Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore



Representations of Dehumanized Societies in Literature, Media and Political Discourses: Multidisciplinary Perspectives



Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan
15-16 September 2022
Room G.126 Cardinal Ferrari
Room G.127 Pio XI
Largo Gemelli, 1




Room: G.127
Institutional greetings

Franco Anelli, Rector, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
Giovanni Gobber, Dean of the Faculty of Linguistic Sciences and Foreign Literatures, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
Guido Merzoni, Dean of the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

Valerio Alfonso Bruno, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
Antonio Campati, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
Paolo Carelli, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
Anna Sfardini, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore


Room: G.127
Panel #1 - Techno/Digital Dystopias: debates and models
Chair: Fausto Colombo, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

Manuela Ceretta, Università di Torino
Surveillance, dominion and submission: from technological dystopias to digital dystopias

Aleksandra Pogońska-Baranowska, University of Warsaw
Toward new models of existence. The representation of AI identities in the dystopian cultural texts of the 21st century

Vassilis Galanos, University of Edinburgh
Monstruous AI as an existential threat: how dystopian thinking in the press triggered utopian thinking in policy

11.30-12.00: Coffee Break


Room: G.126
Panel #2 - Escape into the Past and Future 
Chair: Francesca Pasquali, Università di Bergamo

Stefania Antonioni, Università di Urbino Carlo Bo
Sisters in arms against the pandemic. Female figures in the TV series The Rain and Anna

Daniela Cardini, IULM
Dystopian nostalgia. Oxymorons in pandemic television

Luca Barra, Università di Bologna
Quickly proceeding Towards an Uncertain Future. Years and Years and the ever-closer dystopia


Room: G.127
Panel #3 - (Bio)Political Orders
Chair: Giacomo Manzoli, Università di Bologna

Paola Dalla Torre, Università LUMSA, Roma
Transhuman dystopias: cinematographic science fiction and bioethical issues

Romina Perni, Università di Perugia
The space of full transparency. Contemporary dystopian scenarios

Enrico Reggiani, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
“A happy congruence of myth and politics”. Mike McCormack’s biopolitical dystopia in Notes from a coma

13.30-15.00 Lunch


Room: G.127
Keynote Speech: Loving the futures we hate: the ubiquity of dystopias in popular culture
Joseph Trotta, University of Gothenburg
Chair: Massimo Scaglioni, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

16.00-16.30: Coffee break


Room: G.126
Panel #4 - Italian Historical Narratives
Chair: Luca Castellin, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

Patricia Chiantera-Stutte, Università di Bari
Narratives about “missed revolutions” during Italian Fascism: from Delio Cantimori to Camillo Pellizzi

Emiliano Marra, independent researcher
Comparing two Italian alternative history novels: Asse pigliatutto by Lucio Ceva and Contro-passato prossimo by Guido Morselli

Adriano Vinale, Università di Salerno
(Hi)story-telling: the New Italian Epic


Room: G.127
Panel #5 – De-Humanized Worlds
Chair: Giovanni Boccia Artieri, Università di Urbino Carlo Bo

Ivana Mette, Università Roma Tre
La terra dei figli. From the graphic novel to the movie. Dehumanization and reconfiguration of imaginaries and identities through landscapes

Matteo Quinto, Università di Bergamo
Hybridity and interspecies relations in animation: A dystopia turning into a potential asset

Raffaele Chiarulli, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
To dystopia and beyond. Escape from the techno-economic paradigm with Wall-E

18.00-19.00 Cocktail

19.00-20:00 Dystopian soundtracks for cinema
Room: G.127 Pio XI
Enrico Reggiani
Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
Martino Tosi, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
(in collaboration with Studium Musicale d’Ateneo and Kawai Italia)

20.00-22:00 Dinner
Cortile d’onore




Room: G.126
Panel #6 - Contaminations 
Chair: Gabriele Balbi, USI – Università della Svizzera Italiana

Alessandro Dividus, Università di Pisa
The Coming of machines: dystopian visions of society from Samuel Butler to George Dyson

Guido Vitiello, Sapienza Università di Roma
Brainplex. Science fiction literature and the cinema of the Future

