Heather Merrill

Associate Professor and Chair of Africana Studies Heather Merrill published an article in Acme: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies. The article is titled "Post-Colonial Borderlands: Black Life-Worlds and Relational Place in Turin, Italy" (Volume 13 (2) 2014).

The essay examines practices, negotiations and meanings of place, identity and belonging among first generation African-Italians from the vantage point of what Michael Hanchard has called "black life worlds," complex experiences of race among African diasporic populations in relation to race. These experiences suggest that the borders between Africa and Europe are far more porous than they appear to be.

This essay develops a theory of relational place to study the meaning of place in black life worlds as indexed by the everyday materiality of bodies in relation to racial discourses and practices, and the profound interweavings of Africa and Europe through space and time. The essay also examines African-Italian experiences in relation to the transformation of political culture in Turin, the rise of ethno-nationalism, and legacies of Italian colonialism.

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