Nicola Camilleri Valentina Fusari

Queering Italian Colonialism: Mapping a Blind Spot

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This essay is a first attempt to introduce a debate around «non-conforming» sexualities and intimacies in the history of Italian colonialism. The starting point of the suggested reflections is the worldwide success of intertwining research between imperial, (post)colonial, and LGBTQI studies. Yet, a similar interest for these topics in the field of Italian colonial history does not follow the above-mentioned success. This blind spot is the main point addressed by this essay. The first section offers a brief overview of the variety of research on «non-conforming» sexualities and intimacies, as well as about queer history in different colonial empires. The second section briefly summarizes the state of the art on the Italian colonial case. Finally, the third section has a rather programmatic character. Based on the authors’ research experience in colonial archives and fieldwork, it scopes some lines of research that – if properly exploited – might lead to a keen understanding of the tackled themes, especially if pursued through designated, interdisciplinary, and systematic research projects. Indeed, although the history of queer sexualities and intimacies is often pointed at as hidden, it is even more useful to suggest concrete paths for new investigations. The essay wishes to contribute to opening a new research agenda that makes it possible to approach the Italian colonialism through a queer lens and thus challenge heteronormative and Eurocentric perspectives


  • Queering Italian Colonialism: Mapping a Blind Spot


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