About the Journal

The project Transcultural. Passages through sciences, practises of transformation, represents a physical and “mental” place, in Gregory Bateson's sense of “aggregations of ideas”.


We live in a transnational age, in which all geographies and cultures lose their boundaries, redefine themselves and are in turn redefined. “Transnationalism” embraces different connotations depending on how it manifests itself: through migrants and artists experiences, in diasporas and cultural nomadism or in the dialectic of the feeling of belonging and non-belonging, of inclusion and exclusion.

We all live in borderland and we should consequently get used to thinking, acting and educating. The transition from borderline to borderland should make us look differently at the various cultures, experiences, values and survival strategies of those who inhabit, guard and cross borderlands.

Compared to a borderline where one must necessarily stay either on this side or on that side, in a borderland one is more often in the middle, without being able to say whether one is more on one side or the other, feeling indeed a little here and a little there (Anzaldúa, 1987; Clifford,1992).

For this reason, we should work together to find the ways of a better human coexistence that have so far been disregarded by the ideologies of multiculturalism and interculturalism.

The transcultural dimension assigns a crucial role to “alterity” in the construction of identity. “Alterity” indeed, can foster authentic relationships between cultures (against any form of synthesis), because it increases the capacity to deeply explore one's own experience.

This perspective urges us to decolonize the monocultural mind (NgugiwaThiong'o, 1986), to de-westernize  the worldview (Latouche, 1992), and to rewrite the "history of the Other" de Certeau, 2005).

In particular, within the social, anthropological, psycho-pedagogical and psychiatric sciences (Devereux, 2014; Ancora, 2017; Moro, 2009; Goussot, 2014), the transcultural approach has proven to be particularly valid in educational and caring relationships to promote processes of inclusion and contrast any form of assimilation of "cultures of origin" to the dominant culture.
In the last three decades, these areas of research and intervention have allowed to break down borders, embrace cultural changes, open spaces and build new notions of "law", "health", "coexistence" and "belonging ".

More specifically, in the field of contemporary art and literature studies (D'haen, 2012; Rosendhal Thomsen, 2008; Reichardt, 2018), due to the equally decisive role attributed to art in the fabrication and/or decipherment of cultural contamination, the dimension of hybridization and métissage has emerged as the lifeblood of a new "poetics of Relation" (Glissant, 1990).

Talking about a transcultural perspective therefore means placing it in a pedagogical, ethnographic, historical, anthropological, psychological dimension of multi-sited research and analysis aimed at the interdisciplinary crossings highlighted today by the fluidity of communications.

The journal can only show itself as dynamic and crossing, usable by those who want to recognize themselves as a "border operator" ready for possible responses to a world in motion and a nomadism of thought, necessary to cross the "thresholds of competence" that often block our thinking / acting. The proposed mental attitude is similar to the methòrios, that is, the one who is on the border: even if he has his gaze in his region, it extends beyond the border and his ear can thus listen to the reasons of the other.

The current situation seems to suggest that it is not enough to stick only to a “neutral” and “institutional” mandate, ignoring the internal and external movement that every cultural process requires and produces.

For this reason, with a transdisciplinary perspective, the journal wants to be open to contributions from different fields of scientific knowledge. In this direction will be highlighted paths of ideas, educational practises, researches in multicultural contexts, stories of people forgotten in a hurry, in an era that seems to have no desire and time to think and go beyond a  "commercial" vision of existence.

We are aware of the challenge that awaits us in such difficult times, full of concerns of various kinds. Precisely for this reason we want to offer the possibility to think, hope and r-exist to all of us, transcultural operators of the third millennium!

We look at the Transcultural Journal as a laboratory of ideas and experiences, reflections and testimonies, collected in the present and projected into the future, articulated in permeable sections.

The first: Crossings between sciences. The underlying motive behind this section of the journal can be summarised by the words of Clifford Geertz: "the purpose of anthropology is the broadening of the universe of human discourse". Geertz himself gives us an exemplary demonstration of how interdisciplinarity can constitute the privileged ground for this extension.
In his article "From the native point of view, on the nature of anthropological understanding" (1974), he takes up two concepts coined in an entirely different context by the psychoanalyst Heinz Kohut. Two modes that can be applied to several disciplinary fields: the dimension of a knowing "close to experience" (experience-near) and the dimension of a knowing "far from experience" (experience-far).

The first mode could be translated as 'participant observation', 'empathy', 'immediate transferal dimension'. The second mode could be translated as a 'work of thought and culture', as a 'theoretical reflection' that contributes to a broader understanding of the observed phenomena.

For Geertz, the two modes become fertile only if they fertilise each other, in the classic dialectic between praxis and theory.

This creativity applies not only within a given disciplinary area, since concepts drawn from another discipline can fertilise the understanding of phenomena that are usually considered from a different discipline.

The complexity of our time requires a special effort of thought: without falling into a superficial eclecticism, it is a matter of compensating the tendency to hyper-specialistic response and the temptation of ideological adherence to a given discipline, with an opening of knowledge that combines transcultural and interdisciplinary.


Second section: Transformation practises

In this section, we collect written works, ideas and experiences that open the doors to change here and now. At the present moment, imagining the change and transforming the world emerge as pressing needs.

