The Southern Line: The Meridione and the Limits to Periodisation

Toscano, Alberto and Calder Williams, Evan. 2017. The Southern Line: The Meridione and the Limits to Periodisation. Estetica. Studi e Ricerche, VII(2), pp. 233-254. ISSN 2039-6635 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Anti- and post-colonial critiques have frequently had occasion to note how a Eurocentric imaginary projects the temporal axis of civilizational or industrial retardation onto a geographical scale of latitudes and biomes. This essay revisits the stakes of this tendency through a concrete material and political prism, the Italian meridione, which not only signified a developmental problem for the modernist and fascist project of nation- and state-making but also became a crucial political touchpoint in two distinct ways. First, its supposedly «archaic» or «pre-political» dimensions could be envisaged by anthropologists and militants alike as a reservoir of anti-systemic energies, as in Ernesto de Martino’s engagement with the subaltern debate. Second, the difference of the South was articulated in terms of a «Southern technics» visible in ad hoc and counterintuitive uses of objects, especially as delineated in the 1920s writings of Walter Benjamin and Alfred Sohn-Rethel.

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Meridione; Nationality; Ernesto de Martino; Archaism; Periodisation

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6 September 2017Accepted
December 2017Published

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Date Deposited:

08 Nov 2017 15:46

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:41

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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