Simonetta Falasca-Zamponi’s holds a doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, and her intellectual and research interests mainly fall within the areas of politics and culture. More specifically, she is concerned with studying the political as a site of cultural discourse, cultural identity, and cultural production. Her book, Fascist Spectacle: The Aesthetics of Power in Mussolini’s Italy, for example, employed the category of “aesthetic politics” to analyze the role that symbolic discourse — in the guise of myths, rituals, images and speeches – played in the making of the fascist regime and the construction of Mussolini’s power. The book she recently completed, Rethinking the Political: The Sacred, Aesthetic Politics, and the Collège de Sociologie, in contrast, utilizes the notion of the “sacred” to explore the influence of Durkheimian sociology upon 1930s French analyses of the nature of politics and the “crisis of democracy.” Through the case study of the Collège, with all the issues and controversies that it raised, the book intends both to reflect upon and generate theories about the relationship between the sacred, community, power and democratic institutions.
EH Course: Consumption, Waste, and the Environment