The article takes into consideration the “fortune” of Antonio Gramsci’s works in history of philosophy and history of culture studies in post-war Italian philosophy. The author shows conditions and consequences of a peculiar diffusion of the first publication of Letters from Prison and Prison Notebooks. According to the author, the discussions about the “crisis of idealism” influenced Gramsci’s reception in this field of studies. The paper focuses on the main aspects of this question, reconstructs the cultural policy of Togliatti, and it devotes a special attention to authors such as Eugenio Garin and Nicola Badaloni.
di Alessandro Carlucci
The paper reviews recent language-oriented scholarship on Gramsci, mostly publications in English or Italian which have appeared since 2007. It considers three main areas: 1) the sociology and politics of language, especially the use of the notion of hegemony in debates about English as a global language; 2) the role of Gramsci’s linguistic interests in shaping his intellectual biography, from his university years to his encounter with Soviet Russia’s cultural and political life in the early 1920s; and, finally, 3) Gramsci’s own use of the Italian language in his writings. With regard to the second area of study, new evidence is presented of Gramsci’s interest in proletarian culture and of his contacts with the Proletkult movement. By surveying a wide range of different topics (including Esperanto and language planning), the paper aims to identify the shortcomings of the existing scholarship, and to define certain gaps in our knowledge of Gramsci’s life and work as questions for future research.
di Giuseppe Cospito
Currently pivotal in both the international and Italian debate between Gramsci scholars, the theme of translatability has long been neglected in the decades immediately following the reception of Gramsci’s thought based on the thematical edition of Prison Notebooks. My essay aims at reconstructing the progressive awareness of the importance of such subject and the deeper attention it recently gained. On one hand, this is related to issues grounded in the translation of Gramsci’s texts in different languages; while on the other hand, it is tied to the (late) discovery of Gramsci as a translator himself – as well as a theorist of translation. Even closer to our times is the acquisition of the intertwining between the concept of translatability and the translation of Marxism in terms of philosophy of praxis.
di Natalia Gaboardi
The aim of this paper is to clarify the gradual broadening of the concept of ideology in Notebooks 1, 2, 3 and 4 of Prison Notebooks. The philological method is at the basis of this research. In Notebook 1 Gramsci uses the term “ideology” in its common sense, with the opacity that it implies. Ideology is connected with misrepresentation (N 1, § 24), but Gramsci also uses the expression “ideological strata” (N 1, § 43) that implies a gnoseological theory. From May 1930 with the beginning of Notebooks 3 and 4 and with translations of Marxian anthology Lohnarbeit und Kapital, Gramsci innovates the notion and the concept of ideology. The paragraph 49 of Notebook 3, entitled Cultural topics. Ideological material, marks a turning point in the elaboration of the notion of ideology. Gramsci reflects upon the ideological structure of a ruling class, remarking the importance of the material structure of ideology. Paragraph 12 of Notebook 11, written in June 1932, shows clearly the link between gnoseology and political project of Prison Notebooks: the new definition of ideology makes possible a uniform representation of superstructures in all their forms.
di Alberto Filippi
The article reviews some of the most relevant readings of Gramsci among Latin American scholars in the period between the dictatorships and the age of democratic transitions. The central thesis is that the transfer of Gramsci’s categories – mainly “civil society” and “hegemony” and “translatability”, but also “State” and “passive revolution” – has greatly benefited the processes of democratic selfunderstanding of the Latin American Marxist Left, and at the same time this “translation” also contributed – through the mediation of figures like Norberto Bobbio – to rethink Marxism in nonEurocentric terms and thus to enrich it in decisive aspects for the critical understanding of political and institutional processes in the modern and contemporary world.
The focus of this contribution is the book by Juan Carlos Portantiero Los usos de Gramsci (1981), which collects essays written and published between 1975 and 1981. Los usos de Gramsci is contextualized in relation to the historical-political moment (the coup d’etat in Chile and then in Argentina), the cultural climate (the national and international Marxist debate) and the trajectory of the author. The central thesis is that this book represents a momentary equilibrium between the earlier Leninist approach and the later approach, linked to liberal-democratic and socialist thought. In the 1981 book, Gramsci’s original reading is happily combined with an extraordinary ability to innovate Marxism theoretically in the field of the theory of the State and in overcoming determinism.
di Paolo Nosella
Gramsci’s personality is multifaceted. The most known aspect of that is about his being scientist of politics and faction’s director. At the same time we have the chance to detect his strong professor’s profile, and I would like to evidence his way to teach, especially when he says «Every authoritative relationship become inevitably a pedagogical relationship» (Q. 10, § 44). This abstract shows the development of the relation between politic art and the pedagogical one in connection with life’s situations and way of thinking’s development.
In this article, I have tried to submit patterns in US academic cultural studies and Gramsci scholarship to a brief comparative analysis against the background of the generic amalgamations of three national formations by the 1980’s: reproduction and maintenance of a consumerist “common sense” through credit card debts, accelerations in economic under-developments in a dual-economy, and the cultural reproduction of a collective psychic anchorage in self-perceptions of exceptionality and moral superiority in relation to racialized “others” in domestic and international spheres. My analysis distinguished patterns in academic cultural studies from those in Gramsci scholarship in that the former predominantly focused on aspects of discriminatory representations in the cultural practices of the “national” spheres whereas the latter tended to orient itself on “international” analyses in human geography, environmental studies, climate change, development theory, global social moments, global conservatisms, and so on. I concluded that in light of the important role which the Gramsci’s legacy had assumed in the UK Birmingham School, the moment is opportune and necessary for Gramsci scholars in the US, as elsewhere, to make use of the most important Gramsci-inspired diagnostic instruments in the development of comprehensive research projects on the neo-liberal manipulations of the material and emotional institutions of diverse populations amidst a dual economy defined post-democratic age.
di Marzio Zanantoni
My article aims to recall some historical-anthropological notes by Gramsci. He certainly grasped the double soul – both modern and ancient – of “Strapaese” that had a problematic relation with Fascism. It is the motif of the homeland as “country”, a crucial topic of the twentieth-century modernity. Gramsci did not live enough to see the rise of a new group of young writers during the postwar period, that rediscover the “country-homeland” by portraying it as the centre of recovery, of memory and of community. It is in this democratic way of conceiving the “country – homeland” that the “strapaesana” legacy looses every fascist nuance and achieves a completely new meaning by politically positioning in the progressive area. Today, the reflection upon the national identity of Italian people takes place within a multi-ethnic society. In which research perspective could Gramsci still be helpful?
In the following interview, Gianni Francioni addresses the subject of Gramsci’s legacy in philosophy, philology and politics. Looking back at the steps of his study of Gramscian thought, Francioni also returns to the events that led to the publication of the new national edition of Prison Notebooks, characterized by a rigorous methodology and by an analysis style based on a full adherence to the texts.