Metamorphoses of the Father

Metamorphoses of the Father

Snodi. Public and Private in contemporary history
Vom - Bis
03.06.2010 - 10.07.2010
Snodi. Public and Private in contemporary history

The journal "Snodi. Public and Private in contemporary history"
launches a call for paper on the theme "Metamorphoses of the Father"

Which is the position of the father in our culture? How has the paternal figure changed – in both the social reality and its representations – throughout the centuries as well as in the recent decades? In which ways has historiography interrogated the different models of paternity in different cultures, and the symbolic and political implications of those models? Have men ever developed any reflection on their reproductive, sentimental, family and social function as fathers?

Gender studies emerged thanks to feminism, to extend soon to the Glbtq galaxy; in recent years they have fruitfully been applied to themes of masculinity too. This revealed how gender studies can expand beyond the private, intimate or family sphere, to reach the public space with a wide range of influences, echoes and exchanges. Fathers and bosses, padrinos and patrons, patriarchs and patriots, Pope Benedict and Papi Silvio: the image of the father hangs about our imaginary even before about our society. It is a mutable image, at times an upsetting one, but certainly pervasive and vital. In fact, it can even bear an unexpected vitality, almost a revenge – or a metamorphosis – of the male and the paternal after the crisis produced by feminism not many years ago. Is it by chance that children who write about their own fathers are more and more frequent? Is it perhaps because there is a need to focus – not only at an individual level – on the paternal figure? Snodi thus launches an invitation to historians to reflect on the Metamorphoses of the Father.

The deadline for the presentation of proposals is 10th of July 2010

Participants are invited to send:

- For the section Writing: a half-page abstract for an article in either English or Italian of about 20 pages (40,000 characters spaces included).
- For the section Sources of the us/sources of the self: a half-page abstract for an article in either English or Italian of about 10 pages (20,000 characters spaces included, and including documents that might be attached) which analyses the theme’s methodological problems and/or the specificity of the utilised sources.

Proposals should be sent to, with a short biographical note and a list of principal academic publications.
The authors of articles in English, if not mother tongue, will need to make sure they have their text proofread. Articles of the section Writing will be subject to peer review.
Proposals will be selected by the summer.


Snodi. Public and Private in Contemporary History (S-nodi combines the word «snodi», which means crossroads, and the word «nodi», which means junctions)
This project is the result of collective reflections around the concepts of «private» and «public». It seems to us that much contemporary historiography has been unable to overcome the dichotomy between a historical perspective that is almost entirely political and institutional on the one hand, and a perspective that focuses almost exclusively on individuals and their subjectivity on the other. Instead, what we find in our everyday experience as researchers, particularly for the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, is a space between public and private which is both complex and fluid; it is a space where the individual oscillates between the two spheres, but at the same time a space across which the state, public institutions and collectives intervene into the area of private experience. The aim of our project is to explore the ways in which this interaction takes shape and to analyse the dynamics of change and modification that this interaction generates.

Giulia Albanese, Margherita Angelini, Claudia Baldoli, Tommaso Baris, Emmanuel Betta, Giulia Beltrametti, Alessandro Casellato, Simon Levis Sullam, Erika Lorenzon, Giovanni Sbordone, Simona Troilo, Gilda Zazzara.;


Margherita Angelini

Dorsoduro 1214, 30123 Venezia (Italia)

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