CALL FOR PAPERS Journal: California Italian Studies Themed Issue: “Borderless Italy (Italia senza frontiere)”


Journal: California Italian Studies
Themed Issue: “Borderless Italy (Italia senza frontiere)”
California Italian Studies is now accepting submissions for Volume 9 (2019).
Submissions may be for either the thematic or the open-themed parts of the volume* in either English or Italian. 
Deadline for submissions: January 15, 2019, although earlier submissions will be given priority.
Submissions should be made directly through the California Italian Studies submission form.
Unless encouraged otherwise, submissions should not exceed 30 pages of double-spaced text, or 10,000 words.
Submissions should fulfill at least one of the journal’s criteria for selection:
a)     an interdisciplinary scholarly study that combines the practices of multiple disciplines, making significant use of the tools of one discipline in the service of another, or that studies a cluster of scholarly works representing the approaches of various disciplines to a single topic.
b)    a comparative work that relates the history, culture, society, artistic products or languages of the Italian peninsula, islands and diasporas to other geographical, cultural and linguistic formations.
c)     a critical work that, in studying a given object, engages in theoretical or methodological reflection on its own approach and its implications within larger disciplinary and interdisciplinary contexts.
Please direct all inquiries to any of the editors of California Italian Studies (Vol. 9):
Claudio Fogu, UCSB French and Italian,
Stephanie Malia Hom, Independent Scholar,
Laura E. Ruberto, Berkeley City College Humanities Program,
Thematic Issue: Italia senza frontiere (Borderless Italy)
The 9th volume of California Italian Studies seeks to historicize and particularize Italia senza frontiere, borderless Italy, to illuminate how it challenges our understandings of “Italy,” “Italian-ness,” and “Italians.” The very word frontiera in Italian implies the double edge of thelimes, both borderline-edge (la frontiera) and edgy imaginary space (una nuova frontiera si apre). Interrogating these messy, unstable edges calls into question commonplace notions about Italy’s territorial, linguistic, cultural, political, religious, racial, and social unity.
Italians have long understood borders to be dynamic forms that soften and harden unevenly. History has proven this point again and again: whether in territorial exchanges after the fallout of wars, in the loss of millions of citizens to emigration, in the development of a multiracial colonial empire, in the fashioning of a destination for mass tourism, or in presenting the principal port of entry into Europe for thousands of migrants crossing into Italian geo-political spaces by air, sea, or land. Migratory movements and the physical or imaginary expansions of borders have arguably been more central to the experience of Italian nationhood than its natural frontiers. And these provocations of space, belonging, and identity were even more pronounced in the pre-national period, when the name “Italia” was mostly connected to ideas of civiltà italiana, ancient heritage, and Catholicdom.
We are looking for submissions that address the many ways in which Italy has been made or imagined to be borderless by those who were born there but imagined Italy as an elsewhere, those who were born there but live elsewhere, those for whom it has become a destination—either by necessity or by choice—or those whose relationship to the geopolitical space of Italy is not direct but have—through memory, lived experience, and cultural productions—shaped and reshaped the idea of Italy. Our intention is to emancipate Italy’s borders from their territorial forms. We thus call for papers that attend to borders and borderlessness but also to processes of mobility, transnationality, and transcoloniality of all kinds.
Possible topics and/or questions to consider for contributions are:
·      Mobility, transnationality and transcoloniality
·      Italy and Italians in the Americas/Asia/Africa/Europe
·      Images of/reflections on Italy from the Middle Ages to present
·      Italianità through the centuries in politics, the arts, etc.
·      Emigrants, immigrants, foreigners, outsiders, minorities, exiles
·      Questions of identity (religion, race, gender, ethnicity, generations, age, etc.) with respect to heterogeneity, intersectionality and hybridization
·      Concept of Italy-as-home, from within and beyond its geo-political border
·      Language and italianità
·      Borderlands/waters/walls, core and periphery: defining a place for “Italy”
·      Literatures of nationalism, irredentism, colonialism, imperialism, xenophobia
·      Politics, sociology, ideology of immigration/emigration from unification onward
·      Island cultures and their relationship to peninsular Italy
·      Global transmission of Italian cultural products, from architecture to cuisine
·      Emigrant/immigrant/migrant literature and art
·      Italian authors / artists naturalized / living in other countries but making Italian-ness a central idea in their work
·      The digital divide in Italy, or techno-scientific borders
·      Interiorized borders (i.e., mental health, iatrogenic violence)
·      Questions of scale and scalability, as in exporting Italian heritage
·      Non-Italians making Italian-ness a central idea in their work
·      Images / processes of hybridization of Italian-ness
·      Racial diversity in literature, film and the other arts (produced in Italy or the diaspora)
·      Political / sociological reflections on immigration/emigration/migration
Volume 9 of California Italian Studies welcomes studies of penetrating theoretical import, using methodologies that are comparative, thematic, interdisciplinary or cross-cultural.
*Authors are invited to submit articles on any topic pertaining to Italian Studies for publication in the second, open-themed issue of California Italian Studies, but preference will be given to articles that engage with themes covered in previous volumes.


Stephanie Malia Hom, PhD

The Beautiful Country: Tourism & the Impossible State of Destination Italy
University of Toronto Press, 2015

Italian Mobilities, co-edited with Ruth Ben-Ghiat
Routledge, 2016