WGS Intellectual Forum: Lorgia García-Peña

WGS Intellectual Forum: Lorgia García-Peña

October 17 2018

Intra-Colonial Migrations and Black Bodies in Contemporary Italy

Lorgia García-Peña
2018-19 MIT MLK Visiting Professor
Roy G. Clouse Associate Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and of History and Literature, Harvard University

This presentation engages in critique of Italian coloniality in the twentieth-first century through a transnational ethnic and critical race studies approach. Focusing on the intersections of multiple modes of colonialisms as experienced through racialized bodies of Latina immigrants and citizens in the diaspora, I look at the ways in which blackness and immigration meet in contemporary Italy through in lives of immigrants and their Italian “second generation” offspring.  These intersectional colonialities lead to the exclusion of people of color from legal citizenship through jus sanguinis legislation, and to the production of non-white bodies as expendable, exotic and foreign. Through the analysis of a series of cultural texts, media articles and interviews on, by and about black Italians and black immigrants in Italy, this chapter asks: what happens when multiple colonial regimes intersect to regulate the lives of immigrants and their descendants in the metropolitan post-colonial centers? How do diasporic communities negotiate multiple conceptualizations of race and regimes of colonialities to assert national belonging?  How does Italian participation in settler colonialism and global capitalism (sex tourism, drugs, human trafficking, affect work, etc.) intersect with order forms of global bordering (border security, immigration reforms, deportation, family separation) to produce categories of human exclusion in the Global North? And most importantly, how do minoritized black Italians contest the violence of past and present coloniality to gain access and visibility in the nation, and by extension, in the world?

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