Andrea Righi, assistant professor in the French, Italian, and Arabic Department, has published a new book, titled “Italian Reactionary Thought and Critical Theory: An Inquiry into Savage Modernities.” The book cover features a photograph titled “Infinity Room” by Scott Johnson, associate professor of art.
In the last decade or so, a wave of Italian thinkers has broken ground for new theoretical inquiries that interpret the turn to life that characterizes present philosophical research. “Italian Reactionary Thought” offers a critical intervention into this trend by investigating the centrality of the concept of origin in 20th-century Italian culture from a feminist perspective.
In the wake of the crisis of Western culture, Italy gave rise to fascism as a savage vitalism that incorporated the archaic as it expropriated the feminine dimension of origin. With a critique of the works of theorists Giovanni Papini, Romano Bilenchi, Curzio Malaparte, and a novel appraisal of Carlo Levi, Righi suggests that it may be possible to understand mortality without turning it into a technology of oppression. The book is published by Palgrave Macmillan.