In recent years, a new narrative genre has emerged in the contemporary Italian literary world: “urban narration”. This is a mixed genre that draws from different literary traditions: travel literature, travel guides, short novels, autobiographical accounts etc. The emergence of a few series of “urban narrations” published by different publishing houses shows a growing interest in the construction of narrative identities of cities and towns, mirroring an increasingly problematic relationship between inhabitants and the urban contexts they inhabit. Following a few examples from one of these series, “Contromano” (literally “Against the flow”), by the Rome-Bari based publishing house Laterza, the talk will touch some of the “hot” topics in the literary portraits of Italian cities and towns: the use of public spaces, the processes of globalization and their impacts in the urban landscapes, conflicts in the use of urban spaces, the sense of belonging of city inhabitants, the relation between tourists and residents, the role of tourism marketing, the formation of “city brands”, etc.
Davide Papotti, Università di Parma
Friday Feb 20th 2015, 2.30-5.30pm, Room 7M, Palazzo di San Clemente, Via Micheli 2