Thinking philosophy as the thought of the experience and taking up wise discourses that have been neglected over time, are methods that offer each and every person the possibility to turn everyday life into a laboratory where an alternative to the current crisis can arise. 

We will particularly welcome those contributions that, from specific observation points of theoretical and methodological fields (from transactional anthropology to the ethnography of migration, from psychoanalysis to the philosophy of identity, from postcolonial studies to migrant literature, up to critical and transcultural pedagogy) have:

highlighted projects, paths, results, strategies and approaches oriented towards a critical reflection on the processes of people and communities development.

aimed at the creation of new practises and skills in the health and social field and at the design of new "curricula" in the field of education,

investigated the processes and effects that the adoption of certain policies in this field produces on the working trajectories of operators. 

Moreover, the presentation of case studies, empirical research in multicultural educational contexts and past or current pedagogical experiences, will also be appreciated.


The third section: Transcultural memories in contemporary and curatorial artistic practises. This section, under the scientific direction of Stefano Polenta, is dedicated to different ways in which transcultural memory is articulated inside some contemporary artistic practises linked to experiences of migration, exile, diaspora, transnationalization; but also to some examples of innovative curatorial projects which propose alternative visions about exposition practises, memorialization and archiving of the past, highlighting connections with contemporary times and their postcolonial configuration.

Furthermore, this section is dedicated to the examination of 'case studies': from digital cinema to figurative art, from transcultural literature to music, from theatre to comics. Testimonies and critical reflection are intertwined among them, offering a look at the complex and layered interconnections between cultural, geographical, historical, economic and social contexts of Europe and the contemporary world, with particular attention to the Mediterranean area, recognizing in global processes of migration and in their historical formation an essential element for understanding the present.


Impossible conversations. Imaginary or real interviews with "classics". Impossible conversations with characters and works that have marked past centuries (but also the present) with their lives, dialogues that allow scientific knowledge. These are the guidelines on which this section is based. It will be possible to dialogue with Tina Modotti or with Rita Levi Montalcini, with George Devereux or Rainer Maria Fassbinder, with Gloria Evangelina Anzaldúa or Paulo Freire, with Italo Calvino or Gregory Bateson, with Ernesto De Martino or Maria Montessori ...


The Zenodotus of Ephesus Shelf. A book and a film a month.


Precious stones. Selected articles. Wilhelm Grimm, preparing to publish the seventh edition of Kinder- und Hausmärchen (1857), faced with the difficulty establishing an origin and a line of continuity of the fairy tale, resorted to the metaphor of a precious stone shattered, the splinters of which, scattered on the soil covered with grasses and flowers, can be discovered only by one eye which is more penetrating than the others. The metaphor came to mind by dedicating a section to essays published in the periodical press or in collective volumes that have marked cultural history.


Moving pictures. Photos album in composition. Black and white portraits of philosophers, artists, scientists… heretics, rebels, indomitables, excommunicated, exiled, transformed, disavowed… But also places / non-places, languages of lands, borders, encroachments.


Taken into account the perspective assumed by the journal, we believe that the principle of multilingualism is fundamental, so each author may submit his/her contribution in his/her mother tongue, in the spirit of sharing and maintaining the originality of his/her work (the editorial board will proceed to the translation, if necessary).


Alfredo Ancora - Raffaele Tumino



Ancora, A. (2017), Verso una cultura dell'incontro, Milano, Franco Angeli.

Anzaldúa G. (1987), Borderlands/La Frontera, San Francisco, Aunt Lute.

Clifford, J. (2008), Strade. Viaggio e traduzione alla fine del secolo, tr. it., Torino, Bollati-Boringhieri.

Clifford Geertz, J. (1974), “From the native point of view, on the nature of anthropological understanding”, «Bollettino dell'Accademia americana delle arti e delle scienze», vol. 28, n. 1 (ottobre 1974), pp. 26-45.

de Certeau, M. (2005), La scrittura dell'altro, tr. it., Milano, Raffaello Cortina

D'haen, T. (2012), The Routledge Concise History of World Literature. London and New York, Routledge.

Devereux, G. (2014), Etnopsicanalisi complementarista. Nuova edizione a cura di A. Ancora, Milano, FrancoAngeli.

Glissant, E. (1990), Poétique de la Relation (Poétique III), Parigi, Gallimard.

Goussot, A. (2014), L'approccio transculturale nella relazione di aiuto. Il contributo di Georges Devereux tra psicoterapia ed educazione, Roma, Aras.

Latouche, S. (1992), L'occidentalizzazione del mondo. Saggio sul significato, la portata e i limiti dell'uniformazione planetaria, tr. it, Torino, Bollati Boringhieri.

Moll, N.-Reichardt D. (2018), L’Italia transculturale. Il sincretismo italofono come modello eterotopico, Ancona, Franco Cesati.

Moro, R., De La Noë Q. e Mouchenik Y. (2009), Manuale di psichiatria transculturale. Dalla clinica alla società, tr. it., Milano, FrancoAngeli.

Ngugi wa Thiong'o, (1986), Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature, London, Heinemann.

Rosendhal, T. (2008), Mapping World Literature. International Canonization and Transnational Literatures. London, Continuum.