CFP: Domestic Needlework in the Italian Diaspora (no deadline noted; collection)

full name / name of organization: 
Edvige Giunta
contact email: 


The editors of "Biancheria: Domestic Needlework in the Italian Diaspora" are
still accepting submissions on the domestic needlework of women from the
Italian diaspora. We are especially looking for creative works and scholarly
proposals from writers/artists and scholars outside the US.

This interdisciplinary anthology [JS1] will include articles by scholars in
the humanities and the social sciences (anthropology, art history, cultural
studies, folkloristics, history) as well as creative work (memoir, poetry,
fiction, photo-essays).

Embroidery and lace work were basic skills of Italian working women.
Biancheria, the collection of bed coverings, tablecloths, towels, doilies,
intimate apparel, and other hand-embroidered textiles, was a central element
in a bride's corredo (trousseau). Immigrant women brought this artistry
with them, adapting and transforming it in new social contexts. In time,
biancheria took on additional cultural significance and, as earlier
practices faded, those heirlooms and memories became sources for renewed
cultural production such as poetry and painting.

Despite this rich cultural legacy, little scholarly documentation exists on
the domestic needlework of women of the Italian diaspora. This anthology is
a corrective to this lack of written history.

The editors are especially interested in submissions that explore topics
such as:

The place of needle work in the everyday lives of women and their families
and communities.

- The changing nature of the aesthetics and market value of
needlework during immigration.

- The role domestic needlework played in the creation of an Italian
female proletariat.

- Comparisons between domestic needlework and factory needlework.

The role of social elites and mediators in the service of the Arts and Craft

- Needlework's symbolic power in the cultural memory of descendants
of immigrants.

Rewritings of the stories around domestic needlework in creative media,

including film, video, and photography.

Gendered perspectives that include men's responses to and recollection of

domestic needlework.

Domestic needlework as a cultural bridge with the immigrants' culture of

Comparisons between needlework and other forms of domestic work and material

Needlework and the sacred

Cross-cultural perspectives (for example, comparisons with African American
women's quilts or Italian American and Italian Australian needlework).

The preservation of needlework: from the home to the museum.

Five hundred-word proposals for scholarly articles and 200-word bio to
Joseph Sciorra. Full texts of creative writing submissions should be sent
to Edvige Giunta. Both hard copy and email submissions are accepted. Edvige
Giunta, English Department, New Jersey City University, 2039 Kennedy
Boulevard, Jersey City, New Jersey 07305, Joseph Sciorra,
John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, 25 West 43rd Street, 17th
floor, New York, NY 10036,

Please feel free to circulate. Apologies for cross postings.

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Received on Sun Jan 23 2005 - 14:48:05 EST