Who we are
The International Primo Levi Studies Center was founded in Turin in April 2008, a little more than twenty years after Primo Levi passed away. Thus his city Turin finally found a way to recognize him as one of its best offspring by establishing a place for study and cultural promotion around his figure.
Headquartered in Turin, the city where Primo Levi lived from 1919 to 1987, the International Primo Levi Studies Center promotes the knowledge of this witness of Auschwitz. One of the most well-known writers of contemporary Italy, he was a chemist and intellectual who was attuned to the questions of the newer generations. With this task, the Center addresses itself to specialists in the humanistic and scientific disciplines as well to the broad public of people who appreciate his work, his thought and his personality.
The Turin municipal government, the Metropolitan City of Turin (formerly, the province), Piedmont Region, the Jewish Community, the University of Turin, the Association of Friends of the International Primo Levi Studies Center have all joined forces, being able to count on the participation of the children of Primo Levi, to help give breadth and continuity to Primo Levi’s influence on the cultural discussions of our times.
The Center intends to promote knowledge about Primo Levi on the basis of solid scholarly support. Priority is given to the collection of the vast documentation on the figure of the writer that can now be traced. This includes the editions of his works, and their numerous translations. There is a very extensive bibliography of writings that discuss his works and issues that are raised by them. There are university degree theses and dissertations that have been written around the world in these years. There are feature films and documentary films as well as everything that is connected with audiovisual production. Naturally, there are writings in Levi’s own hand and pieces of firsthand documentation. All of these can help further in-depth studies on his works and figure.
The bibliography of the documentary resources by and about Primo Levi offered on this site consists of about 7000 records and includes descriptions of the following: works of Primo Levi in Italian; works of Primo Levi translated into other languages; works of Primo Levi published in monographs and journals (short stories, critical essays, poems, prefaces, comment, reviews, and articles in the general press); interviews and statements of Primo Levi; literary criticism on the works and life of Primo Levi.
However, at the same time, the Center aims to perform two essential tasks.
The first task is that of promoting events and making people aware of initiatives that are undertaken in a wide variety of countries to recall and discuss the works of Primo Levi. Doing this, the Center focuses its attention on all the aspects that scholars and members of the broader public have been developing interest in, aspects ranging from the history of the Shoah to great issues in contemporary society, and from the more specifically literary questions and issues involving translation to questions connected with the reception of Levi in the scientific and scholarly worlds.
Calendar of initiatives and events in Italy and the world about the figure and works of Primo Levi.
The second important task of the Center is that of relating to young people. For many years, Primo Levi accepted numerous invitations by schools to discuss his firsthand experiences for students and answer their questions, which were becoming harder and harder and more and more demanding as time went by. This dialogue ought to have the chance to continue, beginning with the topics that Levi valued and progressing in ways more in tune with present-day circumstances. To this end, the Center makes available for schools materials, educational tools and kits, multimedia resources, and spaces for discussion.
The Center makes available for teachers and students a collection of multimedia and multidisciplinary material useful for study and teaching.