Italian Colonialism: Legacy and Memory
Until relatively recently, the Italian colonial experience was largely regarded as an incidental aspect of Italy's past. Studies of liberal Italy and even fascism underplayed both the significance of the state's colonial ambition and its broader cultural impact. In the post-war era, even less consideration has been given to how this colonial legacy still affects Italy and the countries it occupied and colonized.
This book arises out of a major two-day international conference held at the Italian Cultural Institute in London in December 2001. The essays investigate the ways in which the Italian colonial experience continues to be relevant even after the end of empire. They explore the ways in which the memories of Italy's colonial past have been crafted to accommodate the needs of the present and the extent to which forgetting colonialism became an integral part of Italian culture and national identity. These issues have come into sharper relief of late as labour migration to Italy has led to new social and cultural encounters within Italy. The essays additionally investigate the colonial legacy from the perspective of Italy's former colonies, highlighting the enduring social, cultural and political ramifications of the colonial relationship. This interdisciplinary collection contains contributions from international experts in the fields of history, cultural studies (literature and film), politics and sociology.
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