Publication Date

April 2018


Camilla Zamboni


Italian Studies


English (United States)


This essay analyzes the expression of hybrid identities in contemporary Italian literature of migration. Through close readings of two short stories by Laila Wadia, "Curry di pollo" and "Karnevale," this essay individuates spatial and languaging techniques employed to enunciate difference and processes of emergence in a national setting predicated on ethnolinguistic homogeneity. Manipulations of space render the nation on a microcosmic scale, within which intimate cross-cultural interactions stand as representations for the increasing heterogeneity of the country on a larger scale. The employment of languaging techniques demonstrates that new vernaculars inevitably alter, but in no way undermine, the idea of what it means to be Italian. The two strategies are situated in a theoretical framework comprised of elements postnational and postcolonial theory. Ultimately, this essay argues that a reconceptualization of nationality in an age characterized by globalization and movement requires, in part, literary representations of the nation as mutable, as a space in which it is possible for italianit? to take on myriad, ever-changing forms.



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