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Monday, March 31, 2014

Gialdroni & Condello on Law and Architecture (between History and Philosophy)

Dear All,
this week classes will be devoted to the meaning and function of the Italian Court of Cassation's building, better known in Rome as "Il Palazzaccio".
We will start with a philosophical introduction on semiotics with a focus on symbols (in particular using Peirce and Cassirer). On Thursday we'll apply the theoretical framework to the historical context of Italian unification, with regard to the construction of the Supreme Court.
Finally, on Friday we will "learn by experience" - by visiting the Supreme Court as well as Piazza Cavour.
Don't forget the bring your cameras and IDs (carta d'identità)!
T. Rossi Kirk, The Politicization of the Landscape of Roma Capitale and the symbolic role of the Palazzo di Giustizia, in Mélanges de l'Ecole Française de Rome: Italie et Mediterranée, 109.1 (2006), pp. 89-114
If you want to have a general overview on C. S. Peirce and E. Cassirer please read 
Dr. Gialdroni's CV:

Dr. Stefania Gialdroni is a legal historian with a passion for interdisciplinary studies.
She graduated in Law from the RomaTre University in 2003 and in 2005, after having finished her legal apprenticeship, she started the International Max-Planck Research School for Comparative Legal History in Frankfurt am Main. In 2006 she was admitted as a Marie Curie fellow to the PhD in European Legal Cultures. In the framework of this Doctorate, she spent one year at the LSE in London and two years at the EHESS in Paris as a visiting Ph.D. student.
As a research fellow at RomaTre University, she has been coordinating the Law and the Humanities course since 2008 and since 2011 she has been the instructor of the Human Rights in Historical Perspective Course at Arcadia University. She has published articles and a book on legal history and on law and literature. 

Dr. Condello's CV:

Angela Condello studied law at the University of Torino and at the University of Roma Tre, where she focused on international and comparative law, and worked since then as a research assistant for the chair of philosophy and sociology of law (Prof. Dr. Eligio Resta) after graduating. In 2013, she received her doctorate at the University of Roma Tre with a thesis entitled Analogica.

Since January 2014, together with Prof. Dr. Emanuele Conte and Dr. Stefania Gialdroni, she collaborates on the pluri-disciplinary course, Law and the Humanities at the Department of Law at Roma Tre. Since 2008 Angela has been teaching philosophy of law and legal theory at the International University Uninettuno. As of 2013, Angela works with the Human Rights Committee of the ItalianSenate of the Republic, as an assistant to the President of the Commission, Prof. Luigi Manconi.

In terms of research, Angela has collaborated with: Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public and International Law (Heidelberg), the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Paris), the Department of Philosophy and the School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley, the Australian National University in Canberra. Recently, she completed a scholarship program at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public and International Law (Heidelberg). As of January 2014, Angela is a member associé of the Centre d'étude des normes juridiques at the EHESS in Paris, directed by Prof. Dr. Paolo Napoli. She is also currently involved in an international research project entitled ENTRE A JURISDIÇÃO E A MEDIAÇÃO: O PAPEL POLÍTICO/SOCIOLÓGICO DO TERCEIRO NO TRATAMENTO DOS CONFLITOS, based in Brazil. Additoinally, Angela Condello is a Fellow at the Käte Hamburger Centre for Advanced Study “Law as Culture”.


  1. In front of the new entrance of the Palazzaccio,there is statue of Camillo Benso conte di Cavour,which is an example of “Monumentomanìa”.This phenomenon in Italy represents the big number of statues that we can find in the peninsula after the Italian Unification (Risorgimento). The most popular subject,the “icon” is Giuseppe Garibaldi,we can find a lot of statues of him in so many Italian squares. The most important difference between the monuments of the 19th century and those of earlier centuries lies neither in the distinction between categories,nor in basic symbolic function,but the use they were put to-or rather,that people believed that they could do with them.Roughly speaking,the change took place during the last quarter of the 18th century.At this time,monuments,in the sense we are using them,were still very few.After a virtual standstill during the whole of the Middle Ages,caused principally by the iconophobia of the Christian Church,the production of monuments had started again during the Reinassance,but their actual number was still insignificant,due to the fact that they were regarded as a prerogative of the ruler.The symbolic languageused in them referred mainly to classical imperial models and the feudal concept of the king as embodying the State.The principal message they carried was one of power,inducing the subjects to obedience and loyalty to the several countries this monopoly was now breaking up under the pressure of political realities,and in Germany and France men like Johann Gottlieb Sulzer,Voltaire,Rosseau,Diderot and d’Alembert were busy defining and propagating a new and importand role for the Fine Arts in society.They believed that the broad masses of the population ,by constantly being exposed to powerful images conveying the right kind of virtues,would be transformed into good and useful citizes.Consequently all the arts,and especially the public monuments,were to be used as instruments of education,progress,and liberal social reform.The theory of the public monument as a powerful tool for bending peoples minds was spread in numerous publications of which the most influential early ones were “La Grande Encyclopèdie” and Sulzer’s “Allgemeine Theorie der Schönen Kü nste” and was put to abundant use by the French Revolution.This redefinition of the monument’s social aims and effects,in combination with the increasing power of the strata of the bourgeoisie,soon widened the social range of persons eligible for monumentalisation.New ideals demanded new idols,and since the sew ideal society was a meritocracy,the honour of a monument was something that,at least in theory,could be earned by all citizens provided their personal merits were exceptional enoughto motivate the official recognition of being literally set up as an example for future generations.

  2. The Italian intellectuals after the 1861

    This week’s lesson about the Italy after the Union was very interesting and I started to ask myself: what the Italian intellectuals that were the “avant-garde” of the Risorgimento (let’s think to Manzoni) thought about the Italian Kingdom?
    For this reason I read what Asor Rosa wrote about the Italian culture in the period of the creation and adjusting of the Italy (1860-1887) ( La cultura Italiana nel periodo di creazione e assestamento dello Stato Italiano) and I write here few sentences from his articles and my thoughts about this period.
    Asor Rosa points out that after 1861 the dream of the Risorgimento had become reality and that many intellectuals found out that this new Kingdom was very different from the one that they had dreamed.
    For example Carducci wrote a private letter to his friend Arcangelo Ghilseri (a Politician) in which he confessed his thoughts about the Country:
    “A Lei pare una bella cosa quest’Italia? Io per me credo non sia bella, ma per non amareggiare gli altri d’ora innanzi mi taccio”. “Do you think that this Italy is a good thing? I don’t think so, but to not offend anyone I won’t speak”.
    Italy was so contemptible that Lorenzo Steccheti, a poet and Carducci’s friend wrote in his “Nova Polemica” that in his time do not speak about Italy was patriotic. The issues of the country were numerous, Italy was divided: North and South seemed two different countries, the population was almost entirely illiterate and only the 8 per thousand of Italians were able to speak Italian.
    Ippolito Nievo, writer and patriotic of the XIX century wrote, referring to the firsts wars of independence, that Italy had lost because its harmony was only apparent and beneath it there were a deep opposition of power and many conflicts. At this point I ask to myself (and maybe I’m not the only one): how a State without political or ethnic or linguist homogeneity can call itself a State? A State doesn’t exist simply because someone proclaims its existence and Italy, vanquished her enemies, began to lose herself among her differences.

  3. I ask myself if after the Union of Italy, Italians could tell that Matternich was wrong in considering the Italy nothing more than a geographical name. When the Union was just a dream, Mameli wrote:
    “Per secoli fummo calpesti e derisi, perché non siam popolo perché siam divisi uniamoci un’unica bandiera una speme di fonderci insieme già l’ora suonò”.
    Hope had joined us and the Kingdom of Italy was a reality but could the Italy call herself a country? Could Italians stop to be mocked? The ones that believed in the Union were disappointed and Asor Rosa says that many of them felt betrayed. In 1894 De Roberto wrote “Viceré” and his character, Consalvo prince of Francalanza says that all the differences between the nowadays life in Sicilia were apparent and the prove of it is that the first one to be elected with the universal suffrage is not a commoner or a bourgeois but him: the prince of Francalanza.
    Talking about exterior changes my thoughts go to the “Gattopardo” by Tommasi di Lampedusa. In his work the writer points out that for many Sicilians Garibaldi was nothing more than a soldier of a new foreign Kingdom. “Se vogliamo che tutto rimanga com’è, è necessario che tutto cambi”. “If we want that things stay the way they are, everything have to change” is a very famous quote from this book.
    Not everyone lost hope. Someone said that a State can’t be born in a day but that we can build it. I think that De Sanctis was right saying that freedom had been the slogan of the XIX century but that the new century needed a new slogan to create something new.
    The intellectuals understood that they had to leave behind the Romanticism and the IDEA of Italy that they had, and for this reason they developed what Asor Rosa call: “L’amor per il vero” ( Love for the real). They couldn’t be romantics anymore; they had to be realistic because Italy had many problems to solve.
    Verga defined his novel “I Malavoglia” as a “studio sincere ed appassionato” (an honest and passionate study) and the Realism as “La schietta ed evidente manifestazione dell’osservazione coscienziosa” (the straightforward and the obvious manifestation of a conscientious observation). I Think that the Realism was a need more than a choice. It was the moment to erase the romantic idea of Nation and look carefully to the one in which they lived.
    Considering the reaction to the Union and the disappointment felt by so many it’s not a surprise that politicians and artists have made so many references to the ancient glorious Rome. The Empire was the last time in which Italy was a country and many people believed that only remembering the ancient glory Italians could really think about themselves as Italians and create something new.

  4. Relating to the" monumentomania" I found something about the monument dedicated to Giuseppe Mazzini, located near the Circo Massimo in Rome. The proposal to erect a monument to Giuseppe Mazzini, one of the main characters of the unification of Italy, was presented in parliament after several disputes only in 1890. In 1902 Ettore Ferrari was commissioned to carry out the work. The concept is the power of thought that gives life to substance.there is the statue of mazzini sitting in thoughtful pose and placed on a high base from which emerge the figures of Mazzini's idea: the desire for freedom that is realized in the Giovine Italia, the struggle against despotism, the triumph of the revolution. this is a continuous representation in a heroic tone. Ferrari completed the work in 1929 ,it was inaugurated on 2 th june 1949, on the centenary of the Roman republic

  5. We have talked about "monumentomania" as a phenomenon risen up after the unification of Italy. We found examples of it in many statues located in the capital an in other important cities of our country. These sculptures usually represent heros of the unification, but also personalities known for their contribution in liberal arts: for instance we mentioned Giordano Bruno, whose statue actually means the anticlerical spirit of the unificated Italy, but also known for his scientifc or theological work. Another interesting statue in the topic of humanities is the one located in Piazza Dante, in Trento,symbolizing Dante Alighieri: it is built on three blocks, representing Hell, Purgatory and Heaven; on the top we find Dante the poet. It was made by Cesare Zocchi, a sculptor who have worked also in Florence and Turin. Someone said "we are a country of poets and sailors", but joking aside liberal arts were always a typical feature of our culture, besides before the unification. So i find the statue of Dante an important Symbol well-according to architecture as part of the Humanities.

  6. Sorry i have some problems in linking the image of the statue but you can find it on google