Undoing Time: The Cultural Memory of an Italian Prison (Italian Modernities #14) (Paperback)

Undoing Time: The Cultural Memory of an Italian Prison (Italian Modernities #14) By Pierpaolo Antonello (Editor), Robert S. C. Gordon (Editor), Eleanor Chiari Cover Image

Other Books in Series

This is book number 14 in the Italian Modernities series.


The walls of Le Nuove prison in Turin are scarred by graffiti, bullets and blood. Opened in 1870, Le Nuove was one of Italy's first panoptical prisons. During the Second World War it was occupied by the Nazis, who executed and deported anti-Fascist and Jewish prisoners held there. In the 1970s it housed left-wing 'terrorists', who spearheaded violent riots that spread to prisons across Italy. The prison staff became targets and four were shot dead. When Le Nuove finally closed down in October 2003, the memories of the tragic events that occurred there became obstacles to its demolition.
Combining oral history, anthropology and micro-history, this book examines the cultural memory of Le Nuove via interviews, archives and the material traces left within the building itself. The volume examines issues such as the relationship between memory and place, forgetting, and the problems of a global cultural heritage increasingly focused on places of suffering. By following the architecture of the prison in her narrative, the author actively engages with the many layers of time competing to give meaning to the prison today, as well as addressing the hidden stories, myths and silences that condition any study of cultural memory.

About the Author

Eleanor Canright Chiari is a teaching fellow in the Department of Italian at University College London. She also teaches on the MA in Cultural Memory at the Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies, University of London.
Product Details
ISBN: 9783034302562
ISBN-10: 3034302568
Publisher: Peter Lang Gmbh, Internationaler Verlag Der W
Publication Date: July 18th, 2012
Pages: 243
Language: English
Series: Italian Modernities