Italian roots: family history, intergenerational experience, and identity

Paper


Dewhirst, Catherine. 2003. "Italian roots: family history, intergenerational experience, and identity." Bradley, R., Buys, E. L. and Lyddon, J. (ed.) Social Change in the 21st Century 2003 Conference. Brisbane, Australia 21 Nov 2003 Brisbane, Australia.
Paper/Presentation Title

Italian roots: family history, intergenerational experience, and identity

Presentation TypePaper
Authors
AuthorDewhirst, Catherine
EditorsBradley, R., Buys, E. L. and Lyddon, J.
Journal or Proceedings TitleProceedings of the Social Change in the 21st Century Conference 2003
Number of Pages21
Year2003
Place of PublicationBrisbane, Australia
ISBN0646431056
Web Address (URL) of Paperhttp://www.humanities.qut.edu.au/research/socialchange/2003proceedings.jsp
Conference/EventSocial Change in the 21st Century 2003 Conference
Event Details
Social Change in the 21st Century 2003 Conference
Delivery
In person
Event Date
21 Nov 2003
Event Location
Brisbane, Australia
Event Venue
Queensland University of Technology
Abstract

'Australia' as a notion has formed part of both mythical and real experience for Italians over the last seven centuries since Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) wrote La Divina Comedia in the vernacular. Our Terra incognita was imagined as the doorstep to purgatory after death, but it was also experienced by real people venturing beyond the frontiers of the homeland peninsula as explorers, artists, writers, poets, scientists, sailors and migrants (Lorenzato 1995:iii-iv; Cecilia 1987:ch.1). The migration of Italians to Australia has had a profound impact on the social, economic and political spheres of this country, starting mainly with the post-Risorgimento period. As a result of their presence and interaction in Australia, Italians have made untold contributions and left many legacies. One intriguing and certainly contentious legacy is that captured by the modern-day term of ‘ethnicity’, ‘ethnic identity’ or italianità [Italianness]. We might therefore consider a discussion of Italian ethnicity as a valuable means for exploring important features about Australia’s past.

KeywordsItalian; Italians; migration; Italian migration history; family history; ethnicity; Australia
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020470211. Migrant cultural studies
440107. Social and cultural anthropology
430302. Australian history
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Byline AffiliationsSchool of Humanities and Communication
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