California Italian Studies
Italia come Africa e Africa come Italia: movimenti migratori, confini reali, espansioni immaginarie da S.T. Coleridge a Erri De Luca
- Author(s): Cazzato, Luigi
- et al.
This article tackles the question of the territorial boundaries of “italianità,” i.e. defining a place for Italy, through the analysis of some key moments in its discursive construction in modernity. I begin by summarizing the results of my long-standing research into the origins and diffusion of what is named “meridionism,” claiming that the territorialization of Italian-ness starts with the diffusion of the discursive metaphor of “(Southern) Italy equals Africa” in the 19th century, which fostered the racial profiling of Southern Italians as Africans within. This process, I propose, finds its completion in the present migration movements that have brought about the actual arrival of Africa in Southern Italy. By contrast, the bulk of the article focuses on the discursive reversal of that equation in the prophetic works of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s and Erri De Luca.