full name / name of organization:
Europeans Writing the Mezzogiorno
University of Saint-Etienne (FRANCE)
Centre d'Etudes sur les Littératures Etrangères et Comparées
An archetype of travel narratives, the Italian Tour has been a permanent
feature of European literature since the Renaissance up until today.
Anglo-Saxons have played a significant role in this tradition, whether it
is the Grand Tour or its touristic counterpart, the Thomas Cook tour. But
German and French writers have travelled widely throughout Italy too and
have got involved in a genre which has become the paradigm of the training
tour in Western culture. Yet, many a traveller only went as far as Rome,
thus stopping at what was long regarded as the border of civilisation. ³How
can one possibly be from the South?² wondered Faulkner. The same question
can be asked concerning Italy.
We wish to examine the role played by the southermost part of Italy ‹
from Naples to Sicily, including Sardinia ‹ in the traveller's experience.
The Mezzogiorno has long been seen, even by Italians themselves, as a
border-region where cultural otherness was much more sensitive than in the
rest of the peninsula. This European region, henceforth subjected to mass
tourism, has actually kept a high degree of cultural difference, and this
encounter with otherness may have played a role in the construction of the
traveller's identity as well as in his/her artistic approach as a writer.
The Mezzogiorno is first a territory widely-travelled by European
writers and, as such, the object of travel relationships. But it has also
become a literary theme in fiction, poetry or drama, often understood and
exposed through a classical intertext or historical perspectives. It aims at
reviving the Magna Graecia or rediscovering cultures long disappeared born
out of the successive waves of invaders who colonised and cross-fertilised
this land. The Mezzogiorno is also represented in films; the studies will
thus be about as diverse genres as possible and concern a period spanning
the Renaissance to the present day, but without excluding older periods (The
Middle Ages and Antiquity). The corpus of the works studied will be
European, possibly American (Southern and Northern). The Italian
perspective, notably the Northern vision of the South, will be considered.
In order to complete a publication in French and Italian about « Europeans
writing the Mezzogiorno », we are looking for papers in English.
May 1st, 2005 : submission of a 500-word project
If the project is accepted :
October 1st, 2005 : submission of the full paper
Please send to : Yves Clavaron : Yves.Clavaron_at_univ-st-etienne.fr
From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List
Full Information at
or write Jennifer Higginbotham: higginbj_at_english.upenn.edu
Received on Sun Feb 20 2005 - 14:14:06 EST