S21 Stampa

New geo-graphies of exile. Displacements, re-placements and literary reconstructions of belonging


Elena dell’Agnese, University of Milano-Bicocca (Italy)
Michael J. Shapiro, University of Hawaii at Manoa (USA)


“…writers in my position, exiles or emigrants or expatriates, are haunted by some sense of loss, some urge to reclaim, to look back…but, .. physical alienation …almost inevitably meansthat we will not be capable of reclaiming precisely the thing that was lost; that we will, in short create fictions”. With these words, the exiled writer Salman Rushdie introduces his collection of essays entitled “Imaginary Homelands”. Indeed, experiencing exile, that is being banished from a place considered as “Home”, often suggests to a writer the literary re-invention of that place.

The positionality of the displaced writer is influenced not only by the feeling of difference, but also by questions of gender, time, nation; and by his/her capacity of overcoming the “frontier” between Here and There, of re-placing him/herself and of re-inventing new geo-graphies of emotions. Beyond the rhetoric of displacement, the experience of exile can invite the displaced writer into a new aesthetic experience and reframe his/her sensible world. Other people’s bread can be salty, as objectively remembered by Dante (since in Florence, bread is salt-free), but one can also learn how to appreciate its different taste.

Read the abstracts

Chair: Elena dell'Agnese

Presentation n. 1
Title: Displacements
Author(s): Michael Shapiro

Presentation n. 2
Title: Maps and Displacements. A Geographical Somali Voice: Nuruddin Farah
Author(s): Giulia de Spuches

Presentation n. 3
Title: Djebar and Abdessemed: different ways of being in between
Author(s): Cristina Giudice

Presentation n. 4
Title: Charles Sealsfield - Angry young man in the Post-Napoleonic Restoration
Author(s): Marcella Schmidt di Friedberg

Presentation n. 5
Title: A "Semiotic Labyrinth": the Representation of Ferrara in Giorgio Bassani's Literature
Author(s): Fiammetta Martegani

This session is linked to the IGU Commission on Political Geography Research Network

Session code: