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Project description

The LIMALEB project, or “Transcultural Memories Through a Jewish Lens: Remapping Italian Literatures of Migration”, investigates the Italian-language works of Jewish authors who have migrated from Europe and the Middle East and have settled in various Italian cities at different times from the 1930’s onwards.


Although these Jewish authors engage with personal and collective memories of uprooting and migration and deal with complex identitarian questions in their works, they have been largely overlooked by research into Italian literatures of transnationalism and migration, which focuses almost exclusively on postcolonial relations in the works written by migrants from the 1990’s onwards. Instead, Jewish migrant authors had already been writing in Italian before this decade and they negotiate identities and feelings of belonging against a range of different collective memories and relations with Italianness that are not limited to the postcolonial.


By examining the construction of memories and identities through the Jewish lens, this project aims to unfold a neglected transcultural dimension in Italian literatures of migration and to remap views on migration, 'home(s)' and identity in the literary field.


The project is funded by the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) and KU Leuven and runs from 1 October 2021 to 31 October 2025.


The project aims to:


investigate the narrative constructions of memories of migration


analyze the functions of memory in the representation of ‘home(s)’


unpack the elaborations and negotiations of transcultural identities


The project studies a variety of Italian-language works published from 1959 onwards by nine translingual Jewish-Italian authors who migrated to Italy and adopted Italian as the main language for their literary production:

Edith Bruck

(1931, Hungary)

Helena Janeczek

(1964, Germany)

Daniel Fishman

(1961, UK)

Marina Jarre

(1925-2016, Latvia)

Giorgio Pressburger

(1937-2017, Hungary)

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