Dario Gaggio, "Rural Modernities: The Politics of Landscape in Postwar Tuscany"
Lecture Abstract: Located at the crossroads of economic, political, and aesthetic considerations, landscape opens a wealth of possibilities for interdisciplinary research. While some geographers understand landscape as a way of seeing, a representational object appreciated aesthetically and/or scientifically by a detached observer, other scholars conceive of landscape as a concrete set of material and normative relationships between people and place. In this project, Professor Gaggio bridges these two broad conceptions of landscape by investigating how rural Tuscans developed new senses of place and time in a period of profound transformations, and how they produced contentious understandings of their “heritage,” viewing it simultaneously as a resource to be put to value and as the site of contradictory projects of conservation and renewal.
Dario Gaggio is an associate professor of history at the University of Michigan. His first book, In Gold We Trust: Social Capital and Economic Change in the Italian Gold Jewelry Districts, was published in 2007. His current manuscript project is Beyond the Tuscan Sun: Tuscany's Landscape from Fascist Ruralism to Rural Tourism. From 2008-11, he served as Director of the Center for European Studies/European Union Center.