The 2020 SIS Postgraduate Colloquium took place online, on the Zoom platform, on November 27th, 2020. The eight papers, as well as the keynote lecture, were delivered live, but we recorded all the sessions which are still available here using the passcode @m1XV2EW.

The title of the event was ‘Italy at Work: Representations of Labour in Italian Culture’. We were pleased to receive a varied and interdisciplinary response. The papers we accepted ranged from Medieval to contemporary Italian literature, cinema, gender and transnational studies. The online medium facilitated the participation of speakers and attendants from outside Europe, and specifically from US and Canada.

The colloquium was organised by Erica Bellia (University of Cambridge) and Bianca Rita Cataldi (University College Dublin), and it was focused on how labour has been represented in Italian culture through the centuries and across different media and genres. In a difficult time like this – with the Covid-19 pandemic severely affecting work and causing dramatic unemployment – it was particularly important to have a discussion on the topic of labour.

Our choice for the keynote speech was Ilaria Favretto, Professor of Contemporary European History within the Faculty of Business and Social Sciences at Kingston University London. Her presentation, entitled ‘Workers on Strikes: Images and Representations in Italian Culture’, offered a fresh perspective on the theme of workers’ rebellion and on the ways in which this was represented in Italian literature and cinema during the twentieth century.

At the end of the conference, we hosted the annual PG Caucus, a moment in which SIS Postgraduates come together to express their ideas for future events and initiatives by dialoguing with the PG Representatives.

The PG Colloquium proved to be a success, both in terms of scholarly contribution and of networking in such a difficult time. A selection of papers from the conference will be published in our new SIS Postgraduate journal Notes in Italian Studies by summer 2021.

Erica Bellia (University of Cambridge) and Bianca Rita Cataldi (University College Dublin)