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.
Table of Contents
Foreword Introduction 1. Beyond the Italies: Italy as a Mobile Subject? 2. Italian Mobilities and Circulating Diasporas in Neoliberal Times 3. Contact, Contagion, Immunization. Gianni Amelio’s Lamerica (1994) 4. Becoming Ospite: Hospitality and Mobility at the Center of Temporary Permanence 5. Italian Mobilities and the Demos 6. Migrating to the Colonies and Building the Myth of ‘Italiani brava gente’: The Rise, Demise, and Legacy of Italian Settler Colonialism 7. Imagining Lampedusa 8. Coasts, Blockades, and the Free Movement of People
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.
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