Thursday, September 10, 2015
What is Italy doing these days and what about the Italians? These are questions which often arise in international debates for the role of the nation and also for the significant (and growing) number of Italians living abroad. And this happens today more than ever. In an era characterised by a genuine European economic downturn, much attention is, in fact, given to Southern European nations, their politicians, public deficits, and financial performances, and with sentiments of mistrust and allegations of laziness jumping from a side to the other of the old continent. Italy is surely relevant in all this, economically and politically.
Chaired by University of London historian Andrea Mammone, co-editor of the Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Italy, this event will represent a unique opportunity to discuss the variegated features of modern Italy with The Guardian and The Economist journalist John Hooper, author of the recently published book The Italians, and with Al Jazeera journalist Barbara Serra, author of Gli italiani non sono pigri. The speakers will go through and beyond the usual stereotypes referring to the Italian population, offering different perceptions on this Mediterranean nation, its politics, perspectives, and, of course, also its emigrants.
John Hooper is currently Italy’s correspondent of The Economist and Southern Europe editor of the Guardian. He has been a foreign correspondent for more than 30 years and has reported from over 50 countries, specializing in the area of the Mediterranean. His book, The Spaniards: A Portrait of the New Spain, won the 1987 Allen Lane award for a best first work of history or literature.
He later published two expanded and revised versions under the title of The New Spaniards. His latest book, The Italians, was published by Penguin in the UK and Viking in the US earlier this year.
Andrea Mammone is a historian of modern Europe at Royal Holloway, University of London. He has published extensively on European history, politics, and society, including the forthcoming Transnational Neofascism in France and Italy. He is currently writing a book on recent Europe and one (in Italian) on the region of Calabria. He also contributes to the media, and has written for the International Herald Tribune, The Independent, Foreign Affairs, The Guardian, The New York Times, Reuters, Al Jazeera America, and the New Statesman.
Barbara Serra is a news presenter and correspondent for Al Jazeera English, where she anchors the main evening news from London. Prior to joining Al Jazeera, Barbara worked for the BBC, Sky News and Channel Five, becoming the first second-language English speaker to present a prime time news programme on British TV.
In her native Italy, Barbara co-presents a weekly programme, Tv Talk, on RAI 3. In 2013 she published her first book ‘Gli Italiani Non Sono Pigri’ which won the Caccuri Prize for non-fiction.