Monday, December 8, 2008


A new film screenings series I have organized on Italian migration - both out of Italy and into Italy - will start in January 2009 and it will run till March 2009.
The purpose is to show how the depiction of migrants has changed (?) in Italian cinema and how stereotypes and prejudies towards the "other" has been represented by Italian film-makers or foreign film-makers who have produced "Italian" films. I will introduce every film. Each screening will be followed by a discussion.
You can find all details about venue, time and films to be screened by clicking the poster above. All films have English subtitles.
Looking forward to seeing you there!

Come un uomo sulla terra/Like a man on earth

Since 2003 Italy and Europe have asked Libya to stop the African migrants. What are the Libyan police really doing? What do thousands of African men and women suffer? And why does everybody pretend they do not know about it? The documentary "Come un uomo sulla terra" by Riccardo Biadene, Andrea Segre, Dagmawi Yimer tries to provide answers to these questions.
Despite the indifference of Italian government and media towards the problem, "Come un uomo sulla terra" is being screened in many Italian cities.
You can sign a petition on-line to "bring to a halt the violence against thousands of human beings arrested and deported by the Libyan police, to prevent their migration to Europe". For further information about the documentary and for signing the petition click here.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Interview with Cristina Ali-Farah

This is Cristina Ali-Farah, an Italian-Somalian writer. I will interview her on Friday 14 November on the occasion of the Conference "Into Italy Out of Italy. The Language and Culture of Migrants", that will take place at the Italian Cultural Institute in London, from 14 to 15 November.

For all details and for downloading the programme click here.

Friday, August 1, 2008


It is a great pleasure for me to be part of the Organizing Committee of this conference that will take place at the London Italian Institute of Culture from the 14th to the 15th of November 2008, and which has been put together by Dr Adam Ledgeway (University of Cambridge) and Prof. Laura Lepschy (UCL, Honorary Professor).

The aim of the conference, as the two organizers state, is to bring together, for the first time, two different but related strands of research surrounding the language and culture of migration within the Italian context. The first concerns the mass emigration of circa 26 million Italians (Haller 1997) out of Italy during the late 19th century and the first half of the 20th century to such countries as the UK, Germany, USA, Canada, Latin America and Australia. The second involves the more recent phenomenon of immigration into Italy from, for example, former eastern European communist states and North Africa. In both cases, there arise significant questions about the cultural and, in particular, linguistic integration of such immigrant communities in their host country. Key in this respect is the issue of national identity, which, especially in subsequent generations, is increasingly defined by linguistic competence in the migrant language (characterised by growing attrition and hybridism; Gonzo & Saltarelli 1989) and that of the host country (characterised by ever greater competence). This leads to complex and often unstable and shifting concepts of native language or mother tongue, which can vary greatly across the different generations of the migrant community. The proposed conference will therefore examine these issues from two distinct but complementary perspectives, bringing together leading (socio)linguists in the field and a number of scholars working on migrant Italian literatures. The former will provide both general overviews and in-depth case studies of the structural and social development of Italian varieties spoken in representative immigrant Italian communities around the world, whereas the latter will introduce and explore issues and themes that specifically characterise Italian migrant literature and film (e.g. national and linguistic identity, cultural conflict, integration), as well as presenting detailed studies of some of the most influential literary figures in the field. Particularly important in this respect are the parallels that can be drawn from a historical perspective between the use of Italian as a literary language in previous centuries by authors whose mother tongue was one of the many dialects of Italy (the so-called Questione della lingua) and the use of Italian by modern migrant writers, both in and out of Italy, for whom (standard) Italian might not be their mother language.
To reinforce this integrated approach to the study of the language and culture of migration, which, to date, has been characterised by little, if any, collaboration between linguistic and literary scholars, the conference will include not only a number of individual conference papers, but also a series of roundtable discussions involving both groups of scholars and a number of scholar-led interviews with a selection of modern migrant authors, including T. Lamri (Algeria, now in Ravenna), C. Ali-Faah (Somalia, now in Rome) and G. Pressburger (Hungary, now in Trieste), as well an interview with the film director Marco Tullio Giordana. Given the themes of the conference and its integration into the events of the annual ‘Settimana della lingua italiana’, which aims to raise the profile of Italian language and culture among the general public, it is envisaged that the conference will be of interest not only to researchers, postgraduates and teachers of Italian at all levels, but also to the general public and, in particular, the large Italian immigrant community in the UK. Both the conference presentations and the roundtable discussions will be based on the expertise and research of the various contributors, whereas the interviews with migrant authors will offer the possibility to explore and test directly new ideas and hypotheses about recent linguistic and literary developments in a number of migrant communities in and out of Italy. From this synergy we trust that new insights, reflections and stimuli for further original projects will emerge.

