African “ghosts” and the myth of “Italianness”: the presence of migrant writers in Italian literature

Tydskrif vir Letterkunde

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Field Value
 
Title African “ghosts” and the myth of “Italianness”: the presence of migrant writers in Italian literature
 
Creator Virga, Anita
 
Subject Italian migrant writers
Italian identity
black Italians
African migration to Italy
 
Description In this article, I analyze the cultural meaning of the emergence of an African migrant literature in Italy at the beginning of the 1990s and its presence today. I put this emergence in dialogue with the construction of Italian identity as white. Through a brief historical account of how this social construction came into being, I verify how African migrant literature contests this (de)racialized myth of “Italianness.” Using Gordon’s concept of “haunting,” I argue that African literature within Italian literature can be read as a manifestation of ghosts: the appearance of a presence that has always been there but was repressed by hegemonic discourses. African literature not only works against subalternity, but also reveals whiteness as imagined and acknowledges a colonial past that has been deleted from the public remembrance. Despite such work, African migrant authors today are still writing against the paradigm of the “arrival,” asking: who is Italian? Who can represent Italian citizens?
 
Publisher Tydskrif vir Letterkunde Association
 
Date 2019-06-03
 
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article
info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion
 
Format application/pdf
 
Identifier https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/6276
10.17159/2309-9070/tvl.v.56i1.6276
 
Source Tydskrif vir Letterkunde; Vol 56 No 1 (2019); 102-112
2309-9070
0041-476X
 
Language eng
 
Relation https://journals.assaf.org.za/index.php/tvl/article/view/6276/7730
 
Rights Copyright (c) 2019 Tydskrif vir Letterkunde
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0
 

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