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The International School of Gramscian studies, the Ghilarza Summer School (GSS) 2016, will take place from September 5 until September 10, 2016 in Sardinia. This initiative is organised by the Casa Museo Antonio Gramsci of Ghilarza, in collaboration with the Fondazione Istituto Gramsci (Rome), the International Gramsci Society (IGS) and the Laboratorio di Studi internazionali gramsciani of the University of Cagliari, as well as with the financial support of the Fondazione di Sardegna.

The initiative forms a part of the calendar of events scheduled for the ‘Anno gramsciano’ instituted by the Region of Sardinia in order to celebrate the 80th Anniversary of the death of Antonio Gramsci and to give institutional recognition to our famous fellow citizen.

The GSS aims to be a place of encounter and collaboration among the most important Gramsci scholars in the world, but also a space in which the Italian historical-philological tradition can enter into a dialogue with the theoretical and analytic approaches that are dominant in the Anglophone world. The theme of this edition of the GSS is ‘The Extension of Ideology: Folklore, Religion, Common Sense, Good Sense, Philosophy’. The goal of the course will be the reconstruction of the original rethinking of the notion of ideology in Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks.

Going back to the origins of the concept in the seventeenth century, and at the same time intervening in the contemporary debate about the connection between ideology and knowledge, Gramsci, from within Marxism, expands the meaning of ideology, liberating it from any reductionist and merely critical-negative sense. In this way, Gramsci relates ideology to a series of other concepts – from folklore to religion, common sense and philosophy – which, in their articulation, explain the ‘cultural’ and note merely instrumental and administrative functioning of the ‘hegemonic apparatuses’. The different lectures of the GSS, in their structure and sequence, will focus upon the stages that led to this redefinition, simultaneously highlighting those aspects particularly relevant to the contemporary debate and to the critical analysis of culture and apparatuses of power, paying particular attention to the new notion of the ‘intellectual’ developed in the Prison Notebooks.

The GSS intends to be a laboratory that provides a home for the research of scholars of Gramsci’s thought, and of undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral research students. It adopts an approach of an historical and interdisciplinary nature. The seminars will discuss the selected theme from a dual perspective, that is, both in terms of an immanent reconstruction of the delineation of the question according to the internal logic of Gramsci’s texts, and in terms of its projection and presence in the contemporary scholarly discussion and theoretical debates internationally.

The teachers of the GSS 2016 are: Joseph A. Buttigieg (University of Notre Dame, Indiana/USA), Giuseppe Cospito (Università di Pavia), Romain Descendre (ENS, Lyon), Gianni Francioni (Università di Pavia), Fabio Frosini (Università di Urbino), Francesca Izzo (Università di Napoli “L’Orientale”), Anne Showstack Sassoon (Birkbeck, University of London), André Tosel (Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis), Jean-Claude Zancarini (ENS, Lyon), Cosimo Zene (SOAS, University of London).

The scientific committee of the GSS also includes: Gianni Fresu (Universidade Federal de Uberlândia, Minas Gerais/Brasil, e Associazione “Casa Museo Antonio Gramsci”, Ghilarza), Dora Kanoussi (Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, México), Fiamma Lussana (Università di Sassari), Mauro Pala (Università di Cagliari), Giancarlo Schirru (Università di Cassino), Peter D. Thomas (Brunel University, London), Giuseppe Vacca (Fondazione Istituto Gramsci, Roma).

15 scholarships have been assigned, as noted in the call for applications, on the basis of the presentation of projects and CVs. A large number of applications was received, from ten different countries and 3 different continents.

The GSS is committed to gender equality, and particularly encourages applications from female researchers. As a result, the majority of the scholarship holders this year are women (as was also the case at the 2014 GSS). The winners receive a scholarship consisting in the costs of accommodation, board and travel during the GSS in Ghilarza. The composition of the group of scholarship holders for the 2016 GSS is the following: 4 from Italy, 3 from Brazil, 2 from Argentina, 1 from Mexico, 2 from the USA, 2 from France and 1 from the UK. 3 of the scholarship holders this year were also successful applicants to the 2014 GSS. The complete list of the selected candidates, with further information on their projects and intellectual formation, can be consulted on the website of the Associazione Casa Museo A. Gramsci (www.casagramscighilarza.org) and of the Fondazione Istituto Gramsci di Roma (http://www.fondazionegramsci.org/).

The GSS also offers the opportunity for the wider public to participate in some of its activities, both in Ghilarza and in Cagliari, where the GSS will conclude on Saturday 10 September. There are three events open to the public. On Monday 5 September, Professor André Tosel will open the GSS with a lectio magistralis on ‘Democracy, Philosophy, Ideology and Society Today’ at the Aragonese Tower in Ghilarza. On Friday 9 September, Professor Gianni Francioni will deliver the final lecture of the GSS on ‘The Extension of Ideology in Gramsci and the Genesis of it Articulations’. In the morning of Saturday 10 September in the Rectorate of the University of Cagliari, the GSS and its sponsor the Laboratorio di Studi internazionali gramsciani of the University of Cagliari will host a roundtable entitled ‘Gramsci in the World Today’.

The lecture series will be video recorded by EjaTV, a media partner of GSS, which will provide daily updates on the webplatform: www.ejatv.com.

The GSS intends to begin a scholarly and politically and socially engaged project in a long-term perspective. The institutional support of the academic world and of cultural institutions more generally, both in Sardinia and internationally, testifies to the importance of such a project and its local and international relevance. Furthermore, the choice of Ghilarza as the host location of the event gives witness of an affective and cultural dimension linked to the region in which ‘Nino’ Gramsci grew up. Gramsci’s rootedness in the local environment, and the impact it had upon his maturity, offers a meaningful support for the renewal of the reading of Gramscian themes also in Sardinia.

For further information: ghilarzasummerschool@gmaif.

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