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Humanities 2016, 5(2), 23; doi:10.3390/h5020023

Foodways, Campervans and the Terms of Mobility: Transnational Belonging, Home, and Heritage in the Narrative of “Sud Italia”

School of Modern Languages and Cultures, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK
Academic Editor: Francesca Muccini
Received: 16 February 2016 / Revised: 9 April 2016 / Accepted: 11 April 2016 / Published: 21 April 2016
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Abstract

International popular culture continues to remediate and perpetuate the link between food and ideas of Italian identity. A range of analytical approaches have become concerned with food and drink in Italian culture: the importance of food industries in patterns of Italian migration and Italy’s economy, the recurrence of the Mediterranean diet in public health debates, the emotive value attached to foodways, and their role in constructing subjectivity are all recognized as fertile terrain for research. Nevertheless, a lack of audience-reception research on the social and cultural uses of both food and food-related media has been identified. Responding to this inviting opening, the following article is based on data collated between October 2014 and January 2016 as part of the ongoing “Transnationalizing Modern Languages” project. Focusing on London as a particular axis of both contemporary and historic Italian migration to England and the UK, my research utilizes selected small-medium food enterprises in the UK capital, and the personal narratives of migration they form part of, to reflect simultaneously upon the contemporary appeal of foodways read as Italian in Britain and the practical implications of meanings ascribed to foodways by subjects identifying as Italian. Positing the intersection between public and private represented in these food narratives as one of the most productive sites for reflection upon more general social development and experience, I offer a critical reading of “Sud Italia”, a mobile pizzeria in which the contradictory dynamics of subjectivity/objectivity and mobility/fixity are symbolised. Drawing on participatory ethnography, the article seeks to contribute further understanding to the multifaceted concepts of “belonging”, “home” and “heritage” by grounding their relevance in practical, day-to-day realities. View Full-Text
Keywords: Italy; foodways; mobility; belonging; home; heritage; transnational; subjectivity Italy; foodways; mobility; belonging; home; heritage; transnational; subjectivity
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Wall, G. Foodways, Campervans and the Terms of Mobility: Transnational Belonging, Home, and Heritage in the Narrative of “Sud Italia”. Humanities 2016, 5, 23.

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