Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

History

First Advisor's Name

Aurora Morcillo

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Pascale Becel

Third Advisor's Name

Gwyn Davies

Fourth Advisor's Name

Maria del Mar Logrono Narbona

Keywords

identity, Italy, Southeast Florida

Date of Defense

11-8-2013

Abstract

Italianità on Tour is a cultural history of Italian consciousness in Italy and Southeast Florida from 1896 to 1939. This dissertation examines literary works, folktales, folksongs, artworks, buildings and urban planning as imprints and cultural constructions of Italianità on both sides of the Atlantic, with a special emphasis on the transformations experienced on that journey. The real and/or imagined geo-cultural similarities between the Mediterranean and the Caribbean encouraged pioneers in Southeast Florida to conjure in their new setting an idea of Italianità, regardless of the presence of Italians in the area. Therefore, assessing Italianità, constitutes an important feature in understanding cultural constructions of identities in Miami and neighboring areas. This study, seeks to add Southeast Florida’s Caribbean-Italian identity to the existing scholarship on several Italian diaspora representations, whether from a cultural ethnic perspective or from a sense of national belonging. More generally, it will show that there was no quintessential Italian national culture, but only representations of it that élites in Italy and South Florida manufactured, and on the other hand, immigrants imagined and performed upon arrival to America.

Identifier

FI13120902

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