This volume targets key issues in the controversies that revolve around migration in contemporary Italy, adopting an interdisciplinary approach to works of fiction and non-fiction. It aims to move the discourse forward from migration to transmigration; from nationalism to transnationalism.
All too frequently we read stories about boats full of hopeful refugees capsizing off the coast of Italy, or of hundreds of migrants being returned to their own countries after unsuccessful attempts to enter Europe. Who are these people, and what has led them to take such desperate actions? What are their goals and how do they fare if they do enter Europe? What is the high price of reaching for socio-economic salvation in a country whose laws discriminate against migrants and where the autochthonous population too frequently holds them in contempt? Another important issue to consider is that some of these migrants are not running from disastrous circumstances, but are merely looking for a better life. Ironically, some of them encounter adversity for the first time in Italy. From the perspective of the host country, a crucial question also arises: how does the unrelenting influx of migrants impact the already tense socio-economic climate of a country with such limited resources?
Migration studies should interest not only academics, whose life work it may be, but the general public as well who, knowingly or not, live in a world strongly affected by the forces created by unprecedented migratory flows resulting from globalization. Shifting and Shaping a National Identity: Transnational Writers and Pluriculturalism in Italy Today, edited by Grace Russo Bullaro and Elena Benelli, tackles these issues and more, in a collection of essays written by prominent critics from educational institutions on three continents. What we learn from this volume illuminates not only the volatile situation in Italy, but serves as a global model for any country in transition.
A book for specialists, graduates, undergraduates and the informed public alike who wish to explore the changing panorama of Italian culture and some unsettling questions therein raised.