500 (at least): 

The number of characters included in Futurist Filippo Tommasi Marinetti’s parole in libertà, or “words in freedom,” composition entitled After the Marne, Joffre Visited the Front by Car, originally published in 1915. Marinetti was one of the founders of Futurism, an early 20th-century movement that advocated for the exaltation of technology and modern speed and force in artistic expression. Futurist painting, exemplified by colleagues such as Gino Severini and Giacomo Balla, pursued a breakdown of form akin to the Cubists but added to it a dynamic sense of motion. The same sensation is established in Marinetti’s free-verse poetry, where the word themselves convey a similar energy: his title referring to a French’s generals visit to the front following the Battle of the Marne during World War II, Marinetti dissembled his prose to take the shape of what has been interpreted as a strategic battle map. 

Similar to Marinetti, IAS celebrates the new, from new members joining our ranks to new lines of scholarly inquiry pursued by our larger community. With the success of our Campaign for 500 so far, we are happy to say we now have the largest pool of new members ever in our organization’s history, and we are excited to see what innovative and fresh ideas they will infuse. We hope that they will take full advantage of all the programming and funding opportunities IAS provides throughout the year. 

We might have surpassed our goal for 500 members, but we’d love to keep growing! For others who are still considering membership, we would, of course, be thrilled to have you join us. This is a great time to join IAS because those who join or renew by December 31, 2015 will be members  until January 1, 2017.  Membership options begin at $20 for graduate students and $30 for regular members. Patron and Benefactor levels allow you to make a great impact on Italophiles everywhere. The IAS also welcomes donations, which are tax-deductible, so please consider contributing to the IAS before year’s end.

Filippo Marinetti, After the Marne, Joffre Visited the Front of an Automobile, 1919. Letterpress. Museum of Modern Art, New York. 

Photograph of Filippo Marinetti, early 20th century. 

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