Collection launched: 23 Feb 2018
This special issue is about how contemporary Britain perceives and imagines Italy, and how it mirrors itself in Italy’s image. It aims at interrogating the current clichés about Italy, showing how imagery about the country is multi-faceted and prismatic, highlighting areas of dialogue as well as tendencies towards stereotyping. It problematises the images of Italy as it is seen in a variety of layers of British society - from the media, to film, to politics - showing how the construction of the southern European country still corresponds to a horizon of expectations more than to reality. While a large amount of scholarly attention has been devoted to the image of Italy through the centuries, little has been written so far on how the British world perceives Italy today, in the late twentieth and twenty-first century. The issue focuses precisely on narratives of the last few decades, (re-) examining a number of positive and negative stereotypes of the peninsula in today’s Britain, and where necessary widening the comparison to take into account the wider Anglophone world.
The originality of the issue lies in the attempt to understand Italy as a complex set of cultural phenomena, observing it from a multi-disciplinary standpoint (Italian Studies, History, Media Studies, Translation Studies).
Edited by Giacomo Comiati, Martina Piperno and Kate Willman