Verba manent
Popular cultures and hegemonic cultures in Italy in the Early Modern Age
April – June 2021

In 1980 Carlo Ginzburg wrote: “Studies on popular culture will survive the fashion that surrounds them today”. The prediction did not come true but the notion of “popular culture” has never left the horizon of social sciences. A monolithic conception of the so-called folklore has been gradually replaced by a perspective that favors the study of the dynamics of interaction between inhomogeneous cultural levels, which are in continuous communication and sometimes in conflict in the specific historical circumstances within which they arise.
From complementary disciplinary fields (literature, history and anthropology), the verba manent series of seminars intends to address the issue of the relationship between popular and hegemonic cultures in the Early Modern Age, questioning the media (orality, manuscripts and printed books) and literary and editorial genres (narrative poems and songs, prophecies and almanacs, chronicles and reports) with which a complex fabric of stories, knowledge, beliefs have traveled through different layers of society.

April 14th, 2021
Fabio Dei (Univ. of Pisa)
Valerio Petrarca (Univ. of Naples Federico II)
Concerning Cultura popolare in Italia. Da Gramsci all’Unesco (Popular culture in Italy. From Gramsci to Unesco) by Fabio Dei (Bologna, Il Mulino, 2018)
April 28th, 2021
Ottavia Niccoli (Univ. of Trento)
Transmission of news and cultural content in Italy in the 16th century
May 5th, 2021
Giancarlo Petrella (Univ. of Naples Federico II)
What is a popular press?
May 19th, 2021
Marina Roggero (Univ. of Turin)
Consumption and reception of widely circulated texts in Early Modern Italy. The case of chivalric literature
June 9th, 2021
Massimo Rospocher (FBK-ISIG of Trento)
The square as a political space: writings, printed documents and songs
June 22nd, 2021
Claudio Giunta (Univ. of Trento)
Concerning (and thanks to) Piero Camporesi


The meetings will be held from 3.00 p.m. to 5.00 p.m. (CET) on the Microsoft Teams platform (code maz99ir).

If you wish to participate, please send an email to or

Download the Program

This post is also available in: Italian Spanish

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