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Migration and the Contemporary Mediterranean

Shifting Cultures in Twenty-First-Century Italy and Beyond

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Edited By Claudia Gualtieri

This collection of essays presents a study of migration cultures in the contemporary Mediterranean with a particular focus on Italy as a point of migratory convergence and pressure. It investigates different experiences of, and responses to, sea crossings, borders and checkpoints, cultural proximity and distance, race, ethnicity and memory, along with creative responses to the same. In dialogic and complementary interaction, the essays explore violence centring on race as the major determining factor. The book further submits that the interrogation of racialized categories represents different kinds of critical response and resistance, which involve both political struggle and day-to-day survival and coexistence. Following the praxis of cultural and postcolonial studies, the essays focus on the present but draw indispensable insight from past connections and heritage as well as offering prognoses for the future. The ambitious aim of this collection is to identify some useful lines of thought and action that could help us to think outside intricacy, isolation and defensiveness, which characterize most of the public official reactions to migration today.

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‘Migration and the Contemporary Mediterranean is all about crossing borders, blurring boundaries, following routes, traversing distances and differences. It rereads space as transits marked by the remembrance of things past, present and future. The book itself is a wonderful exercise in the very kind of mapping that is the very life of the Mediterranean.’ – Lawrence Grossberg, Distinguished Professor of Communication and Cultural Studies, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

‘Carefully woven and attuned by Claudia Gualtieri, this collective book radically unpacks what is currently discussed as a “migration crisis” in Italy and in Europe. A sea of death and a sea of struggle for thousands of migrants, the Mediterranean becomes a prism that unmakes familiar geographies, partitions and borders. And migration becomes a movement whose political implications continue to challenge our imagination.’ – Sandro Mezzadra, Associate Professor of Political Theory, University of Bologna, and co-author, with Brett Neilson, of Border as Method, or, the Multiplication of Labor (2013)

‘Claudia Gualtieri’s remarkable collection reflects from multiple perspectives both creative and scholarly on the perilous pathways traced in our new millennium across this most traversed of seas. It would be difficult to think of a more evocative, humane response to the European migration crisis than we find in these pages with their important lessons that connectivity is irrefutable, scholarship defeats hatred, and stories give shelter.’ – Elleke Boehmer, Professor of World Literature in English, University of Oxford

This collection of essays presents a study of migration...

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