lucente – PhD student in Contemporary history
  • Riccardo Mardegan – PhD student in Modern history
  • Sofia Miola – PhD student in Contemporary history
  • Andrea Palermitano – PhD student in Contemporary history
  • Francesco Sorbello – PhD student in Archeology
  • Sara Zanotta – PhD student in Asian history