Further information about the conference will appear in due course. For any informal inquiries, please contact Dr Adam Ledgeway


  • Camilla Bettoni (University of Verona) Tra lingua, dialetto e inglese: mezzo secolo di emigrazione italiana in Australia
  • Jenny Burns (University of Warwick) Into and out of Italian: the mobility of language(s) in immigration literature in Italian
  • Kathy Burrell (De Montfort University) 'We are Italians but we don't have nothing in common': social ties and cultural identities in a small Italian community
  • Antonio d'Alfonso (Montreal) Born Italian in Montreal
  • Fabrizio De Donno (RHUL) Dismatriati: orfani d'Africa e cultura migrante in Italia
  • Fabiana di Brazzà (University of Udine) Voci dall'Italia del Nord-Est: scrittura narrativa di immigrati
  • Derek Duncan (University of Bristol) Language and migration in Italian cinema
  • Francesco Goglia (University of Exeter) The Igbo-Nigerian community in Italy: languages and cultures in contact
  • Herman Haller (CUNY) Italian immigrant speech in the years of mass migration: Language at play in Eduardo Migliaccio's 'Macchiette'
  • Carla Marcato (University of Udine) Plurilinguismo vecchio e nuovo nell'Italia del Nord-Est
  • Laura Pariani (Milan)Il linguaggio degli italiani del Rio de La Plata e l'influenza di tale lingua composita sulla letteratura
  • Domenico Pietropaolo (University of Toronto) Italiese: Language loyalty and the culture of immigration
  • Loredana Polezzi (University of Warwick) Polylingualism and self-translation in Pietro di Donato's 'Christ in Concrete' and Giose Rimanelli's 'Familia'
  • Arturo Tosi (RHUL) The language of Italians in Britain
  • Stefania Tufi (University of Liverpool) Degrees of visibility of immigrant communities in the linguistic landscape of Genoa and Cagliari
  • Nigel Vincent (University of Manchester) Tra fiorentino e milanese: la Divina Commedia nelle versioni di Carlo Porta.
  • Cristina Ali-Farah interviewed by Federica Mazzara (UCL)
  • Marco Tullio Giordana interviewed by Guido Bonsaver (University of Oxford)
  • Tahar Lamri interviewed by Marta Niccolai (UCL)
  • Enrico Palandri interviewed by Monica Francioso (University of Dublin)
  • Giorgio Pressburger interviewed by Emma Bond (University of Oxford)
Organizing Committee:
Adam Ledgeway (University of Cambridge) & Anna Laura Lepschy (Universities of UCL & Cambridge), with the collaboration of Pierluigi Barrotta (Italian Cultural Institute, London), Guido Bonsaver (University of Oxford), Lorenzo Losi (Ente Nazionale Acli Istruzione Professionale), Carla Marcato (University of Udine), Federica Mazzara (UCL), Domenico Pietropaolo (University of Toronto), Naomi Segal (Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies), Nigel Vincent (University of Manchester).

NOTHING IS MISSING. An Exhibition at UCL by Mieke Bal 20-21 September 2008

Some pictures from the Mieke Bal's exhibition!

Dear All,
It is a very great pleasure to announce an important event I am organizing for the UCL Mellon Programme. It is a video installation on migration by the cultural theorist and artist Mieke Bal called "Nothing is Missing".
The exhibition will take place at the UCL Haldane Room (North Cloister) and it will last two days, from the 20th to the 21st of Semptember 2008.
The 21st of September it will be included in the London Open House Festival. Many thanks to the UCL SLade School of Fine Arts for providing me with the audio-visual equipment.

Saturday 20 September Mieke Bal will inaugurate the exhibition with a lecture that will take place at the UCL Old Refactory at 12pm introduced by the UCL Vice-Provost Michael Worton and chaired by myself.
For further details click on the image.

Festival of Mediterrenean Literature 11-14 September 2008

This is a Literature Festival in Italy (Lucera, FG), promoted by the cultural association “Mediterraneo è Cultura”, where I have been invited as moderator of an Algerian writer, Amara Lakhous. Lakhous lives in Italy and writes in Italian and he is the author of a very interesting book "Scontro di civiltà per un ascensoore a Piazza Vittorio", recently available in English translation. The Festival is focused on Mediterranean cultures and the theme this year is “Conflicts”. It is going to be a very exciting experience. Looking forward to writing about that.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Corazones de Mujer

Despite the Spanish title, "Corazones de Mujer" is a recent film that apparently inaugurates a new season of Italian cinema, by looking at other cultures with interested eyes. The movie is directed by two young Italians, Davide Sordella and Pablo Benedetti who preferred to be called with an arabic collective name, "K. Koosof", that in Arabic language means "eclipse". The film, which has been presented at the last Berlin Cinema festival, tells the story of a Moroccan tailor, who is transvestite, and a promised bride, who is not longer a virgin, an unforgivable sin for the Arabic culture. The two characters, played by the amateur Moroccan actors Aziz Ahmeri and Ghizlane Waldi, live in Turin (Italy) and to sort out the problem, they decide to undertake a trip by car from Turin to Morocco.
The film, a road movie, is the story of the reconciliation of the two characters with their own country of origin, but also an analysis of the concept of individual freedom.
The film will be screened in the Italian cinemas from the 20th of June. I'm really looking forward to seeing it. I like the hybridisation contained in it. The title is Spanish, the Italian directors use an Arabic name, the charcters are Moroccan, live in Italy and speak half Italian and half Arabic, even their gender identity is ambiguous and misleading...
This film promises to be an attempt to "move the borders" of traditional cinematic schemes. To watch it will be my first priority next time I go to Italy.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Italy condemned for 'racism wave'

This is the title of an article published today on the BBC Online Newspaper.
The situation in Italy is really tense, since the victory of the right wing government last month. The immigration measures adopted in Italy these days have been criticized by all the European countries; they simply go againsts basic human rights! Especially the Roma communities in Italy are blamed by the locals for all sorts of crimes, and people have totally lost their mind, pursuing xenophobic reactions against immigrants.
Personally, I'm really worried about this situation. Italy, being also my country, has too easily forgotten the time when Italians were living and experiencing exactly the same discriminations that immigrants are experiencing today in Italy.
Migration, in fact, has always been a central issue of Italian history. Italy has witnessed different kinds of diaspora due to different economical crisis. There have been overseas emigrations of Italians to North America and Australia since at least the second half of the 19th century, in a special way after the unification; internal migrations in particular of Southern Italians to the more promising North and migration to European countries, especially after the Second World War, indeed a very active phenomenon still today.
Despite this experience, Italy has today great difficulties in dealing with the reverse phenomenon of immigration. The way Italians and the Italian government are dealing with immigration today is, in fact, a symptom of a intolerant attitude towards people coming from beyond Italian borders, who are especially identified with illegal and criminal individuals. The legislative discourse, and not only that, is usually informed by a rhetoric that associates the immigrants with concepts of regression and political danger to be fought.
I like what Donna Gabaccia writes in her book, "Italy's many Diaspora": «For a country with a long history of sending emigrants abroad, Italy experienced considerable distress in welcoming migrants onto its national territory…a nation accustomed to thinking of its migrants as subject to racist and capitalist oppression abroad suddenly looked into the mirror to see itself as the oppressor» (p. 172).
Italian cultural memory is too short! It is easy to condemn from the perspective of an "host" country,  people arriving "illegallly", and generally label all of them as criminals and dangerous people. It is easy and completely wrong!
Italians, I beleive, need a huge mirror to question their cultural memory.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Migration, Reception and Return

Next week I'll be in Sicily to present a paper at the AAIS♥AATI Convention in Taormina (22-25 May), "Alla scoperta della Sicilia/Discovering Sicily".
The panel is very interesting and is chaired by my friend and colleague Dr Lanfranco Aceti (Birckbeck College). The topic is once again migration, but this time I'm more emotionally involved, since I'm goin to talk about the image of Sicilians as "Others", that is about the time when Southern Italians were mistreated and identified as "criminals" by the destination coutries of their migrations.
I'll make a comparison between the rhetorical xenophobic discourse used to identify Southern Italians and the similar discourse used today in Italy to define the new migrants coming to the "Bel paese", and mistreated in the same way.
Below a description of the panel by Lanfranco, and the abstracts of teh two papers it includes:
Migration, Reception and Return: Sicily Between Provincialism and Globalization

