Letter from Italia

Who is best placed to give a perspective on a country? An outsider or someone who has lived there all their life?

Perhaps the best perspective of all comes from a resident who has travelled and experienced other cultures and seen their own country from a distance.

It was a pleasure to welcome Miriam Pelusi to our class. I know her from studying on an MA program in Leeds and it was lovely to meet up on her home territory (she now lives in Rimini but had attended Bologna University as an undergraduate).

Like several members of the class, Miriam has read Tobias Jones’s The Dark Heart of Italy, and she introduced what she described as her ‘old new country’.

She spoke of Italians’ love of food, football, family and fashion and addressed current concerns over gagging of the media.

On the subject of media, she was concerned about the representation of women’s bodies on television – and of the general lack of discussion of this issue (though she’s not alone).

For a more detailed account, you can see Miriam’s paper in English on the class wiki page.

I hope to see you again, Miriam. If not in Bologna, then perhaps in Yorkshire.

– Richard


One Reply to “Letter from Italia”

  1. Thanks to you all.
    I am glad I have been given the challenging opportunity to contribute to this high-level and intense course. It was a pleasure to join the class.
    Students made sharp questions and it’s been also interesting making a cross-cultural comparison together. Despite our different background we gained a great level of discussion.
    I can imagine that for a US student some aspects of life in Italy could appear uncommon, from simple cultural aspects to politics and media. I hope that an insider’s view provided students with a needed framework and updated inputs on the ‘Bel Paese’.
    I am appreciating the students’ posts. They are acute and as they’re not Italian they get some points better than Italians and perceive aspects that are taken-for granted by native; that’s also a great peculiarity of ‘The dark hearth of Italy’ by Tobias Jones. I’ll keep reading the class blog, it is so interesting.

    Good luck to the class.
    Buon lavoro!

    I look forward to being in touch again.

    – Miriam

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