PROJECT NEWS 06/09/2022

Transatlantic literary networks 1949-1972. Translation, modernity, and cultural transfer between Italy and the United States

Transatlantic Literary Networks aims to solicit reflections and to gather contributions for assessing the presence and understanding the role of Italian literary and artistic culture in the United States between 1949 and 1972. Circulation and mediation of cultural objects involved actors of differing natures, who were able to intercept the attention and the taste of the cultural élites as well as the strata involved in the market of the so-called consumer culture and the migratory movements that brought millions of Italians to the United States from the nineteenth century onwards. Transatlantic Literary Networks intends to map and understand this field of relationships. In particular, it seeks to investigate the elaboration of a recognizable Italian modern style as a result of transatlantic exchange networks.

Transatlantic Transfers: the Italian presence in post-war America (TT) will shift the research agenda from charting the cultural Americanization of Italy to retrieving context-specific instances of the Italianization of style in the U.S.A., and from a national/international to a transnational/global framing of the history of relations between Italy and the U.S.A.

The Research is designed to trace the emergence, manifestations, and meanings of an Italian style [the so called “made in Italy”] - distinctly “Italian” and “modern” - that originated in Italy and became internationally known in the 1950s and 1960s, but whose visibility has depended on a complex international and intercultural infrastructure for cultural, political, and economic exchange between Italy and the U.S.A.

It is also designed to investigate how specific Italian works of art, literature, film, design, fashion, visual culture, architecture, food and popular culture were introduced to American audiences (through events, exhibitions, book reviews, advertisements, festivals), between 1949 and 1972, and how a recognizable modern style associated to Italian iconographic people (writers, artists, designers, intellectuals and movie stars) was appropriated as a marker of distinction in the identity formation of an upward mobile, cosmopolitan, affluent American middle class.