Letters to the Editor: the 'awkward truths' in Australia's Italian migration history, 1900-1915

Dewhirst, Catherine (2014) Letters to the Editor: the 'awkward truths' in Australia's Italian migration history, 1900-1915. In: Reading and writing history from Bruni to Windschuttle: essays in honour of Gary Ianziti. Ashgate Publishing, Farnham, Surrey. United Kingdom, pp. 161-177. ISBN 978-1-40945705-3


Most scholars of Italian migration history assume that the majority of Italy's emigrants between the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries expressed no interest in the Italian nation or identity, or national culture. Many left their homelands because of unemployment and poverty, largely caused by the government's unification processes and imperial designs. As such, the dominant narrative has tended to tell a story of 'heroes and villains', to use Peter Burke's words. This chapter investigates epistolary evidence from Italian migrant workers in Australia during Italy's efforts to assert an imperial influence across the diaspora, 1900-1915. Italian migrant letters are rare for the era but some are preserved in the Italian migrant press of the day, Uniamoci, L'Italo-Australiano and Oceania. To use another of Burke's phrases, they reveal some 'awkward truths' with Italian migrant perspectives challenging reifying conceptions within the historiography.

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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Arts and Communication
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2014 01:43
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2017 05:57
Uncontrolled Keywords: Italian migrants; Australia; migrant workers; archival material
Fields of Research : 20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200208 Migrant Cultural Studies
21 History and Archaeology > 2103 Historical Studies > 210303 Australian History (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
16 Studies in Human Society > 1608 Sociology > 160803 Race and Ethnic Relations
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950503 Understanding Australia's Past
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/25337

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