Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies

Academic presents Italian parenting in New Zealand workshop paper

Tue Jun 24 18:01:00 BST 2014

Dr Adalgisa Giorgio from the Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies recently presented a paper at a workshop hosted by the AHRC Network La Mamma Italiana: Interrogating a National Stereotype.

The workshop was titled The Stereotype Abroad: Mammismo in the Italian Diaspora and was held at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh, on Saturday 17 May 2014.

The event was attended by experts in the field, including Maddalena Tirabassi (Director of the Centro Altreitalie).

Adalgisa's paper attempted to find out whether and how the Italian traditional model of motherhood and family, which continues to inform contemporary discourses and representations inside and outside Italy, has been translated to New Zealand.

Speaking about the workshop, Adalgisa commented; “I was very pleased to be offered the opportunity of participating in this workshop and of discussing my work with experts on the Italians in the US, Canada and Australia.

“There is very little research on the Italians in New Zealand. This paper is part of a larger project on the interplay of Italian, Maori, European and New Zealand identities among the Italians in New Zealand, which I researched during my study leave in 2013 and which was partially funded by the Erasmus Mundus scheme. My interviewees include first, second and third generation Italians including Maori-Italians.

“I believe that the fact that the Italians form only a small community in a country with a specific history of migration that boasts a ‘superdiverse’ and multicultural society (alongside an official policy of biculturalism), makes them a very useful case study that can contribute to an understanding of not only deterritorialised Italy but also Italy today.

“I have disseminated my work on different aspects of this topic at three conferences this year. The Edinburgh paper will be published in a special issue of Women’s Studies International Forum on Motherhood and Migration, which I will also co-edit. Other articles are in preparation, and I eventually intend to publish a book on the Italians in New Zealand.”