Italian Mobilities: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Italian Mobilities

1st Edition

Edited by Ruth Ben-Ghiat, Stephanie Malia Hom


206 pages | 10 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9780367869861
pub: 2019-12-12
Hardback: 9781138778146
pub: 2015-07-28
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pub: 2015-07-24
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The Italian nation-state has been defined by practices of mobility. Tourists have flowed in from the era of the Grand Tour to the present, and Italians flowed out in massive numbers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries: Italians made up the largest voluntary emigration in recorded world history. As a bridge from Africa to Europe, Italy has more recently been a destination of choice for immigrants whose tragic stories of shipwreck and confinement are often in the news. This first-of-its-kind edited volume offers a critical accounting of those histories and practices, shedding new light on modern Italy as a flashpoint for mobilities as they relate to nationalism, imperialism, globalization, and consumer, leisure, and labor practices. The book’s eight essays reveal how a country often appreciated for what seems immutable - its classical and Renaissance patrimony - has in fact been shaped by movement and transit.


The methodological value of this volume consists precisely in finding connections between past and present while using the larger umbrella of mobilities studies as a comparative lens through which to study a variety of historical phenomena. The volume explores at great length the formation of Italianness through mobility.—Cristina Lombardi-Diop, Loyola University Chicago, Italian American Review, Volume 8, Number 1,

This is a great read for anyone who studies Italian emigration, colonialism or immigration, as it allows the reader to see quite clearly how these three topics are deeply interconnected. It lays bare the synchronic and diachronic global webs that run through Italy, connecting and disconnecting multiple flows of people.

Avy Valladares, Berkeley City College, Altreitalie

Table of Contents

Foreword, Mimi Sheller Introduction, Ruth Ben-Ghiat & Stephanie Malia Hom 1. Beyond the Italies: Italy as a Mobile Subject?, Pamela Ballinger 2. Italian Mobilities and Circulating Diasporas in Neoliberal Times, Nicholas Harney 3. Contact, Contagion, Immunization. Gianni Amelio’s Lamerica (1994), Rhiannon Noel Welch 4. Becoming Ospite: Hospitality and Mobility at the Center of Temporary Permanence, Stephanie Malia Hom 5. Italian Mobilities and the Demos, Guido Tintori 6. Migrating to the Colonies and Building the Myth of ‘Italiani brava gente’: The Rise, Demise, and Legacy of Italian Settler Colonialism, Francesca Locatelli 7. Imagining Lampedusa, Áine O’Healy 8. Coasts, Blockades, and the Free Movement of People, David Forgacs

About the Editors

Ruth Ben-Ghiat is Professor of History and Italian Studies at New York University.

Stephanie Malia Hom is President’s Associates Presidential Professor of Italian at the University of Oklahoma.

About the Series

Changing Mobilities

This series explores the transformations of society, politics and everyday experiences wrought by changing mobilities, and the power of mobilities research to inform constructive responses to these transformations. As a new mobile century is taking shape, international scholars explore motivations, experiences, insecurities, implications and limitations of mobile living, and opportunities and challenges for design in the broadest sense, from policy to urban planning, new media and technology design. With world citizens expected to travel 105 billion kilometres per year in 2050, it is critical to make mobilities research and design inform each other.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General