The Paths of Female Heroism:
Violence and War in Margaret Fuller
This article investigates Margaret Fuller’s life and (self)identifications, models and images that revolve around the sphere of violence and war, and which in general engage the relationship between femininity and traditionally masculine issues like honor, pride, authority, and bodily strength. Contrary to most recent interpretations of Fuller, which emphasize her investment in specific feminine values, this essay argues that such figurations have the effect of undermining the binary logic of gender and its hierarchy, questioning its «natural» origin. Fuller’s examples of female strength and heroism recur in virtually all her writings, ranging from imaginary suffering knights to the physically vigorous frontierswomen to come, from classical allegorical figures like Minerva to actual revolutionary servicewomen like Emilia Plater. What appears to be most challenging, however, is Fuller’s own condition as a wife, mother, and (virtual) combatant during the Roman revolution (1848-49): the image of the fecund woman who defends war and violence by using writing as a weapon proved to be troubling to Fuller’s contemporaries, but even today has not yet lost its unsettling potential.
Parole chiave: Donne; Guerra; Eroismo; Gender
Keywords: Women; War; Heroism; Gender
Civic Militias before the First World War.
Political violence and the crisis of the state
in Italy and Spain (1900-1915)
The purpose of this article is to examine the historiographical debate on armed groups and political violence from the 1900s to the early 1920s. The article examines the cases of Italy and Spain and investigates how practices and forms of organised political violence before the First World War can be interpreted as signs of the crisis of liberal regimes and of the emergence of authoritarian political cultures. In recent years historians have paid much attention to paramilitary groups and political violence in the aftermath of the Great War, often considering the conflict itself as a trigger factor. The first section analyses this debate, with special attention to the controversial concept of «brutalization», while the second section focuses on the cases of Italy and Spain. Finally, the third section uses archival sources to study practices, political cultures and the relationship between state powers and the Catalan Somatén Armado, on the one hand, and the Citizens’ Patrols in Bologna, on the other, in the pre-war period.
Parole chiave: paramilitarismo, prima guerra mondiale, violenza politica, Italia, Spagna
Keywords: paramilitary, First World War, political violence, Italy, Spain
Introduzione: sulle tracce di un Rinascimento mediterraneo
On the Alcorano di Macometto
by Pier Mattia Tommasino
Introduced by Giuseppe Marcocci, this section provides a discussion of Pier Mattia Tommasino’s L’Alcorano di Macometto. Storia di un libro del Cinquecento europeo (2013). In his highly inter-disciplinary book, Tommasino analyses the first edition of the Quran translated (from Latin) into Italian vernacular by Giovanni Battista Castrodardo from Belluno. Published in 1547 Venice by Andrea Arrivabene, this translation was included in a volume also containing writings about the life of Muḥammad and the history and the customs of the Muslims and the Turks. It was dedicated to the French nobleman Gabriel Luetz d’Aramon on the eve of his mission to the Ottoman court. Three scholars (Vincenzo Lavenia, Paola Molino, and Paolo Procaccioli) comment, from different perspectives on the multiple connections in Tommasino’s volume, between this Renaissance work and the Venetian and Mediterranean contexts, including the influence of the Italian Reformation and the circulation of Machiavelli and Dante.
Parole chiave: Corano; Rinascimento italiano; Venezia; Impero ottomano
Keywords: Quran; Italian Renaissance; Venice; Ottoman Empire