Merrill Takes Part in International Workshop in Italy
Associate Professor of Africana Studies Heather Merrill participated in an international workshop, FENCES, NETWORKS, PEOPLE: Exploring the EU/AFRICA borderland, from Dec. 15-17, in Pavia, Italy.
Her paper, "Notes on Implausible lifelines," brings geographical discussions of place and critical race scholarship focused on the African diaspora into dialogue, examining experiences, negotiations, and meanings of place, identity and belonging among first generation African-Italians in Northern Italy.
Merrill's essay discusses the transformation of political culture in Turin, Italy, the rise of ethno-nationalism, and the resonance of Italian colonialism with current images, practices and configurations. Italy and Africa constitute porous, overlapping worlds, and she suggests that the experience of being-in-the-world of African-Europeans can best be conceived as being in polycultural places, as part of a transyncretic place linking Africa and Europe.