Naples/Italy: An Accented Approach to City and Nation

Ruth S Glynn*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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Naples presents an intriguing case for the study of city and nation in cultural perspective. Historically viewed as a problem city and occupying an ambiguous place in the discursive construction of the nation, it has come to represent Italy in contemporary media and culture. This article reviews the historical construction of Naples in national discourse and interrogates new critical perspectives that re-evaluate the city in the light of postcolonial theory. Identifying the limitations of such theorization with respect to cultural representations of Naples’ relationship with Italy, I draw on theories of cultural accentedness (Naficy 2001; Coetzee 2013) to propose a new approach to Naples, premised upon a reframing of national culture in terms of differently accented practices, discourses and interpretations. The approach is intended as a model for critical interrogation of the relationship between city and nation more broadly.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-245
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Urban Cultural Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Intellect Ltd Article. English language.


  • Naples
  • city and nation
  • historical discourse
  • postcolonial theory
  • cultural accent
  • Gomorra


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