CFP: Reshaping the Italian American identity--DEADLINE Sept.1st 2010

full name / name of organization: 
Italian American studies panel / NeMLA 2011
contact email: 

This interdisciplinary panel seeks for papers focusing on the question of identity in the Italian American experience from different perspective. Research in the fields of history, ethnography, literature, sociology and anthropology over the past decades have demonstrated how the building process of an identity remains an open quandary in particular regarding the Italian American experience. The mediatic imagery of the last years (mis)portraying the Italian American adults as "Sopranos" or the youth culture as a world of "Guidos" and "Guidettes" (e.g. Jersey Shore) witness the complexity of a shaped Italian American identity undergoing a process of adaptation. Globalization, social networks and media have also contributed to the development of an awareness that up to the 70's was limited only to the fortunate ones who could go back to Italy in search of their roots. Traveling to Italy as "conditio sine qua non" for the development of a solid Italian American identity seems to have been gradually replaced by surfing the net in search for an alternative "italianita'".

Possible topics may include, but not limited to:
•Identity formation and the Italian American experience
•Global vs. local identities
•Italian and/or Italian American perceptions of "italianita'"
•Identity and fashion, food, life style
•Evolution/involution of identity
•Use/abuse of stereotypes in media representations
•Be American, act Italian
•Intergenerational conflict
•Transnational lives

The presentation should be limited to 15 minutes (7-8 pages). Please send a 500 word abstract and a brief biography by Sept 1st 2010 to Arianna Fognani: