School of Social and Political Science

Edinburgh Sociology Seminar: Chris Thorpe

Seminar Series

Date & Time

February 9, 16:00-17:30


Seminars will take place online via Zoom. Links will be emailed to the Sociology mailing list.

Alternatively, email for the link





Title: What have the Italians ever done for us? Towards a cultural sociology of cultural representation


A wo(man) to leave Italy and not write a book about it! Was ever such a thing heard of!’. So wrote Walter Savage Landor, author, poet and friend of Lord Byron. As a man who has lived in and travelled extensively around Italy, I have (nearly!) completed a sociological book on the subject of Italy, or, more specifically, its representation within ‘British culture’ from the Renaissance through to the ‘present day’. This presentation draws on arguments and data taken from my forthcoming book, which it puts to work to reflect critically on the limits of (cultural) historical and social scientific accounts of cultural representation to date. Using examples relating to representations of ‘Italy’ and ‘the Italians’ within English, and later British culture, the argument is made that a more analytically differentiated and normatively nuanced account of cultural representation can be arrived at by combining theoretical ideas and methods from the sociology of culture and cultural sociology respectively.

Key speakers

  • Chris Thorpe, University of Exeter