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Call for papers for a panel of the Canadian Association for Italian Studies 2019 Annual Conference entitled ‘Wartime encounters in the contact zone’.


Orvieto, Italy, June 13-16, 2019.


Mary Louise Pratt defined ‘contact zones’ as ‘social spaces where cultures meet, clash, and grapple with each other, often in context of highly asymmetrical relations of power, such as colonialism, slavery, or their aftermaths’ (1991). Although the term was originally used in the context of the seventeenth-century Spanish colonial conquest of the New World, it can be profitably used to address modern wartime occupation scenarios as well.

This session aims to investigate multicultural encounters taking place in contact zones caused by or emerging from conflicts in the twentieth-century. Specifically, the panel intends to explore, within the space of a military occupation in which the Italians were involved, how ideas of otherness and identity shaped the relationship between occupiers and occupied, how the various actors entangled in these zones of conflict interacted, and how their perceptions of the other developed and changed over time.

We welcome proposals investigating these issues from a variety of different perspectives including works on history, literature, cinema, oral history, memory studies, visual media, and any other field of the Humanities. We favour papers related but not limited to the following scenarios:

  • Italian colonialism;
  • The First World War;
  • The Italian occupations in the Axis War;
  • The Nazi occupation of Italy;
  • The Allied occupation of Italy;


Closing date for receiving proposals for this session: 28 February 2019. Please send them to Fabio Simonetti ( and to Guido Bartolini (

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