Bernard Hickey, a Roving Cultural Ambassador
This volume in memory of Bernard Hickey, intended as a tribute to his untiring activity of ambassador of Australian culture in Italy and Europe and of promoter of postcolonial studies, collects critical essays and creative writings by scholars and writers from all over the world. The book is a synthesis, inevitably incomplete, of the various interests cultivated by this intellectual through his multifarious ‘conversations’ which are echoed and developed in this collection. Among the topics explored, ‘reconciliation’, in its widest connotation, acquires a central role as a guideline along which to explore subjects such as migration and diaspora, the crossing of ideological and cultural barriers, multiculturalism and interculturalism, contaminations and processes of identity definition. Prominent scholars in the field of linguistics, literary and cultural studies examine these complex themes in relation to different geographical contexts, from the Caribbean to Canada, from Ireland to Africa, with special focus on Australia with its complex histories and cultures. Rather than subdividing the essays into rigid thematic areas, a more flexible interdisciplinary approach has been chosen in order to facilitate the interaction and insightful dialogue between different fields and methods of analysis. The second section of the book is dedicated to creative writing by both emerging and well-known writers. It gathers poems, short stories, translations and personal memories.