Forty years from the 23 November 1980, Irpinia-Basilicata earthquake date represents much more than a commemoration. It has been a fracture for the history of Italy. Important for many reasons, this earthquake has been a watershed for the studies and the public role of research. Historians have been solicited to work on the topic by scholars of the geological and seismological sciences: in the face of the repetition of disastrous seismic events in Italy, earthquakes remained ‘outside the history’. However, the real difficulty of socio-historical science is not neglecting seismic events and their consequences, but rather the reluctance to think of ‘earthquake’ as a specific interpretative context. This means to deal with the discipline ‘statute’ as well as the public commitment of scholars. In this way, the circle earthquake-history-memory requires broad interdisciplinarity, which offers insights to work on historical consciousness and cultural memory: important aspects to understand the past as well as to favour a seismic risk awareness.
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