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UCL Mellon Programme: Interdisciplinary Seminar 2008-2009

Translations/Transpositions - Migration and non-mother-tongue writin

Seminar: 4 March 2009 (Chair: Dr Federica Mazzara)

Dr Jennifer Burns, Department of Italian, University of Warwick

Spaces of Migration: Interactions with Urban Space in Italian Immigration Literature


This paper will examine the very close, and in some cases almost obsessive, engagements with physical space in fictional texts written by migrants to Italy from a range of countries and cultures in Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe. Using a number of examples, the analysis will survey the modes of habitation and use of urban environments which these texts suggest and will discuss the politics of everyday life in the Italian city for migrants, drawing on de Certeau’s work in this area. The paper will then move on to interrogate more closely the private and individual interactions with urban space figured in a number of texts as shaping the subjecthood of the individual migrant writer. In conclusion, I will discuss whether it is possible to trace in italophone migrant writing an aesthetics of everyday life in the city.

The texts from which examples will be drawn include Ron Kubati, M (2002), Mohsen Melliti, Pantanella (1993), Abdel Malek Smari, Fiamme in paradiso (2000), Younis Tawfik, La straniera (1999).


This page last modified 26 September, 2012 by UCL Mellon Admin

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imag: book cover, Federica  Mazzara

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