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Black Italy and Black Italians: Postcolonial Voices in Contemporary Afro-Italian Literature

ENGL 231.401
crosslisted as: ITAL 300, COML 300
instructor(s):
TR 12-1:30pm
fulfills requirements:
Sector 2: Difference and Diaspora of the Standard Major
Sector 6: 20th Century Literature of the Standard Major
Elective Seminar of the Standard Major

This course explores life in contemporary and postcolonial Italy and some of its most pressing challenges, including immigration, racial politics, hybrid identities, citizenship, and globalization. Students will focus on the social and cultural changes that altered and complicated Italy’s image and status beginning during the 80’s migration movements (mainly from Africa). Specifically, students will identify the connections between Italy’s present and its (often overlooked) colonial past; analyze what constitute Italian-ness (italianità) and the novel ways of expressing black Italian-ness; reflect on how race and blackness are represented in Italian discourses; discuss which modes of expression are being used to describe the contemporary identity crisis in Italy. At the end of the course, students will be familiar with Black Italian artists, writers, and filmmakers, all of whom offer original and multilayered depictions of the interconnections between Italy and Africa and help to reposition Italy in the broad context of the black diaspora.