Journal of American Studies of Turkey (JAST): Special Issue on Italian American Material Culture

deadline for submissions: 
December 31, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Journal of American Studies of Turkey

Journal of American Studies of Turkey (JAST): Special Issue on Italian American Material Culture
Guest edited by Elisabetta Marino, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”
Deadline for submissions: December 31, 2022

This themed issue of JAST aims at exploring the role of material culture in Italian American literature, film, and popular culture.
Objects and commodities contribute to shaping our identity; they act as objective correlatives of what we were, what we are, and what we intend to be. As Christopher Tilley has elucidated in Handbook of Material Culture (Sage, 2006), “through things we can understand ourselves and others” (61). Indeed, the object world is the medium that enables individuals and societies to express themselves. In turn, objects are endowed with what Arjun Appadurai has called a “social life” (The Social Life of Things, Cambridge UP, 1986). Their silent presence (or absence) provides insight into the structure and system of values of various social groups.

Through their objects, Italian immigrants in America have often manifested their connection with their individual and collective past. Because social stigma may be attached to them, objects have also been kept secret from the eyes of those who do not happen to share the same background. Objects may be coveted, as if they had an almost magical power, to promote social integration and emancipation. For the Italian American community, culturally specific objects and practices have likewise been connected with stereotypes and marginalization.

The guest editor of this special issue of the Journal of American Studies of Turkey seeks original, previously unpublished manuscripts that examine Italian American material culture from all possible perspectives.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

• Objects and decorations connected with celebrations;
• Devotional pictures, statues, scapulars, holy cards;
• Superstition and the apotropaic use of objects;
• Mortuary practices and cemeteries;
• Italian American memorial museums;
• The fetishization of one’s past;
• Italian objects and stereotypes;
• From stilettos to machine-guns: Italian Americans and their (stereotypical) weapons;
• Italian immigrants and American objects;
• Italian Americans and consumerism;
• Food preparation and food consumption;
• Italian food vs. American food;
• Fashionable objects and status symbols;
• Pictures, portraits, photographs;
• Memorabilia;
• Hybridity and objects;
• Objects in Italian American literature;
• Women as objects in patriarchal contexts.

Full-text manuscripts of between 6,000 and 8,000 words in MLA style (with parenthetical internal citations, a Works Cited page, minimal footnotes, and in Times New Roman 12-point font), should be emailed as Microsoft Word attachments to Elisabetta Marino ( by December 31, 2022. Please include an abstract (150 words), keywords, and a one-paragraph bio (150 words, written in the third-person) with all manuscripts. Topic inquiries are welcome prior to full-text submission.

For more information on JAST, please see our website: