Offstream: Minority and Popular Cultures
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The volume draws its content from the eponymous international conference held at the Department of Italian Studies, University of Toronto, in October of 2017. The term Offstream is used in opposition to mainstream and aims to highlight the non-canonical nature of the cultural elements that are explored within the volume, nonetheless recognizing that the notions of “canon”, “marginality”, and “popularity” are historically relative. The collection of articles (in Italian and English) explores aspects of Italian language and culture that are considered marginal by analyzing themes such as: popular culture in literature, politics, cinema, and music; women’s critique and writing; minority languages; dehumanization and mental health; migration and transnationality; sexual and gender diversity. The volume includes keynote addresses by Marco Arnaudo from the University of Indiana and Antonia Arslan, an Italian writer of Armenian origins who has received many awards for the novel Skylark Farm (La masseria delle allodole). A special section is dedicated to the novel and to its cinematic transposition by the Taviani brothers (The Lark Farm), with direct accounts by the author and by the protagonist, Arsinée Khanjian.