Where Blackness Meets the Sea: On Crisis, Culture, and the Black Mediterranean focuses on representations of blackness, femininity, and mobility in Black Italian and migrant writing and culture from 1985 to 2017. This book contributes to theorizations of syncretic racial and cultural formations while undoing several stages of ethnoracial and gendered assumptions of Southern European, Mediterranean, and African identities in the process.
The premise undergirding this project is that another sociopolitical orientation is required, one that does not look to the state for recognition, but considers a new coalitional practice that can be thought “littorally” via the Mediterranean’s seascape and peripheries, rather than national European borders and economics-driven valuation of human life. One of my aims is to expose the material and psychological violence of Frontex Europe in conjunction with the legacies of colonial and fascist Italy by insisting on discussing the politics of citizenship on its own terms, and without relying on the desire to redeem or reconcile its legal hierarchies. Thus, this project departs from the liberal narrative about and traditional approaches to cultural belonging or “acceptance” of racialized Otherness/difference in Italy, the Mediterranean, and Europe from the period of Italian Unification to the contemporary moment by historicizing and expanding on the Black Mediterranean and the cultural production it engenders.