Ivo Stefano Germano, Università del Molise
Massimiliano Panarari, Università Mercatorum
The Retrotopia Science Fiction


Room: G.127
Panel #7 - Bodies and identities
Chair: Laura Gemini, Università di Urbino Carlo Bo

Silvia LeonziFabio CiammellaGrazia Quercia, Sapienza Università di Roma
From natural to cyber: a transmedia approach to body representation in techno-dystopias

Maria Teresa Zanola, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
Clothes and costumes: dystopian storytelling through fashion

Jovana Malinaric, Università di Bologna
Beyond fiction and reality. Contemporary performance discovers fairy tales in Lina Majdalanie and Rabih Mroué works

11.30-12.00 Coffee break


Room: G.126
Panel #8 - Places
Chair: Chiara Continisio, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

Luca Gendolavigna, Università di Napoli L’Orientale
Walls, camps, state of exception, Sweden-Enemies, and gang-related individuals. A journey into the dystopian Sweden of Johannes Anyuru and Jens Lapidus

Marco Milani, Università di Bologna
A dystopian reality: social inequality and dystopian narratives in Korea's contemporary cultural production

Andrea Piano, Sapienza Università di Roma
Build your own dystopian nightmare: the case of Civilization VI


Room: G.127
Panel #9 - Pandemic Discourses and Imaginaries
Chair: Nicoletta Vittadini, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

Mario Tirino, Università di Salerno
Lorenzo Denicolai, Università di Torino
Dystopia in your eyes! Retromediation as retroactive remediation of pandemic visual imaginaries

Anja Boato, Sapienza Università di Roma
Our dystopian world. Catastrophic storytelling in virtual reality

Maria do Mar Castro Varela, Alice Salomon Hochschule Berlin
Yener Bayramoglu, Alice Salomon Hochschule Berlin
Digital Covid-dystopia: conspiracy theories and public health

13.30-15: Lunch


Room: G.126
Panel #10 - Mediatizations
Chair: Marco Cucco, Università di Bologna

Miriam Petrini, Sapienza Università di Roma
The potential of the radio medium in the construction of a dystopian imaginary

Gianni Sibilla, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
Walls, animals and drones: concept albums and transmedia dystopic narratives in popular music

Antonella Mascio, Università di Bologna
Dystopia in TV series between entertainment and politics. The example of The Handmaid's Tale


Room: G.127
Panel #11 - Apocalypses and conflicts
Chair: Federica Missaglia, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

Giovanni Bernardini, Università di Verona
“How we got along before the bomb”. Scenarios of nuclear apocalypse between political discourse and dystopian fiction during the Cold War

Aske Hennelund Nielsen, Friedrich Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Imagine a world without the bomb– media publics and opposing dystopias in post-war Denmark

Milena Massalongo, Università di Mantova
Use and abuse of the worst case scenario

Mariangela La Manna, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
A close enough dystopia: international law and climate change in Kim Stanley Robinson’s The Ministry for the Future

16.30-17.00: Coffee break

Room: G.127
Closing remarks

Damiano Palano, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore


Conference Organized by: Valerio Alfonso Bruno, Antonio Campati, Paolo Carelli, Anna Sfardini (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)

Organizing Committee: Edoardo Maria Castelli, Maria Grazia Contu, Nicola Crippa, Joyce Faelli, Mattia Galli

Scientific Committee: Gabriele Balbi (USI - Università della Svizzera Italiana), Giovanni Boccia Artieri (Università di Urbino Carlo Bo), Arturo Cattaneo (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore), Luca Castellin (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore), Fausto Colombo (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore), Chiara Continisio (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore), Ruggero Eugeni (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore), Guido Gili (Università del Molise), Giacomo Manzoli (Università di Bologna), Alberto Marinelli (Sapienza Università di Roma), Andrea Minuz (Sapienza Università di Roma), Federica Missaglia (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore), Damiano Palano (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore), Francesca Pasquali (Università di Bergamo), Enrico Reggiani (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore), Massimo Scaglioni (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore), Nicoletta Vittadini (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore), Maria Teresa Zanola (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore