Diasporic approaches have been mobilised in the past decade to provide a more complex understanding of the history of the Italian nation and of its many migrations (see, for instance, Donna Gabaccia’s Italy Many Diasporas, 2000). Gaetano Rando and Gerry Turcotte’s volume brings to light the contribution of Italians in Australia, and their unacknowledged role in the making and shaping of Italian culture. Literary and Social Diasporas is the result of a fruitful conference organised in 2004 at the University of Wollongong, which produced at least two other publications. The papers selected for this book, written by contributors based in Australian academia or society at large, share a common focus on the Italian-Australian perspective and have been organised along two axes, one literary and one socio-historical. A third theme, which introduces the other two sections, emerged as the editors were working on the volume, and pertains to testimonials by freelance authors and writers. Although, as the editors note, these narratives ‘fuse the personal and the historical’ and ‘enrich and texture the more academic deliberations’ (11), the volume that results is somewhat uneven in its offerings, ranging from the colloquial and informal tone of the beginning to the highly academic jargon of other interventions.
Review of Literary and Social Diasporas: An Italian Australian Perspective, edited by Gaetano Rando and Gerry Turcotte
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Cite as: Clò, Clarissa. ‘Review of Literary and Social Diasporas: An Italian Australian Perspective, edited by Gaetano Rando and Gerry Turcotte.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 24, no. 2, 2009, doi: 10.20314/als.6da9c870a3.