How the GSS works

The Ghilarza Summer School is held every two years in Ghilarza during September and takes one week, for a total of eight work sessions, preceded by an introductory lecture and followed by a concluding one, both open to the public and dedicated to the course’s main topic and a statement of the work accomplished.

The teaching staff are identified each year on the basis of the growing needs in terms of subjects to be addressed, and consists of an equal number of instructors (at least one per session) chosen from among the best international specialists.

The students, who come from any nation, are chosen using an announcement published on various websites, based on an assessment of their coursework and research programme (which should be annexed to the application to participate). In general terms, the GSS is intended for young graduate students who have already done research on Gramsci and who have pursued or are pursuing a doctorate in research and/or are authors of suitable publications on Gramsci. Given the interdisciplinary approach the School takes, in selecting applicants no fields of study are given preference over others, but there is an objective weighting of the education and research project presented, compared to the general scientific goals and the specific theme chosen each year by the School.

The maximum number of students is 15 in order to allow quality interactions in the seminars; the minimum number needed to hold the GSS each year is 8 students. Students must have enough linguistic skills to follow the lessons (which are held in Italian) and to participate in the discussion, and must be able to refer to Gramsci’s writings in their original version. In any case, research projects in French, English, Portuguese, Spanish and German are also accepted. This way it is possible to work at a high level of examination, one that can redefine the details of the research on an international level.

Each year offers a subject related to Gramsci’s thought – chosen from the most relevant and influential ones – that is sufficiently broad but not general. The GSS is organised, in fact, as a laboratory that hosts scholarly research into Gramscian thought, as well as students (graduates, doctoral students or PhDs) beginning with a historic and interdisciplinary scientific approach. The seminars consider the pre-selected subject from a dual perspective; that is, in an immanent reconstruction of the emergence of the issue according to the logic in Gramsci’s writing, and in its exposure and current presence in the international scientific discussion and theoretical debate.

Each session involves a fundamental lesson/report, which highlights the problematic aspects of the subject in question, surveying both its historic and conceptual dimension and its topical issues. The lesson/report is followed by active participation by the students.

An appropriate number of sessions is devoted annually to introducing and critically and methodologically investigating the specific philological problems presented by Gramsci’s texts (for example, problems of attribution of his journalistic writings; variations in his Notebooks; the relationships between the text in the Notebooks and source materials; problems in dating the notebooks or groups of notebooks, etc.) The School’s objective is to stimulate a methodology that can combine philology, history and theory into a new approach to the reading and interpretation of Gramsci’s work, and the analysis of their relevance to the current debate.

The operations of the GSS have been funded since 2013 by the Bank of Sardinia Foundation. Students’ stay in Ghilarza is free, and we make available some scholarships intended to cover, in whole or in part, the students’ travel expenses.