Romani Writing: Literacy, Literature and Identity Politics

  • ISBN 13:


  • ISBN 10:


  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 12/28/2013
  • Publisher: Routledge

Note: Not guaranteed to come with supplemental materials (access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.)

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The Roma (commonly known as 'Gypsies') have largely been depicted in writings and in popular culture as an illiterate group. However, as Paola Toninato demonstrates, the Roma have a deep understanding of literacy and its implications, and use writing for a range of different purposes. While some Romani writers adopt an 'oral' use of the written medium, which is instrumental in opposing and 'deconstructing' anti-Gypsy stereotypes, other Romani authors use writing for purposes of identity-building. Writing is perceived by Romani activists and intellectuals as a key factor in establishing a shared identity and introducing a common language that transcends linguistic and geographical boundaries between different Romani groups. As Toninato makes clear, Romani authors, acting in-between different cultures and communication systems, regard writing as an act of 'cultural mediation' through which they are able to 're-write' and 'negotiate' their identity while retaining their ethnic specificity. Indeed, Toninato concludes by emphasizing how Romani authors have started to create self-images in which the Roma are no longer portrayed as 'objects', but become 'subjects' of written representation.

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