Italian scholar Rocco Lacorte talkd about Gramsci’s ideas at the College of Foreign Languages


On May 8th and 10th, Dr. Rocco Lacorte, an Italian “Geransi Research” scholar and philosophical teacher at the University of Brasilia held a series of lectures on Gramsci Philosophy. Associate Professor Yang Lin, an Italian major changer was the host. The Italian teacher Shi Dou served as an on-site translator. All the teachers and students of the Italian, some graduate students and scholars of the translation department, and Sun Shoutao, a teacher from Marxist School, were present.

In the first half of the first lecture, Dr. Lacorte explained the process of Gramsci’s thought development in light of Gramsci’s growing experience and the social background at that time. From Sardinia to Turin, Gramsci completed his first cognitive expansion, recognizing the gap between southern and northern Italy, the poor and the rich. After the October Revolution in Russia in 1917, the European society was impacted hugely: the western bourgeoisie felt a great threat, while the left-wing socialist forces had achieved development. In this environment, Gramsci, studying in Turin, took an active part in the workers’ movement, led the strike marches, set up factory committees, and served as leaders. In 1921, Gramsci broke away from the Italian Socialist Party and became one of the founders of the Italian Communist Party.

In the second half of the lecture, Dr. Lacorte described Gramsci's Philosophy of Practice and pointed out that its core is the combination of theory and practice. Gramsci developed the theory of translatability on the basis of Lenin's ideas. In Gramsci's case, the linguistic concept of translatability is extended to the mutual translation of human activities (theory and practice). Gramsci, taking Lenin’s example of the Russian socialist revolution as an example, pointed out that Lenin did not mechanically copy Marxist theory, but instead integrated Marxist theory into the reality of “new economic policy” after integrating the actual situation in Russia. Gramsci's translatability viewpoint is the theoreticalization of the Russian revolutionary practice and enriches Marxist theory.

On May 10th, Dr. Rocco Lackerte brought the second lecture, focusing on Gramsci's literary criticism theory and practice, and further explained and summarized the translatability theory mentioned in last lecture.

Dr. Lacorte introduced the importance of intellectuals in the spread of culture in Gramsci's thinking. He believes that intellectuals are the bridge between culture, economy, reality, and ideology. The most important thing in the process of disseminating culture and ideas to the people is recognition. The critique of customs and emotions is not merely a criticism of aesthetics or pure art, otherwise it will be far from the people. Later, Dr. Lacorte compared the artistic ideas of De Sutter and Croce. De Sutter thinks that art is a form and life is a content. Croce thinks that it is necessary to distinguish between art and non-art.

Dr. Lacorte also talked about Gramsci's cultural hegemony theory, highlighting the importance of culture, rooted in practical philosophy. The theory stems from De Sutters. He also talked about how to use Gramsci's cultural hegemony and other theories to understand contemporary Italian society, think about its ideology and understand how public opinion is formed and changed. At the end of the lecture, the students actively asked questions. Dr. Lacorte in depth answered patiently.

The contents of the entire lecture were rich and profound. Dr. Lacorte's explanation was made in a simple way, which triggered the students' interest and thinking. The academic atmosphere was strong and achieved good results. After the lecture, Italian teachers and students discussed the literary criticism and translatability of Gramsci's Notes in Prison and interested students were encouraged to further understand and learn in the future.