What is the portrayed image of Sicily beyond the borders of its insularity? Is there a tradition of constant internationalization through the process of migration and change or is the process of perceived change, as in the words of Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, nothing other than a disguise to hide a visual and poetic aesthetic of eternal return?
This panel, through interdisciplinary cinematic, literary and curatorial analyses, will discuss the tensions that characterize the cultural representations of Sicily both at home and abroad. Suspended between internationalized artistic practices and the representations of a land of provincialisms, the authors’ journeys migrate between personalized aesthetics, diverse audiences’ receptions and globalized regional stereotypes.
The papers will discuss these issues in a comparative interdisciplinary framework and will propose case studies that have characterized aesthetic processes of globalized migrations and returns to insularity.

Dr Federica Mazzara UCL Mellon Research Fellow
Sicilians as Other: Cinematic and Literary Represenations of Migration

This paper aims at analysing the cinematic and literary representation of important migratory periods of Italian history focusing on Sicily and its regional and international representations of cultural conflicts in the portrait of identities.
The migratory streams that have marked Sicilian culture starting from the Nineteenth Century, and still continuing today, have been objects of aesthetical transpositions that this paper will analyze. The paper will discuss the cultural practices of migration in a regional and globalized context. As Gian Antonio Stella documents in the novel “L’Orda. Quando gli albanesi eravamo noi” [“The Horde. When we were like the Albanians”] (2002), there was a time when Southern Italians, and Sicilians especially, were the ‘Others’. They were like all the immigrants that today seek a new life in the ‘host’ Italian country. Gianni Amelio’s film “Lamerica” (1994) represents this tragic tension through an historical comparison: the historical migration of the Sicilians to the United Stated and the present migration of the Albanians to Sicily. These are two different times, two different countries, but representative of the same destiny: that of being and remaining ‘Others’. The paper investigates the concept of alterity as part of Sicilian memory and oblivion.

John Francescutti, Curator Contemporary and Digital Art
Curatorial Stereotypes of Sicily: The Obligation to Be Civilized

The work of the curator is embroiled in something more than a cultural diatribe on representation of identity and can fluctuate between the total rejection or total acceptance of stereotypes.
MoMA’s exhibit of The Sopranos and the complex sentiment that stirred in the Italian community in the US gave relevance to the complexities of cultural representations. The process of integration and assimilation that was proposed and imposed on Italian migrants in the US and the UK, particularly Sicilians, is clearly vocalized in Mario Monicelli’s Girl with a Gun when Assunta Patanè, played by Monica Vitti, is accused of being a savage by an ‘Anglosaxon civilized educator’.
Trapped between a ‘savage cultural representation of identity’ and the ‘obligation to become civilized’ the cultural complexities of Sicilian identity seem to disappear. The paper will argue the necessity and the challenges of a curatorial experience able to provide an understanding of the complexities of Sicilian reality not limited to the representations of Mafia.

Monday, May 12, 2008

ROCCO E I SUOI FRATELLI. Saturday 31 May 2008, 2pm

Rocco e i Suoi Fratelli (Rocco and His Brothers: in Italian with English subtitles) closes the first part of the film series Migrations, Emigrations, Immigrations: Italy Between Past Memories and Contemporary Realitiesand. The film stars Alain Delon in this powerful portrayal of an Italian mother and her five sons that migrate from the South of Italy to the North in search of a better life.

Tickets (£3) available to purchase on-line (guarantees a seat) and at the door on the day. Reservations recommended!
For contact and info: Dr Lanfranco Aceti ( Even Curator: John Francescutti.
Venue: The Birkbeck Cinema, Birkbeck College, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD.

PANE E CIOCCOLATA. Saturday 17 May 2008, 2pm

Pane e Cioccolata (Bread and Chocolate: in Italian with English subtitles) is the tragicomic story of an Italian emigrant in Switzerland that lives in a chicken coop. This is the second screening of the new Film Series on Migration, titled Migrations, Emigrations, Immigrations: Italy Between Past Memories and Contemporary Realities organized by Dr Landranco Aceti with the participation of Dr Federica Mazzara (UCL Mellon Programme).

Tickets (£3) available to purchase on-line (guarantees a seat) and at the door on the day. Reservations recommended!
For contact and info: Dr Lanfranco Aceti ( Even Curator: John Francescutti.
Venue: The Birkbeck Cinema, Birkbeck College, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD.

