Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Italian National Identity; Italian Canon; Parody; TwLetteratura; Migrant Writers; Migration; Re-writing; Social reading and writing; Borders; Nation Building

Major Advisor

Professor Norma Bouchard

Associate Advisor

Professor Franco Masciandaro

Associate Advisor

Professor Eduardo Urios-Aparisi

Field of Study



Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


Revisiting Sites and Locations of Italian-ness:

Migrant Authors and Twitteracy Trans-Nationalize the National Italian Canon

Martina Di Florio

University of Connecticut 2018

During the last thirty years, Italy, a country traditionally of migrants, became a destination for people coming from the Balkans, Africa and the Middle East. In the early 1990s, the first testimonies written in Italian by not Italophone authors appeared. Within less than a decade, the so called “Italian Migrant Literature” evolved beyond accounts of autobiographical circumstances and forced readers to question and reflect on concepts such as the construction of a national Italian identity, its evolution in the multicultural and global present and the need to create a space of intercultural dialogue. One of the most interesting aspects of this ‘negotiation’ are the revisions of a corpus of canonical texts, both ‘high’ and ‘low’, that have played a fundamental role in processes of Italian nation and identity-building from pre-unification to the present where, at the same time, the digital revolution and Twitter have a major impact on the problematization of national identity.

This dissertation is divided in two diptychs. In the first diptych, the first chapter is devoted to discussing the significance of Alessandro Manzoni’s The Betrothed (1840), while the second chapter is dedicated to two different works of revisions: the performance organized by the migrant activists of the G2 Network during the 150th anniversary of the country’s unification, and the digital literacy project promoted by TwLetteratura in 2013-2014. In the second diptych, the first chapter analyzes The Adventures of Pinocchio (1883) by Carlo Collodi, considered one of the most popular texts representing the tensions between the self and the hetero-determination of the Italian subject. Two works of revisions are included in the second chapter of the second diptych: Occhio a Pinocchio by Jarmila OčKayová as well as the collaborative digital revision of the canonical work developed by TwLetteratura in 2014-2015.

Available for download on Sunday, July 07, 2024