In the current era of globalization, humans, languages, cultures, books, artefacts and products continuously travel, interact, and change. Consequently, the concept of ‘border’ understood as an unmovable entity or place is subject to change as well. Suggesting that this concept is ever less adequate to describe today’s realities, the summer school Space After Borders. Migration, Literature and Translation aims to conceive of ways of imagining space after borders. It invites young scholars to reflect on and to participate in discussions on what it means to find oneself in a ‘space after borders’, that is, in between multiple languages, cultures, and identities. Where are the borders that define a culture, identity, or literary production? How can we look beyond them? How can we imagine a space after borders?

The summer school focuses on two phenomena in particular, arguing that a dialogue between these two will be fruitful to discuss these questions:

  1. (literatures of) migration
  2. translation studies.

On the one hand, the theme of migration will be approached from a literary and philosophical perspective. In Migration Italy (Toronto University Press, 2005), for example, Graziella Parati underlines that “the relevance that migrants’ literature has in shaping the future of Italian culture in a new multiculturalist direction that inscribes itself in the already multicultural Italian profile” (57). Parati furthermore notes that all speakers of Italian - be they born in or outside of Italy - differ with some degree from the national linguistic norm; hence, this creates a point of encounter “between two different embodiments of distance from a national language (that of the native Italian and that of the migrant)” (55-56).

On the other hand, in translation studies, the need to relate Italian literature with ‘foreign’ literature translated in Italian, is increasingly felt. This is what is highlighted by the LTit research project, and by the collection of essays titled Traiettorie. Studies on translated literature in Italy (Quodlibet, 2019), edited by Michele Sisto. These initiatives interrogate and investigate Italian translations of German literature, bringing them into contact with the Italian canon as part of a single corpus. In the field of translation studies we can thus note a turn towards questions of migration and literature, while literatures and philosophies of migration interrogate unitary visions of national languages and identities.

Through interventions, workshops and evening sessions of collective readings, the summer school Space After Borders wants to present itself as an opportunity to bring together multiple generations of scholars with writers and other professionals, promoting a dialogue on the theme of being between different cultures, languages and identities, of finding oneself in a space after borders.

Confirmed Speakers

Alessandra Ferraro, teacher of French literature and Francophone literatures (University of Udine)

Amara Lakhous, writer

Marie Moïse, PhD in Political Philosophy and militant translator

Maria Nadotti, translator and journalist

Loredana Polezzi, professor (Stony Brook University)

Michele Sisto, professor (Università degli Studi “G. D’Annunzio”)


The summer school will be largely held in Italian, and at least a passive knowledge of the Italian language is highly recommended. Yet, it will also be open to interested doctoral and postdoctoral candidates of other languages and literatures.

Where & When

The summer school will take place from 21-22 July 2022 in Monte Verità, at (or, after) the border of Italy and Switzerland. Parts of the summer school will be made available online via this website.

Organisation and Funding

Organised by: Saskia Kroonenberg (University of Cologne), Sara Pesce (University of Zurich), Mara Travella (University of Zurich), Francesca Rodesino (University of Zurich).

This summer school is made possible thanks to the financial support of the University of Zurich, especially the Graduate Campus, the Romanisches Seminar, and the Department of Allgemeine und Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft; and the Dipartimento dell’educazione, della cultura e dello sport of the Republic and Canton of Ticino.