In Our Ears, a Voice: The Persistence of the Trauma of Immigration in <i>Blue Italian</i> and <i>Umbertina</i>

Carol Bonomo Jennngs and Christine Palamidessi Moore

in American Woman, Italian Style

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780823231751
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823241286 | DOI:
In Our Ears, a Voice: The Persistence of the Trauma of Immigration in Blue Italian and Umbertina

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Approximately 80 percent of Italian Americans in the United States today can trace their roots to a southern Italian immigrant escaping the poverty and lack of opportunity in his or her own country. Migration necessitates a psychological dislocation as well as a physical uprooting, with ramifications for the children and grandchildren of immigrants who left behind basic support systems, a familiar environment, and a customary method of expression. The psychoanalytic term “transposition,” described by Judith Kestenberg, explains this process whereby trauma is transmitted cross-generationally. Much research had been done on the importance to both women of the mother–daughter relationship. The mother sees herself in her infant daughter and the daughter sees herself in her mother.

Keywords: Italian Americans; migration; relationship; mother; daughter; transposition; poverty

Chapter.  3920 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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