The Turin delegation of the Italian Classical Culture Association (AICC), located c/o President Renato Uglione at C.so Italia 12 - 13041 Bianzè (VC) Italy, has been active since May 1979. Chaired by Professor Renato Uglione (who is also National Vice-President of the Association), the organization has held significant cul-tural events at both regional and national level. Particularly important have been the national con-ferences held at the Teatro Carignano, the Centro Congressi Unione Industriale, the Convention Centre "Torino Incontra", and the Teatro Nuovo. These have been attended by a highly qualified and diverse audience (of teachers, students, scholars and men of culture), coming from every part of Italy, with an average of between four hundred and one thousand participants.
The proofs of this lively and dynamic activity are the numerous volumes published following the aforementioned conferences, which are regularly reviewed by major national and international scientific journals in the field.
The Turin delegation of AICC believes that it is time to consolidate its presence in the cul-tural scene of the Region of Piedmont, both in the province and the City of Turin, by expanding its activities to a field broader than the initial Latin and Greek classics and incorporating a wider range of humanistic fields. The delegation therefore intends to establish a European Centre for Humanistic Studies (CESU) "Erasmus of Rotterdam". This would offer a point of reference to the numerous people who regularly follow AICC's endeavours.
The starting point for this venture is the vast audience already consistently and habitually engaged in numerous initiatives both at regional and national level, promoted by the Turin delega-tion of AICC. These have included conferences, study days, courses in classical culture, study tours and competitions for students. The association boasts a database of three thousand addresses within the city of Turin and at regional and national level, including students, teachers, academics and scholars of the humanities.
The Delegation intends to gather this vast potential, consolidated over 25 years of activity, into a European Centre for Humanistic Studies, thereby giving it a much broader focus and presence by expanding to other humanistic disciplines which act as pillars of the European cultural identity (literary, philosophical, political, legal, scientific and religious identity).
The main objective of the Research Centre is to encourage and promote the study and knowledge of humanistic culture in its various forms and components (from its Greek-Roman-Christian origins, to its survival during the Middle Ages and its "rediscovery" in the Renaissance). This would be conducted though a number of different avenues: the organization of national and international conferences; study days, seminars, debates, language and culture courses; specialization courses, Masters and the publication of texts; studies, research and an official magazine; study tours.
The delegation is also driven by the firm conviction that cultural foundations of this type are destined to play an increasingly vital intellectual role. The delegation is aware of the serious crisis that is facing the humanities, not only in Italy but throughout the academic world. In schools, the space for a rigorous, scientific teaching of the humanities is likely to shrink considerably. Naturally, those who are involved in education have the duty of ensuring that it continues to fulfil what has traditionally been its role: the school and the University are, and shall remain, the primary locus of study and research. But in the abovementioned current context, all forms of culture, not just the humanities, will have to rely more than ever before on means that are outside traditional institutions. The battle for the survival of cultural and literary pursuits and studies will be conducted not only by "insiders" (intellectuals and teachers), but also by individuals who worry about their education, and refuse to identify with the "unified thought" that destroys critical awareness.
The work of foundations and cultural centres should therefore increase, in order to safeguard and promote a culture still worthy of the name and reluctant about any form of homogenization.
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