About the Lecture:
"Contesting Race and Citizenship: Youth Politics in the Black Mediterranean"
In this talk, I attend to the incredible proliferation of Black Italian movements—projects that address the Italian nation-state and the wider Black diaspora by disrupting the link between whiteness and Italianness and challenging the interlocking racist violences of Fortress Europe. What are the possibilities and limitations of these emergent mobilizations? What new formations are possible, and what older ones are resuscitated in this attempt to challenge the racial borders of Italy and of Europe? I am interested in opening up discussions of the so-called migrant “crisis” by focusing on a previously invisible generation of Black people who were born or raised in Europe but have been thrust into the same racist, xenophobic political climate as the immigrants and refugees who are arriving in Europe from across the Mediterranean Sea from the African continent. How are these Black Italians now actively remaking what it means to be Italian and to be European today? To answer these questions, I trace not only mobilizations for national citizenship, but also the more capacious, transnational Black diasporic possibilities that emerge when activists confront the ethical and political limits of citizenship as a means for securing meaningful, lasting racial justice—formations that are centered on shared critiques of the racial state, as well as shared histories of racial capitalism and colonialism.
About the Lecturer:
I am a critical human geographer and interdisciplinary social scientist broadly interested in the racial politics of migration and citizenship, inequality, social movements, and Black geographies. My work engages critical human geography, diaspora, Black European studies, and postcolonial/feminist science and technology studies.
I received my PhD from the Department of Geography at UC Berkeley in 2018. I currently serve as Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at UC Santa Cruz. I am a principal faculty member in UCSC's Critical Race and Ethnic Studies program, and an affiliate of the Science & Justice Research Center and the Legal Studies Program. I also direct the Black Geographies Lab at UCSC. My teaching is focused on race, immigration and citizenship; political economy; Black geographies; subjectivity and identity; and social theory.
I am Past Chair of the Black Geographies Specialty Group of the American Association of Geographers. I also sit on the editorial boards of the journals Environment and Planning D: Society & Space, and California Italian Studies.
I am a programme director and faculty member of the Black Europe Summer School, a two-week intensive course on citizenship, race, and the Black diaspora in Europe that is held each summer in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. In addition, I continue to collaborate with activist collectives in the United States and Europe working at the intersection of anti-Blackness and xenophobia.