Enrico Fantini

Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa (Italy)

Angelica against Orlando: masses, desire, élite. How Jews, exiles, and anti-fascists reshaped the Italian Renaissance—a global perspective

2021-2022: Fall

Enrico Fantini holds a Ph.D. from Scuola Normale Superiore (Pisa) in Modern Languages and Philology. He was visiting student at the École Normale Supérieur, Paris (Rue d'Ulm), and in 2019 Wallace Fellow at Villa I Tatti - Harvard University (Florence). His research is devoted to 16th and 20th-century Italian culture. Dr. Fantini's works focus on the morphological evolution of the Italian literature during the transition (both ideological and institutional) from the fascist era to the democratic period (1929-1956); the political implication of the relations between high and popular culture in Early Modern Italy; and the reformist/utopian literature of the 16th and 17th centuries.

At the Academy, Dr. Fantini presents a new project in which he aims to reconstruct the genealogy of the technocratic approach (1890-1940). Starting from a global perspective, his research intends to highlight the contribution of the Italian intellectuals belonging to political and religious minorities (particularly in their exchange with the U.S.) in shaping a new relationship between the masses and élite.

Dr. Fantini’s long-term ambition is to provide a new intellectual history of the transnational technocratic theory in the Western world. Merging sociology, historiography, literature and philology, he intends, on the one hand, to work on the rise of a new urban social stratum oriented toward a political “critical attitude” long before the Enlightenment, surveying the European diffusion of the utopian and reformist literature. On the other, he will explore the intellectual traditions through which the cosmopolitan and elitist approach became predominant.