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Flying Saucers in Italy: The Italian case towards a global history of science fiction

Dr Giulia Iannuzzi (Università di Trieste)

The speaker: Dr Giulia Iannuzzi (Università di Trieste) studies science fiction in a historical and comparative perspective, history of publishing, and new media. Her two latest books – Fantascienza italiana: Riviste, autori, dibattiti, dagli anni Cinquanta agli anni Settanta (Milan: Mimesis, 2014) and Distopie, viaggi spaziali, allucinazioni: Fantascienza italiana contemporanea (Milan: Mimesis, 2015) – are the essential reference for any study of science fiction in Italy. The event: Science fiction as a genre with its easily recognizable repertoire of themes and tropes is a unique vantage point from which to observe the functioning of a trans-national literary production. Building on the increasing attention to non-English traditions as well as to the idea of global or world science fiction that Science Fiction Studies have experienced in recent years, this seminar will offer an overview of the translation phenomenon in Italy. A brief outline of long-term trends, and quantitative evidence in 20th-century series will be the starting point to critically assess the agency of publishers and translators in shaping ideas of genre, brought to light in publication choices, and in the adaptation of original texts by means of paratexts and translation choices. The close reading of a selection of cases will help illustrating a complex series of motives at work behind a vast range of domestication practices: from the adaptation to a readership different from the original one, to issues of cost and seriality that often took precedence over artistic considerations. The history of science fiction translations in Italy aptly emblematizes wider-reaching cultural processes, from changes in segments of readership, to the shifting connections with other linguistic areas.

Event details


Forum Seminar Room 04