NUOVOMONDO. Saturday 10 May 2008, 2pm

Nuovomondo, the story of an Italian family emigrating to the United States of America begins the new Italian film screenings on Italian migration titled Migrations, Emigrations, Immigrations: Italy Between Past Memories and Contemporary Realities.
Tickets (£3) available to purchase on-line (guarantees a seat) and at the door on the day.
Further information: Event curator John Francescutti.
Venue: The Birkbeck Cinema, Birkbeck College, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD.


Hi everybody,
I have been recently involved in a new Italian Film Screening Series organized by Dr Lanfranco Aceti (Birckbek College) and entitled Migration, Emigration, Immigration. Italy Between Past memories and Contemporary Realities.
My partecipation in that is related to my interest on the topic of Italian migration. The film series revolves in fact on the issues of Italian Migration, Emigration, Immigration.
The first three screenings have been planned: "Nuovomondo" (Saturday 10 May), "Pane e Cioccolata" (Saturday 17 May) and "Rocco e i suoi fratelli" (Saturday 31 May). English subtitles are provided. The screenings start at 2pm. and they take place at the beautiful Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD.
Tickets (£3) available to purchase on-line (guarantees a seat) and at the door on the day.
For contact and info: Dr Lanfranco Aceti ( Event curator: John Francescutti.

This programme is in collaboration with and supported by the ICI - Italian Cultural Institute and the London Centre for Arts and Cultural Enterprise.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Piazza Vittorio: An example of Cultural Transformation in Italy

Hi all,
this is the title of a paper I'm giving at a conference in London, on Friday 25 April.

In 2002 the Italian musician Mario Tronco and the film director Agostino Ferrente decided to create an orchestra in the multicultural area of Rome, known as the Esquilino quarter. This project came out of their desire to put together the multi-ethnical variety of musicians that were dwelling in that part of Rome. The result was truly amazing: an enormous group, directed by Mario Tronco, constituted by almost twenty musicians coming from many different countries, formed the so-called “Orchestra di Piazza Vittorio” (“The Orchestra of Vittorio Square”). The Orchestra is now internationally known and is currently on tour all over the world. In 2006 Agostino Ferrente made a documentary about the Orchestra telling the story of its constitution. This film received many awards and has been screened all over the world (also in London on the occasion of the latest Italian Film Festival). The same year, 2006, saw the publication of a novel by the Italophone Algerian writer Amara Lakhous called “Scontro di civiltà a P.zza Vittorio (“Clash of civilizations for an elevator in Piazza Vittorio”), which is again a story about the multicultural reality of Rome, an example in fact of the transformation of the Italian society and of the importance that Italian migrant literature is gradually gaining.
Starting from these musical, cinematic and narrative examples, this paper aims at analysing how migration in Italy is beginning to produce cultural performances that enter the larger context of popular culture. In other words, this paper will try to analyse the importance of what Mieke Bal has defined as “migratory aesthetics” - in this case of Italy.
I feel a lttle bit nervous about this, considering it is the first time I present on these issues. I know I still need to do a lot of work on it, but I hope this will be a good starting point to pursue my research. By the way, for those who haven't seen yet the film-documentary, L'orchestra di Piazza Vittorio, by Agostino Ferrente, I highly recommend you to do so. It's a brilliant document that looks at migration as a valuable source of cultural practices.

Friday, April 18, 2008


Dear UCL Fellows,
did you know about this? The UCL Department of Geography (in association with UCL Grand Challenges) is holding a 'town meeting' on 30 April 2008 to bring together those across UCL interested in migration, diaspora, ethnicity and intercultural studies.
Well I think that is exactly the kind of thing we want to be part of if we like the idea of a muldisciplinary approach to migration. Well done UCL Geography Department!
I'm definitely going (actually I had a ticket to Sicily the 29th of April but I've moved it!).
I don't know if the event is only open to UCL Staff, but for all kind of information the person to contact is Sue Parkes, Office of the UCL Vice-Provost (Research).

