Black Mediterranean Geographies: Translation and the Mattering of Black Life in Italy
In this talk, Prof. Hawthorne will weave together insights from Black and postcolonial feminist theory and Black geographies to think through the theoretical and political provocations offered by the concept of the Black Mediterranean.
First, she will discuss the notion of the Black Mediterranean, and how it both draws upon and engages with Paul Gilroy’s Black Atlantic. Then, she will turn to consider how the Black Mediterranean complicates universalizing narratives that read Blackness solely through the geographies of racial slavery and the plantation. From there, she will reflect on the fraught but necessary work of translating Blackness across distinct yet interconnected global geographies and histories of racial formation. Finally, she will conclude with lessons the Black Mediterranean offers for abolitionist, antiracist, anticolonial, and no-border struggles unfolding across the world in this political moment.
Camilla Hawthorne is an Associate Professor in Sociology and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies at UC Santa Cruz. As an interdisciplinary social scientist, her work engages with different fields, such as critical public policy studies, diaspora theory, Black European studies, postcolonial/feminist science and technology studies. Professor Hawthorne’s upcoming book, “Contesting Race and Citizenship: Youth Politics in the Black Mediterranean” (Cornell University Press, 2022), explores the politics of Blackness and citizenship in Italy.