About the talk: The field of Italian American studies has expanded boundaries through its interdisciplinary approaches to examining heritage cultures. As a result, diasporic, transnational, and translingual studies have intersected with canonical disciplinary areas such as Italian and English but also emerged from area studies such as Women's, Gener, & Sexuality, and Africana Studies.
This talk offers an example of such interdisciplinarity by examining the field of Italian American studies through the lens of mother-daughter studies and diasporic histories. Juxtaposing two experimental narratives, Adria Bernardi's Openwork and Alison Bechdel's Are You My Mother? Bona explores how maternal genealogies are constructed through what cultural anthropologists have called inalienable possessions. Bona will show how an embroidered tablecloth with transnational signification in Bernadi's novel or a costumier mother in Bechdel's graphic memoir construct new ways of thinking about motherhood, mobility, and more largely, American literary histories.