Professor Bullaro Chosen for International Team Conducting Oxford University Research Project
September 17, 2010
Professor Grace Bullaro of Lehman's English Department has published a new book that has become a focal point in an international research project that is studying immigration to and from Italy and its impact on that nation.
In From Terrone to Extracomunitario (Troubador Publishing Ltd. 2010), Professor Bullaro offers a volume of essays that provide a sweeping view of the major demographic changes underway in Italy, using the prism of cinema to explore new expressions of bigotry and racism that have developed.
The research project involves two initiatives and is sponsored by Italian Studies at Oxford, which is part of the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies at the University of Oxford. The first began with an international conference in May 2009 and aims to track migratory patterns and their cultural impact in Italy from ancient to modern times.
The second part was launched with a workshop in February 2009 and now includes a network of international scholars. The goal is to produce a comprehensive study on how media and narrative representations can influence the migratory dynamic at its origin, as well as perceptions of migrations in the destination country.
Various Italian media—from literature and journalism to film and television—are being studies, and Professor Bullaro was chosen to head the North American research team investigating cinema. Over the next few years, the project will include conferences and workshops in Prato (Italy), New York, Cairo, and ultimately Oxford in the U.K.
"The study of racism in literature and film has been one of the topics that has interested me for years," explains Professor Bullaro, who has published extensively on this subject. She also has taught a number of courses both in the English Department and through the LEH program on racism and film, expanding the subject beyond Italian cinema.
"Globalization has brought, and continues to bring, major changes in most countries," she adds, "and maybe in Italy even more than most. It's not only a fascinating topic but an important indicator of the general health of any society."
An article about both the book and the research project appeared in the September 12 edition of the Italian-language newspaper America Oggi7. More information on the project is available at Italian Studies at Oxford.