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Migrant Hearts and the Atlantic ReturnTransnationalism and the Roman Catholic Church$
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Valentina Napolitano

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823267484

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823267484.001.0001

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Translocality, Intimacies, and Gendered Subjectivity

(p.150) 6. Enwalled
Migrant Hearts and the Atlantic Return

Valentina Napolitano

Fordham University Press

The Vatican’s current positions on migration and its understanding of transnational migration in light of “humanity,” “civilization,” and the Culture of Life erase the complexity and the gendered politics of migrant sexual and affective experience. This chapter explores these complexities by focusing on three differently situated groups of migrant women (in mix-marriages with Italians, women working in the care industry as badanti, and nuns) and their respective relations to walls, skins, and the Italian society at large. These relations produce affects that stick to skins and walls in the process of the transformation of shared (and unshared) intimacies through the work of love, service/care, and material/immaterial labor. The chapter shows that a labor of love, required and often performed by Latin American lay female workers, is in continuity and counter position to some of the ones performed by Mexican religious nuns in Rome. Through this ethnographic lens we come to appreciate how gendered migrant processes are also potentially creative affective spaces, where national and Catholic ideals are not only broken down but are actually cut, pasted, and reassembled—on and through skins and walls.

Keywords:   affects, badanti, Catholicism, Catholic nuns, gender, intimacy, Mexico, mix-marriages, skin, space

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