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The Horn of Africa and Italy

Colonial, Postcolonial and Transnational Cultural Encounters

by Simone Brioni (Volume editor) Shimelis Gulema (Volume editor)
Edited Collection XII, 328 Pages
Series: New Comparative Criticism, Volume 6

Summary

This multidisciplinary volume analyses key themes and topics related to the cultural encounters between Italy and its former colonies in the Horn of Africa (Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia). The multi-faceted relations between the Horn of Africa and Italy were initiated during the colonial period but have also been shaped more recently through migration. In eleven chapters by experts in comparative literature, cultural studies, history, migration studies, political philosophy and postcolonial theory, the volume highlights how the legacy of colonialism permeates Italian society as well as influencing the construction of national identities in the Horn of Africa. The analysis of this transnational encounter opens up new possibilities for comparative research and critical synergies in Italian studies, African studies and beyond.

Table Of Content

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the editors
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • Figures
  • Acknowledgements
  • A Note on the Text
  • Introduction: A Transnational Cultural Encounter (Simone Brioni / Shimelis Bonsa Gulema)
  • Part I Colonialism
  • 1 Law: The Myth of Progress and Differentialism in the Liberal Age (Olindo De Napoli)
  • 2 Landscape: Somalia as Seen in Italian Colonial Literature (Wu Ming 2)
  • 3 History: Italian Fascist Visions of Somalia’s Past and Future (Lee Cassanelli)
  • Part II Postcolonialism
  • 4 Urbanism: History, Legacy, and Memory of the Italian Occupation in Addis Ababa (1936–1941) (Shimelis Bonsa Gulema)
  • 5 Nationalism: The Italian Occupation in Amharic Literature and Political Thought (Sara Marzagora)
  • 6 Racism: Meticci on the Eve of Colonial Downfall (Antonio Maria Morone)
  • 7 Decolonization: Representing the Trusteeship Administration of Somalia (Daniele Comberiati)
  • Part III Transnationalism
  • 8 Heroes: A Transnational Reconsideration of Mohammed Abdulle Hassan and Omar al-Mukhtar in Literature and Film (Lorenzo Mari)
  • 9 Diaspora: A ‘Postcolonial’ Migration? An Analysis of Eritrean Mobility Trajectories (Milena Belloni)
  • 10 Sport: Leisure, Representation, and Politics of Exclusion and Inclusion (Simone Brioni)
  • 11 Photography: Memorial Intertexts in New Writing by Maaza Mengiste, Nadifa Mohamed, and Igiaba Scego (Emma Bond)
  • Notes on Contributors
  • Index
  • Series Index

The Horn of Africa and Italy

Colonial, Postcolonial and
Transnational Cultural Encounters

Edited by Simone Brioni
and Shimelis Bonsa Gulema

About the editors

Simone Brioni is Assistant Professor in the Department of English at Stony Brook University. His research focuses on migration studies and postcolonial theory with a particular emphasis on contemporary Italian culture.

Shimelis Bonsa Gulema is Assistant Professor in the Department of Africana Studies and History at Stony Brook University.

About the book

This multidisciplinary volume analyses key themes and topics related to the cultural encounters between Italy and its former colonies in the Horn of Africa (Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia). The multi-faceted relations between the Horn of Africa and Italy were initiated during the colonial period but have also been shaped more recently through migration. In eleven chapters by experts in comparative literature, cultural studies, history, migration studies, political philosophy and postcolonial theory, the volume highlights how the legacy of colonialism permeates Italian society as well as influencing the construction of national identities in the Horn of Africa. The analysis of this transnational encounter opens up new possibilities for comparative research and critical synergies in Italian studies, African studies and beyond.

This eBook can be cited

This edition of the eBook can be cited. To enable this we have marked the start and end of a page. In cases where a word straddles a page break, the marker is placed inside the word at exactly the same position as in the physical book. This means that occasionally a word might be bifurcated by this marker.

Acknowledgements

Questo libro non sarebbe stato possibile senza il contributo di molti, e non solo perché è una raccolta di saggi. Grazie di cuore alle colleghe e ai colleghi, alle studentesse e agli studenti, alle compagne e ai compagni, alle sorelle e ai fratelli, che mi hanno sostenuto in questi anni. Grazie a mia madre, mio padre, e mia figlia. Grazie Katherine. Grazie a tutti coloro che hanno collaborato con le loro idee, le loro energie e la loro competenza a questo volume.

Simone Brioni

New York, 17 September 2017

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The generous junior research leave accorded to us by our home institution of the State University of New York at Stony Brook gave us the time needed to work on this project. We are also grateful to our institution for the Faculty in the Arts, Humanities and lettered Social Sciences collaborative fund, which allowed us to organize a seminar series at the Humanities Institute about the cultural encounters between Italy and the Horn of Africa. A special thanks goes to the Honors College, which was supportive of the interdisciplinary course that we developed and taught with Peter Carravetta, and to the students who took this course and contributed←ix | x→ through their discussions with us to the success of this research project. We also would like to thank Florian Mussgnug and the editorial board of the New Comparative Criticism series for having welcomed the project of this book, and the external reader of the manuscript of the book for useful advice.

Earlier versions of some chapters in this volume have appeared previously. Chapter 2 developed from a blog post by Wu Ming, ‘Orizzonti d’Impero e paesaggi coloniali: una riflessione di Wu Ming 2’, which appeared in the Italian language on 13 June 2012 on the website <http://www.wumingfoundation.com>. Parts of Chapter 10 develop from an article which was previously published in the Italian language: Simone Brioni, ‘Storie “vere” ed eroine dei romanzi. Rappresentare la Somalia in “Ilaria Alpi. La ragazza che voleva raccontare l’inferno” e “Non dirmi che hai paura”’, Incontri. Rivista europea di studi italiani 1.1 (2016), 47–60. An earlier and shorter version of Chapter 11 was submitted for a Festschrift for Professor Sharon Wood: Women and the Public Sphere in Modern and Contemporary Italy, ed. by Simona Storchi, Marina Spunta and Maria Morelli (Leicester: Troubador Press, 2017). We are grateful to the editors and publishers for permissions to republish.←x | xi→

A Note on the Text

Translations in the text are the authors’, unless otherwise stated. Chapter 2 was translated from Italian by Kate Willman. Arabic, Eritrean, Ethiopian, and Somali proper names are mentioned by referring to the first name, which is the most common practice in African studies among scholars whose work focuses on the Horn of Africa. This choice has been taken to avoid the ambiguity caused by the Westernization of these names.←xi | xii→ ←xii | 1→

Simone Brioni and Shimelis Bonsa Gulema

Introduction: A Transnational Cultural Encounter

Our politics must be Italian and our market must be the world […] our fathers cleared the path for new civilization [and] we would betray our fatherland if we did not expand our field of economic activity.1

The encounter between Italy and the area in the Horn of Africa (also referred to as North East Africa) which now includes Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia began at the end of the nineteenth century with the rise of the colonial enterprise. This relation was forged to a large extent through war and violence. However, to put the matter in these terms would miss the complexity of an encounter that also included religious exchange, commercial transactions, and explorations that produced knowledge about the geography, history, politics, society, and cultures of people in North East Africa. In more than one instance, these facets were used in the service of Italian and European colonialism, but the relation between the two regions was extensive, and was not limited to, colonial expansion and conquest.

Details

Pages
XII, 328
ISBN (PDF)
9781787079946
ISBN (ePUB)
9781787079953
ISBN (MOBI)
9781787079960
ISBN (Softcover)
9781787079939
Language
English
Publication date
2018 (October)
Tags
colonial legacy migration discrimination cultural studies postcolonial theory Italy Eritrea Somalia Ethiopia transnationalism
Published
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2018. XIV, 326, 7 fig. b/w, 1 table

Biographical notes

Simone Brioni (Volume editor) Shimelis Gulema (Volume editor)

Simone Brioni is Assistant Professor in the Department of English at Stony Brook University. His research focuses on migration studies and postcolonial theory with a particular emphasis on contemporary Italian culture. Shimelis Bonsa Gulema is Assistant Professor in the Department of Africana Studies and History at Stony Brook University.

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Title: The Horn of Africa and Italy