Pre-Occupied SpacesRemapping Italy's Transnational Migrations and Colonial Legacies

Pre-Occupied SpacesRemapping Italy's Transnational Migrations and Colonial Legacies

Teresa Fiore

Print publication date: 2018

ISBN: 9780823274321

Publisher: Fordham University Press


By highlighting Italy’s long history of emigration to all continents in the world, as well as its lesser known colonial experiences, Fiore’s book poses Italy as a unique laboratory to rethink national belonging at large in our era of massive demographic mobility. Through an interdisciplinary cultural approach, the book finds traces of globalization in a past that may hold interesting lessons about inclusiveness for the present. Fiore’s imaginative remapping of Italy’s national formation and development foregrounds the perspectives of the “outsiders,” that is, departing and arriving migrants along diasporic and (post-) colonial routes. In adopting a lens that introduces space theories by de Certeau, Lefebvre, and Soja to the trans-national dimension of the Italian nation, Fiore analyzes films, novels, songs, plays, and nursery rhymes by migrant and non-migrant authors and artists. They range from established names such as Calvino, Rodari, Mazzucco, Ghermandi, and Lakhous to lesser known artists in the English-speaking world such as Cavanna, Pariani, and Mignonette. Set in such diverse places as Argentina, Egypt, the U.S., Italy, and France, and created by authors originally from Algeria, Tunisia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Romania among other places, these works are strongly focused on the spaces where migrants travel, reside, and work. Seas and oceans, multi-ethnic neighborhoods and buildings, as well as construction sites and domestic environments, are spaces full of preoccupation about the presence of migrants as well as spaces always pre-occupied by previous stories of migration that set up commonalities rather than divisions along cultural lines.

Table of Contents

Front Matter

Part One Waters: Migrant Voyages and Ships from and to Italy

Part Two Houses: Multiethnic Residential Spaces as Living Archives of Pre-Occupation and Invention

Part Three Workplaces: A Creative Re-Occupation of Labor Spaces against Exploitation