Special essay cluster on 'Space and Place in Italo/Glaswegian Life Narratives' for a/b: Auto/Biography Studies - deadline 20 Dec

full name / name of organization: 
Sarah Edwards and Katharine Mitchell, University of Strathclyde, UK

Call for Papers
Special essay cluster on 'Space and Place in Italo/Glaswegian Life Narratives' for a/b: Auto/Biography Studies
Guest editors: Sarah Edwards and Katharine Mitchell, School of Humanities, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK
Glasgow is a world city – the second city of Scotland, the ninth biggest financial centre of Europe, and a major international tourist destination following decades of regeneration, which culminated in its selection as host of the 2014 Commonwealth Games. It is also a multi-cultural city, whose economic and cultural development has been shaped by many immigrant communities, notably the Italo-Scots. Most Italian immigration to the UK took place at the end of the nineteenth century, and the city of Glasgow became the home of the third largest community in the country. While much has been written about Italian migration to America and other Anglophone countries, and there is an increasing body of scholarship on Italo-Scots culture and identity, there is very little work on the developing nature of Glaswegian-Italian identities or their wider impact both on other ethnic and urban cultures, and on forms of life writing.
This special essay cluster seeks submissions which focus specifically on issues of space and place in auto/biographical depictions of the city. There is an increasing amount of work on, for example, urban memory and nostalgia, memorials, the relationships between literary texts and the built environment, urban regeneration and city branding in the fields of life writing, literary and film studies, diaspora and migration studies, cultural and architectural history, cultural geography and urban studies. This includes a growing body of scholarship on Scottish identities and landscapes in an increasingly devolved and independent state. We invite essays, then, which draw on aspects of this work to consider how Italo-Glaswegian auto/biographical texts both shape, and are shaped by, the literary, cultural, economic and architectural places and spaces of Glasgow.
We are interested in a range of narratives, including autobiographies, memoirs, diaries, television productions, films and internet resources such as blogs, twitterfeeds and oral histories, which explore the concepts of space and place in diverse ways. These might include:
- the development of Glaswegian identities over successive generations (eg, themes of alienation; a sense of 'not belonging' to either country; shifting allegiances during the world wars; changing relationships to concepts of wider Scottish, British and European identities – for example, to the Italian town of Barga, which hosts an annual Scottish fish and chip festival; and relationships to Italian-American identities (as depicted, for example, in Sergio Casci's 2003 film American Cousins)
- the shaping of religious identities in a Scottish city divided (both literally, culturally and discursively) by Catholic and Presbyterian sectarianism
- the role of Italian culture in the urban regeneration of Glasgow during the 1980s and 1990s (for example, accounts of the inception, development and subsequent uses of the Italian Centre in Merchant City)
- Glaswegian-Italian café culture (in the autobiographies of Joe Pesci; in relation to questions of class and popular stereotypes of Glaswegian-Italian identity as family business owners; as a separatist community; as creators of a new culinary culture)
- women's roles in café culture (their familial and business roles; the 'feminised' space of the café as a courting zone and as a space for wider community cohesion)
a/b: Auto/Biography Studies (http://abstudies.web.unc.edu/) welcomes submissions of scholarly essays related to all aspects of autobiography and biography studies. We are especially interested in scholarship that crosses disciplinary and genre boundaries, explores new sites and methods of identity construction, and in receiving submissions from the international community of scholars of life narrative. All submitted essays should have a relevant theoretical framework and participate in contemporary conversations within the field of auto/biography studies.
Potential contributors may find it helpful to refer to back issues of a/b: Auto/Biography Studies prior to submitting their work for consideration. Individual articles and full issues are now available on Project MUSE.
Submission guidelines
Essays should be emailed to sarah.m.edwards@strath.ac.uk and katharine.mitchell@strath.ac.uk by 20 December 2013. We welcome any enquiries from potential authors.
Essays should be between 7,500 and 10,000 words in length, including notes and the Works Cited pages.
All essays must follow the format of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (7th ed.). The a/b Style Sheet can be found at this address: http://abstudies.web.unc.edu/submissions/
Authors must also include a fifty-word abstract and two to four keywords with their submissions.
In order to ensure a blind peer review, remove any identifying information, including citations that refer to you as the author in the first person. Cite previous publications, etc. with your last name to preserve the blind reading process.
Include your name, address, email, the title of your essay, and your affiliation in a cover letter or cover sheet for your essay. Cover letters may be addressed to the editors, Sarah Edwards and Katharine Mitchell.
Please note that while a/b does make every effort to undertake the peer review process in a timely manner, the process can take between six and eight months.
It is the author's responsibility to secure any necessary copyright permissions and essays may not progress into the publication stage without written proof of right to reprint.