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Black Italia : migrant voices from Africa

Di Maio, Alessandra

Through the centuries, historical and fictional characters of African descent have been an
integral part of Italian culture at large – from Hannibal to Othello, to ‘Faccetta Nera’, up
to present-day immigrants. Yet their presence, in history as much as in the arts, has often
been marginalized, or considered episodic, if not entirely overlooked by Italy’s dominant
discourse.
The recent arrival of a plethora of immigrants from the four corners of the world,
many of whom from African countries, has urged Italians to recuperate their African past
as an essential, and often problematic, component of their national identity. Yet historical
sources appear fragmentary and often interpolated. How to re-compose the neglected
African Italian heritage?

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Academic Units
Italian Academy
Publisher
Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America, Columbia University
Series
Italian Academy Fellows' Seminar Working Papers
Published Here
March 30, 2011
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