Date: Wednesday 30 April 2008, 3-6pm (followed by drinks)
Location: G06, Sir Ambrose Fleming Lecture Theatre, Roberts Building

Migratory Aesthetics

Dear all,
I would like to recommend a book recently published by Rodopy on "migratory aesthetics", a concept coined by Mieke Bal. You can read in detail about the book and order it online.
The book is edited by Sam Durrant and Catherine Lord.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Graziella Parati and Loredana Polezzi: Identities on the Plural_UCL 24 APRIL 2008

Identities in the Plural:
Voicing Difference in Contemporary Italy

Thursday 24 April 2008, 3-6pm

It is my pleasure to present another event organized by th UCL Mellon Programme in collaboration with the UCL Department of Italian and UCL Centre for Intercultural Studies.
This event presents a lecture by Graziella Parati (Dartmouth College) "Literary and Cultural Alliances in Migration" and a lecture by Loredana Polezzi (University of Warwick) "Multiplying Italian Voices".
Dr Federica Mazzara (UCL) will chair the session.
For abstracts, poster and further details: UCL Mellon Seminars 2007-2008
For further information, please contact me, Federica Mazzara (
You are all welcome. Looking forward to seeing you there.
Some information about the speakers:
Graziella Parati is Professor at Dartmouth College. She teaches 19th and 20th Italian culture in the department of French and Italian. Her books include "Public History, Private Stories: Italian Women's Autobiography" (1996) devoted to gender studies in Italian culture, and the interdisciplinary book entitled "Migration Italy: The Art of Talking Back in a Destination Culture" (University of Toronto Press, 2005), which is devoted to migration studies and contemporary Italian multiculturalism. She has also edited the following volumes:
"Mediterranean Crossroads: Migration Literature in Italy, Italian Cultural Studies" (co-edited with Ben Lawton), and "Italian Feminist Theory and Practice: Equality and Sexual Difference" (co-edited with Rebecca West).
Loredana Polezzi is Associate Professor at the University of Warwick. She is the author of "Translating Travel: Contemporary Italian Travel Writing in English Translation" (Aldershot & Brookfield: Ashgate, 2001) and is currently working on a monograph devoted to representations of Africa produced by Italian travellers during the colonial and post-colonial period. She is co- editor, with Jennifer Burns, of "Borderlines: Migrazioni e identità nel Novecento" (Isernia: Cosmo Iannone Editore, 2003) and, with Charlotte Ross, of "In Corpore: Bodies in Post-Unification Italy" (Madison: Fairleigh Dickinson, 2007).

UCL Research Day: Moving Borders 31 March 2008

The UCL Mellon Research Day that was held the 31th of March at UCL was really successful.
Izzy, Meena, Monia, Daniele, Sanaz and Alpesh, whom I'd like to thank again, did a very good job, and the same I should say about the other participants who made especially the round table a very interesting moment of discussion and confrontation.
Many issues have been discussed and raised, and all have been approached in a very interdisciplinary way. This made the day a very special moment for everybody to realize how possible and great it is to cross and "move" disciplinary boundaries and to build up a common platform of analysis and research.
I hope there'll be many other occasions for us to meet again and talk about how migration and related issues can be analysed in terms of cultural practices, as we did the 31st of March.
Thanks everybody and hope to see you soon!!!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

UCL Research Day

Moving Borders: The Aesthetics of Migration
A Postgraduate Research Day at UCL
Monday, 31 March 2008, 9.45am-4pm

I should probably say something about the idea behind this event, that goes back to many months ago, when I started my Post-doctoral fellowship here at UCL and started noticing how many people, PhD students in particular, were actually interested and involved in research on migration. I decided then it would be interesting to bring together some of them, those at least I had the chance to get in touch with, for a work-shop, a research day where we could have the opportunity to share our researches and interests in migration and related issues. My priority was to involve people from different perspectives and disciplines, who were especially interested in the aesthetic dimension of migration, that is the cultural effect that the social phenomenon of migration can bring into a “host” culture. The idea of talking about an aesthetics of migration comes from the recent notion of “migratory aesthetics”, coined by the cultural theorist Mieke Bal, which is also the title of a large international project that brings together a group of British ad Dutch scholars, and that has already produced meetings, exhibitions and a collection of essays just published. The concept of “migratory aesthetics” refers, in Bal’s words, to “the current cultural and aesthetic moment in view of the merging of cultures”, in other words to the cultural inspiration that migration can produce. All this made me think about the possibility of bringing together interesting scholars who in very different ways are working on projects aimed at “moving” the borders of cultural and social constraints. The papers to be presented here will in fact consider a wide range of cultural practices, such as literature, film, performance and, of course, a range of spaces in which migration has produced cultural “clashes”, such as cities, museums, squares, bars, clubs and virtual spaces, such as the Internet.

For further information see UCL Mellon Programme Seminars Series website.