Transcultural Italies

BookTranscultural Italies

Transcultural Italies

Mobility, Memory and Translation

Transnational Italian Cultures, 4


December 1st, 2020



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The history of Italians and of modern Italian culture stems from multiple experiences of mobility and migration: between the late 19th century and the early 20th century, 27 million Italians migrated and 60 to 80 million people worldwide see their identity as connected with the Italian diaspora. Since the time of Italian unification, a series of narratives about mobility have been produced both inside and outside the boundaries of Italy, by agents such as the Italian state, international organizations or migrant communities themselves.

The essays in Transcultural Italies follow the multiple trajectories of this complex history and of its representations. They do so by focusing on the key concepts and practices of mobility, memory and translation. Taken together, they represent a contrapuntal series of case studies that offers a fresh perspective on the study of modern and contemporary Italy. The essays in the volume explore the meanings that ‘transnational’ and ‘transcultural’ assume when applied to the notion of Italian culture.

Contributors: Charles Burdett, Jennifer Burns, Derek Duncan, Chiara Giuliani, Viviana Gravano, Giulia Grechi, Margaret Hills de Zárate, Eliana Maestri, Valerie McGuire, Loredana Polezzi, Barbara Spadaro, Ilaria Vanni, Naomi Wells, Rita Wilson

Transcultural Italies brings together a series of essays that interrogate the inherently dynamic nature of Italian identity and culture to advance the transnational turn that is presently reshaping the field of Italian Studies."
Stephanie Malia Hom, University of California, Santa Barbara

Transcultural Italies adds new dimensions to the study of human mobilities and suggests a path-breaking approach to the cultural study of Italian migrations, from the movement of people and objects through space and memory to Italian influences on global culture.”
Maddalena Tirabassi, Centro Altreitalie sulle Migrazioni Italiane, Turin

Author Information

Charles Burdett is Professor of Italian Studies at the University of Durham Loredana Polezzi is Alfonse M. D’Amato Chair in Italian American and Italian Studies at Stony Brook University. Barbara Spadaro is Lecturer in Italian History and Culture at the University of Liverpool.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
List of Figures7
List of Contributors11
Introduction: Transcultural Italies17
Part 1 Traces37
1 The Transnational Biography of ‘British’ Place: Local and Global Stories in the Built Environment39
2 Porteña Identity and Italianità: Language, Materiality and Transcultural Memory in Valparaíso’s Italian Community63
3 Italian Identity, Global Mediterranean: Tourism and Cultural Heritage in Post-Colonial Rhodes91
4 Italy and Africa: Post-War Memories of Life in Eritrea and Ethiopia117
Part 2 Art, Objects and Artefacts141
5 ‘The Path that Leads Me Home’: Eduardo Paolozzi and the Arts of Transnationalizing143
6 Moving Objects: Memory and Material Culture171
7 Visualizing Spatialization at a Crossroads between Translation and Mobility:195
8 An Exhibition about Italian Identities: Beyond Borders223
Part 3 Mobilities of Memory241
9 Pitigliano, Maryland? Travelling Memories and Moments of Truth243
10 Misplaced Plants: Migrant Gardens and Transculturation269
11 The Chinese Community in Italy, the Italian Community in China: Economic Exchanges and Cultural Difference291
12 Writing the Neighbourhood: Literary Representations of Language, Space and Mobility313
13 From Substitution to Co-presence: Translation, Memory, Trace and the Visual Practices of Diasporic Italian Artists333