In each and every discourse on issues such as contact, evolution, transition, migration, integration and encounter, identity plays a central role. Being a manifold, uneasily describable object in itself, identity represents a very difficult object of study and many scholars from different disciplines of the human sciences (psychologists, anthropologists, sociologists, philosophers and linguists) have tried in recent years to give their contribution to the debate born around it. In the two meetings organized in Naples, April 14th 2015 and Turin, October 8-9th 2015 in the framework of the ATrA project, the issue has been discussed by archaeologists, linguists, philologists and anthropologists specifically adopting the perspective of observing and discussing identity through a reflection on its material manifestations in transitional contexts (be it in terms of language, of economical exchanges or of traditional handicraft). This book is a collection of selected papers from those meetings.
Ilaria Micheli, PhD in African Studies (2005), expert in linguistic anthropology, member of the Department of Juridical Sciences and Languages of the University of Triest. Since 2001 she works on the language and culture of the Kulango (Gur - Niger-Congo) of Côte d’Ivoire. In 2010 she studied the linguistic expressions and cultural representations of mental illness among the Gun (Gbe - Niger-Congo) of Benin and since December 2012 she’s been studying the language and Culture of the Okiek (Kalenjin - Nilo-Saharan) of Kenya. Since 2010 sh’s also working on problems of language-cognition-identity among the African immigrants in Italy. She has a particular interest in material culture, oral tradition and traditional medicine. She teaches African Languages and Cultures at the University of Venice “Cà Foscari” and African Identities in Transition at the University of Trieste.