Dr. Teresa Fiore (Professor of Italian and Inserra Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies) recently published a chapter in the book, Transnational Italian Studies, edited by Charles Burdett and Loredana Polezzi (Liverpool, UK: Liverpool UP, 2020 see Table of Contents). The essay, titled “Italy and Italian Studies in the Transnational Space of Migration and Colonial Routes” looks at the shift from a national to a transnational model in the field of Italian Studies, as part of a recognition of Italy’s intrinsic history and culture of mobility, with its ability to revolutionize our understanding of the country. While offering an overview of these transnational forms of mobility in terms of dates, locations, and statistics, the essay addresses the pivotal role of cultural texts (literature, music, film, etc.) in connecting stories of outbound and inbound migration as well as colonialism.
A specific section analyzes the 2011 play Italianesi by Saverio La Ruina, which weaves tales of Italian departures and returns prompted by colonial expansion, international politics, and the lure of Italy, and in the process it productively “confuses” the notion of Italian-ness vis-à-vis an Albanian identity. Overall, the essay illustrates specific pedagogical routes and teaching materials, as well as opportunities and challenges within the classroom, including the yet-unexplored possibility of a pluri-language syllabus for a pluri-cultural student body interested in migrations from/to Italy as a telling example of transnational mobilities at large across time and space.
The essay appears in a volume included in a book series called Transnational Modern Languages and in a larger project titled Transnationalizing Modern Languages supported by an Arts and Humanities Research Council grant in the UK (2014-2017). The series and the whole project offer an innovative approach to language teaching and learning as part of a transdisciplinary vision.