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Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Students' Interview with Shirin Ramzanali Fazel

Students’ interview with Shirin Ramzanali Fazel

What does it mean to write, publish and read across nations? To what extent do postcolonial narratives destabilise national histories? What are the main challenges in translating one’s own works between different languages, including the language of the colonizer?

After exploring her production in prose and poetry as part of their syllabus, our undergraduate students had the unique opportunity to dialogue with Somali-Italian writer Shirin Ramzanali Fazel, one of the pioneers of Italian migration literature, and ask her questions that are central in the current debate about Italy’s colonial past. The event was organised by Dott. Claudia Domenici (Associate Professor in Italian) as the third part of the scholarship project on the integration of language and culture teaching. This highly innovative project is based on the very successful model of the previous ‘Interview with Dacia Maraini’ and ‘Interview with Andrea Camilleri’ already available to students.

This model of integrating language and culture, while developing a range of language skills, has also been very successful in offering students the opportunity to tackle a range of important literary texts outside the set readings required for the non-language papers in Italian. Students of all levels of the Tripos contribute to the production of the interview, and it is especially rewarding to see how students in their first few weeks of their Tripos in Italian approach working on authentic material with great interest and enthusiasm. The in-person contact with the author also contributes to active engagement with literary production.