112th Annual Conference - Riverside Convention Center, California
Friday, October 31 - Sunday, November 2, 2014

This page is about the 2014 conference. For 2015 conference info, go to PAMLA 2015.

As Italian as Kkweya: The Promotion of a New Italian Literature

Adriana Benvenuto, Glendale Community College

This paper introduces the novel Kkweya, by Carla Macoggi, to share tales between two culture groups of her origin: the Ethiopian and the Italian. It analyses how the hybrid identity of a little Ethiopian girl has been formed and the challenges of crossing cultures by exploring post-colonial literature and the multicultural Italian literature.

Proposal: 

This paper introduces Kkweya, by Ethiopian- Italian writer Carla Macoggi, to explore a new world of Italian publishing that has been emerging and the voices of post-colonial female writers like Macoggi. Post-colonial female literature  represents a minority group of young writers from the former colonies who are exploring the shaping of a hybrid identity and the crossing of cultures. Macoggi’s contributions to a new type of Italian literature introduces  a multicultural rich identity build around the concept of exile. Her novels deal with topics such as the condition of exile, the prejudice and discrimination, the challenges of asserting migrants’ identity and the defense of their roots and culture. Macoggi, among others, gives rise to a new Italian genre: migration literature. This paper will assert the reasons behind this classification, as opposed to post-colonial literature. Migration Italian literature explores the voices from the former colonies in Africa and it is a recent phenomenon that has been developing. One very positive contribution of this genre is the fact that it promotes multiculturalism and plurilingualism along with the fact that it makes the unheard voices of the colonies be heard so that Italians do not forget that part of their past. Voices like the one from Macoggi introduce stories of children and their growth and development in the shaping of their identity, their hybrid nature, their struggles and search for acceptance and integration to a society that may judge them. I would like to argue that even though Kkweya shows discrimination and judgment towards the Ethiopian population in Italy, it does not show traces of Ethiopian judgment towards the Italians. Kkweya is a story within a genre that shows the impact of autobiographical accounts that explore Italianism and what it means to be Italian under this new wave of migration. Throughout the novel, the idea of migrancy is presenting the hardship the main character faces but it also introduces positive energy: the building of a new Italian culture. Macoggi is not alone and aim of this paper is to make her voice known so that we continue to explore and value the voices of this groups of migrant female writers.

Topic Area: