The idea of establishing an international school for Gramsci studies in Ghilarza arose in 2011 after a positive contact among a number of Italian and foreign Gramsci scholars, the Antonio Gramsci House Museum, the Gramsci Foundation of Rome, the International Gramsci Society and the Foundation of Sardinia. Thus an ambitious project was launched to dedicate a school of advanced studies to Antonio Gramsci’s thinking and to root it in the city of the Sardinian thinker’s childhood and youth.
This initiative seemed like the best way to meet the expectations spurred by the great and renewed fortunes Antonio Gramsci’s thought has experienced in the last twenty years around the world, and at the same time to connect the international dimension of research dedicated to him with the social/cultural dimension of the land where his personality took shape.
Gramsci’s ideas (as he is one of the most widely read Italian authors in the world, along with Dante and Machiavelli) are being discussed more than ever and applied in quite different fields, such as geopolitics, linguistics and methodology. His is a rare case of a political thinker who is not suffering from a backlash as time goes by, nor any ideological conflicts, but continues to offer elements to be investigated. The interest in his work continues to grow, especially among young researchers around the world who, while familiar with Gramsci (often only through translations and anthologies) and able to use his ideas, nevertheless feel a need for an appropriate interpretative set of tools in order to interpret him correctly.
The widespread demand for scientific inquiry that has arisen internationally can be satisfied by this Italian school for Gramsci studies (especially by the group of scholars who are undertaking the editing of the national edition of his writing). With this well-qualified contribution, the Ghilarza Summer School hopes to become a world reference point for Gramsci studies: not simply a place to meet and collaborate with the most important Gramsci scholars, but also a space in which the Italian historic/philological tradition can hold fertile discussions with the dominant theoretical and analytical approach in the English-speaking world.
The context for the creation of the Ghilarza Summer School is hardly a secondary element of the project. The participation in the school’s scientific council of professors representing the Universities of Cagliari and Sassari, the institutions sponsoring the School, is an indication of the fact that this initiative intends not only to impart the Italian methodological approach to young scholars around the world, but at the same time to root this work in the specific dimension of Sardinia, allowing its students to have profitable contact with Sardinian culture and to get to know the places where Gramsci grew up, was educated and had his first political experiences.
In this way, the anthropological and other foundations of Gramsci’s maturation can offer an important support for the renewal of the literature on subjects related to Gramsci, and Sardinia, in turn, can again appropriately accommodate through the Ghilarza Summer School its illustrious countryman who has ‘gone global’. For this reason, the School also provides, in laboratories reserved for its students, public cultural initiatives to be held in Ghilarza and other places that are significant to Gramsci studies.