Utrecht University, 19 – 20 May 2017

Conference organizers

Matteo Brera, Monica Jansen (Utrecht University)


Scientific Committee

Rosemarie Buikema (Utrecht University), Annalisa Butticci (Utrecht University), Natalie Dupré (KU Leuven), Martha Frederiks (Utrecht University), Federico Luisetti (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Franco Pierno (University of Toronto)

Confirmed Keynote Speakers

Stefano Luconi (Università degli Studi di Firenze) Loredana Polezzi (Cardiff University)

Call for Papers

In the context of Unesco’s World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development 2017, the Italian Department at Utrecht University organises a two-day symposium to explore how religious hierarchies, institutions and practices shaped the identity and the cultural production (language, literature, performance, social media) of past and present Italian diasporas.

Religion may be seen as an impediment to or enhancer of social mobility inside and outside of Italy. It can trigger “narrations” that either revolve around cultural practices linked with traditional notions of Italianness (e.g. piccola patria), or shift towards new doctrines and spiritualties that redefine the idea of nation and culture. Furthermore, religious institutions and their missionary, educational and cultural activities can forge the identity – also linguistic – of integrated and/or segregated migrant communities.

In the context of Italian mobilities, this conference aims to bring together scholars from various disciplines to showcase how religious cults and practices cross(ed) national and cultural borders and how these practices embody a language through which emigrants represent their transnational experience. Moments of transition in which borders between nations and cultures are redefined with the decisive contribution of religion are of particular interest for this conference, with a focus on processes of colonisation/decolonisation, nationalisation, secularisation, tensions caused by ethnic and religious conflicts on a local and a global scale. The final aim of the symposium is to establish a platform with which to explore the shifting place and role of religion in a new age of great migrations.

Interested scholars may wish to address, among others, one or more of the following topics:

  •   (re)readings, translations and re-interpretations of religion in literary texts;
  •   narratives and languages of mobility, migration and religion;
  •   rethinking localism, regionalism and nationalism within religious contexts;
  •   globalisation and religious hegemony;
  •   Religion and Folk culture;
  •   transnational approaches to religion studies;
  •   transmediality and spirituality.Please send a 250 words abstract to or by 5 March 2017. Working languages of the conference will be English (preferred) and Italian.

CFP FINALE Religion(s) and Cultural Production(s) of the Italian Diaspora(s)