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.
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© 2021 Intellect Ltd Article. English language.
- city and nation
- historical discourse
- postcolonial theory
- cultural accent