Great Incompletes: Italy’s Unfinished Endeavors | An Interdisciplinary Conference

General Programming

  • Department of Italian
  • Department of Germanic Languages
  • Deutsches Haus
  • Institute for Comparative Literature and Society
  • Graduate Student Advisory Council
  • European Institute
  • Carlo Arrigoni
  • Nassime Chida
  • Massimiliano Delfino
  • Matteo Pace
  • Free and open to the public

This is an interdisciplinary conference spanning two days. The keynote speech will be delivered by Professor Thomas Harrison (UCLA), on February 3, titled: "The Art of the Incomplete", in which he will rethink art as "articulation of incompleteness". The event will take place in the Deutsches Haus at 6 pm. The keynote speech will be preceded by the screening and a Q&A with the author of Benoit Felici's documentary titled "Unfinished Italy" (33'), set for 4 pm.

The graduate conference proper will take place on February 4, from 9 am to 8 pm, in Detusches Haus. Twelve graduate students from different backgrounds (Italian Studies, Philosophy, Art History, Critical Theory, Film Studies) will reflect on the relationship between incompleteness, art, and hermeneutics from different disciplinary perspectives.

Friday, 3rd February
Deutsches Haus at Columbia University
420 West 116th Street
Welcome and opening remarks
Introduction and screening of Benoit Felici’s documentary Unfinished Italy (2010, 33’)
Panel discussion with director Benoit Felici
Keynote Presentation
Professor Thomas Harrison (UCLA)
“The Art of the Incomplete”

Saturday, 4th February
Deutsches Haus at Columbia University
420 West 116th Street
Panel 1
Incompleteness and the Other
chair: Professor Konstantina Zanou
Allison DeWitt (Columbia University)
(In)completely Visualizing Dante’s World from West to East
Alex Cuadrado (Columbia University)
Petrarca’s Incomplete Pilgrimage to the Holy Land
Bruno Duarte (Johns Hopkins University)
An African Oresteia: Pasolini’s Absolute Fragment
Panel 2
Incompleteness as Authorial Strategy
chair: Professor Elizabeth Leake
Jamison Standridge (Rutgers University)
Abandonment and Silence in Sibilla Aleramo’s Trasfigurazione (Lettera non spedita)
Anna Chichi (The Graduate Center, CUNY)
Oriana Fallaci’s A Hat Full of Cherries
Christina McGrath (Columbia University)
“Non una novella intera”: Incompletion in the Decameron
1.30PM Break
2.30PM Panel 3
Incompleteness and Restoration chair: Professor Giuseppe Gerbino
​Cleo Nisse (Columbia University)
Incomplete Survivals: Encountering the Ovetari Chapel Frescos
Stephen Mack (Rutgers University)
The Unfinished and the Roughly Finished Before Michelangelo
Marilynn Johnson (The Graduate Center, CUNY)
Incompleteness & Interpretation
Panel 4
Incompleteness, Life, Hermeneutics
chair: Professor TBA
Andrew Robbins (Rutgers University)
A Delinquent Physiognomy: The Incompleteness of Positivism
Luca Zanchi (Stony Brook University)
Dissociated Narratives and Narrative
Responsibilities. Marco Bellocchio and Renato Curcio: A Comparative Analysis
Luca Burzelli (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa)
Incompleteness as a Plurality of Ways
Closing remarks
Chaired by Professor Thomas Harrison