The new history of Risorgimento: a view from abroad
This forum aims to reflect on recent approaches to the Risorgimento and Italian nationalism, and is especially concerned with the work of Alberto Banti on the origins and appeal of the nation. It also hopes to stimulate further debate about the possible course of new research. Each contributor addresses a different set of problems and themes. Lucy Riall and Axel Körner focus on theoretical and methodological issues about the appeal and reception of the nationalist discourse: Riall questions Banti’s definition of the Risorgimento as a «mass movement» and outlines some difficulties with Banti’s approach to the study of political emotions, while Körner raises methodological questions regarding the aesthetics of reception. Maurizio Isabella suggests that Banti’s emphasis on emotions and political «style» risks excluding the intellectual project which lay behind the participation of many patriots in the political struggles of the Risorgimento. Catherine Brice uncovers the political concerns within Banti’s culturalist approach, and suggests a direction for future research on the relationship between politics and culture. The forum concludes with a response from Alberto Banti.