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    Which road to the south? revisionists revisit the Mezzogiorno

    Riall, Lucy (2000) Which road to the south? revisionists revisit the Mezzogiorno. Journal of Modern Italian Studies 5 (1), pp. 89-100. ISSN 1354-571X.

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    Since the early 1980s historians and others have been radically revising established understandings of the Italian south. New research has undermined the notion of a dichotomy between north and south and has begun to challenge the parameters of the Southern Question itself. The books reviewed here reflect, comment upon and drive forward this process of revision. One suggestion is that representations of the south as 'backward', 'picturesque' or fundamentally 'different' are the product of ideological and political elaboration rather than the reflection of any fundamental reality, and should be seen as part of a neo-Orientalist discourse which justified southern subordination. While acknowledging the strengths of this new history of the Mezzogiorno, this article argues that the neo-Orientalist explanation risks simply restating southern difference and subordination in another form. What is needed instead is a new, and less dichotomized, approach to southern Italian cultures and a recognition of the complexities - and hence the importance - of southern identities.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Mezzogiorno, orientalism, regionalism
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 03 Apr 2017 11:44
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:32


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