Rewriting Migrants' Identities across Women's Literature


Female Migrants’ literature to guide the social cohesion policies

The questions of identity formation and reconstruction are crucial in today’s debate concerning migration, human rights, and gender equality policies in Europe.

The EU- funded Rewrite project will deepen our understanding of the European Pillar of Social Rights and rethink the EU’s integration and social cohesion policies. It will do this by examining migrant literary works produced by women during the last two centuries.

The project will conduct a comparative study on policies of integration and the consequences of deconstructing and reconstructing migrant-women identities.
Exploring self-reflexivity in migrant women writers of the 20th and 21st centuries, the project will identify turning points that are necessary for identity transformation.

Credits: Janire Zulaika


Global objective

The project’s timeline will examine the body of migrant, exile, intercultural literature of women writers from the multidimensional analytical lens of the migratory career (as key for the identification of central turning points articulated in women’s heterogeneous biographies and in-between transformation spaces for self-realisation.

The core questions are: Which are the main dominant discourses (systemic) and experiences (individual) about race, class, gender roles, shaping migrant women identities and critical writings, linked to power/oppression relationships? Which are migrant women’s positioning and representations in-between spaces? Might be literature expression of identity construction processes in challenge of dominant writing and opinions? Rethinking identities is relevant for gender equality and social cohesion.

Rewrite aims to bridge the gap between gender-based human mobility and social change via the comparative analysis between the European integration policies and the role and impact on the simultaneous processes of identities de/reconstruction, by:

  1. analysing existent emblematic novels from 20th and 21st centuries focused on two main dilemmas: identity and belonging; integration and exclusion;
  2. creating a new body of critic women’s writings, “tradition much ignored due to the inferior position of women in male-dominated societies”, related to human mobility.

Rewrite’s aim is to become the bridge between academia, knowledge production by migrant women and life-writing as a psicosocial toll for the social change.


  • an interactive Map on Female migrant writers of the 20 th and 21 st Centuries (contents: bio and literary productions).
  • publications on this subject: academic articles and an anthology;
  • a series of events: conferences, screenings abd talks;
  • an online Social Lab: a space for reflection, writing and re-framing personal migrants’ experiences related to the migration process, with production of storytelling and piece of writing.

The research will:

  • explore the identities de/reconstruction processes in the migrant literary works produced by women during the last two centuries;
  • contribute to the European Pillar of Social Rights and to rethink the European Union’s (EU) integration and social cohesion policies from an intersectional perspective;
  • inquire into the self-reflexivity in migrant women writers from a critical discourse analysis, advocating for social change, which is crucial for a new understanding of the limitation of politics.

Fields of science


Literary production of the 20th and 21st centuries on migration and displacement, exiled, refugee people’s testimonies through the autobiographical and auto-fictional life-writing, memoires and diaries.



Rewrite literary café

The Rewrite Literary Café is a new space of debate and conversation on female writings and literary production written by women all over the world.
It wants to be a comfortable space addressed to the conversation with female authors. Contents are created ongoing and we discover, step by step, some little curiosities about the authors, their works, their lives, and the importance of writing and the subjective creative processes.
Coffee and culture is based on the 18th century’s idea and trend in many European cities, where intellectual entered for networking, discussions around coffee and the.

Some of the most traditional literary cafés [ESP].


Maria Luisa Di Martino

Principal Investigator

Luis Fernando Beneduzi

Main Supervisor - Unive

Kate Kennedy

Secondment Supervisor - OCLW University of Oxford