Theses Doctoral

Terrorism and the Body: Representations of Political Violence in Italian Film and Literature during the Early Anni di Piombo

Delfino, Massimiliano L.

This dissertation contributes to the ongoing analysis of art during the anni di piombo (1969-1983) by revisiting and challenging the well-established charge that artists failed to create meaningful reflections on terrorism during the years of lead. I analyze a select number of literary and filmic fictional representations of terrorists and their victims produced in Italy during the first half of the anni di piombo, up to Aldo Moro’s death. Reading these narratives in a comparative perspective, I argue that their symbolic reflection on terrorism becomes particularly evident in the representation of the body of the terrorist. Through my analysis I find that—despite the differences in medium, genre, intended audience, and kinds of political terrorism these narratives respectively explore—a similar fundamental criticism of terrorism as an essentially anti-political practice emerges. In this way, I show, these narratives can be read as contributions to the democratic debate on violence and the principle of civility in politics produced already during that period of great socio-political crisis.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Leake, Elizabeth
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
July 28, 2020