A Place in the Sun: Africa in Italian Colonial Culture from Post-Unification to the Present

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Patrizia Palumbo
University of California Press, Nov 17, 2003 - History - 332 pages
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Given the centrality of Africa to Italy's national identity, a thorough study of Italian colonial history and culture has been long overdue. Two important developments, the growth of postcolonial studies and the controversy surrounding immigration from Africa to the Italian peninsula, have made it clear that the discussion of Italy's colonial past is essential to any understanding of the history and construction of the nation. This collection, the first to gather articles by the most-respected scholars in Italian colonial studies, highlights the ways in which colonial discourse has pervaded Italian culture from the post-unification period to the present. During the Risorgimento, Africa was invoked as a limb of a proudly resuscitated Imperial Rome. During the Fascist era, imperialistic politics were crucial in shaping both domestic and international perceptions of the Italian nation.

These contributors offer compelling essays on decolonization, exoticism, fascist and liberal politics, anthropology, and historiography, not to mention popular literature, feminist studies, cinema, and children's literature. Because the Italian colonial past has had huge repercussions, not only in Italy and in the former colonies but also in other countries not directly involved, scholars in many areas will welcome this broad and insightful panorama of Italian colonial culture.
 

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Contents

Italian Colonial Cultures
1
The Shaping of Italian Colonial History Political Practices and Theoretical Legitimization
15
The Myths Suppressions Denials and Defaults of Italian Colonialism
17
Reflections on the State of the Art
37
The Early Colonial Period
62
The Liberal and Early Fascist Period 18971934
81
Colonial Literature From Exploration to a Domestic Empire
117
Gifts Sex and Guns NineteenthCentury Italian Explorers in Africa
119
MassMediated Fantasies of Feminine Conquest 19301940
197
Colonial Propaganda and Childrens Literature during the Imperial Era
225
The Colonial Production of Africa and the Silent Scene of Decolonization
253
Whitened Heroes Auditory Rhetoric and National Identity in Interwar Italian Cinema
255
Fascist Italys Colonial Anxieties and Lo Squadrone Bianco
279
Decolonization in Italy
299
NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS
321
INDEX
325

From Futurist Excess to Postmodern Impasse
138
Colonialism and the Egyptian Works of Enrico Pea and Giuseppe Ungaretti
163

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About the author (2003)

Patrizia Palumbo is Assistant Professor of Italian and French at Wagner College.

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