Events
 

Invisible Diasporas: Afro-Modernism in Italy

Brown Bag Lecture
Apr 25, 2012
12:15 PM to 01:15 PM

Sara Marzioli, Department of Comparative Literature, Penn State

Sara Marzioli's research project is based on the extensive archival research she has conducted both in Italy and in the U.S. She suggests Italy as a vantage point from which to study the engagements of African American intellectuals with political and cultural forms of black internationalism. To this purpose, her work brings into conversation twentieth century African-American and Italian writers and film directors, whose work addresses the dialectic between historiography and fiction, racial relations and modernity. Key figures discussed in her investigation include Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Marcus Garvey, Curzio Malaparte, George Schuyler, Ralph Ellison, William Demby, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Spike Lee. The catalyst in the work of these writers is the symbolic and real import of Africa elaborated at the crossroad between Harlem, Rome, and Addis Ababa, which Italy occupied in 1935.

Sara Marzioli is a Ph.D. student in Comparative Literature at Pennsylvania State University. Her dissertation brings into conversation twentieth century African-American and Italian writers and film directors, whose work addresses the intersections of history and fiction with modernity and racial discourses, within the framework of the Black Transatlantic. She has recently submitted to African American Review an article on William Demby’s The Catacombs, a novel set in Rome and has under consideration by Atlantic Studies an essay on Ralph Ellison’s intervention on forms of world black solidarity seen through the locale of Rome.

This lecture is a part of the Center for Global Studies Brown Bag Graduate Lecture Series which focuses on the graduate research across disciplinary fields.

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