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Not a Country for Women, nor for Blacks: insegnare razza e genere in Italia

Quest’articolo è il nostro contributo in Teaching “Race” with a Gendered Edge, a cura di Brigitte Hipfl e Kristín Loftsdóttir (AtGender & Central European University Press, Utrecht-Budapest 2012, pp. 143-159).

“Not a Country for Women, nor for Blacks”:

Teaching Race and Gender in Italy between Colonial Heritages and New Perspectives

Manuela Coppola and Sonia Sabelli

It is only in recent times that Italy has started confronting its colonial past and the consequences of mass migration, thus realising how this history still shapes the present perception of racialised and gendered differences. Scholars from different disciplines have triggered a lively and fertile debate on Italian colonialism, stating in particular the impact of the colonial heritage on the contemporary experience of migration in terms of representation. The interconnections of colonial legacy and contemporary migration flows have long been on the agenda in many European countries—especially in England and France, often contributing to the negotiation and redefinition of national identities. However, due to the lack of a postcolonial critique and in view of a long history of invasions, internal migration and emigration, Italy has always perceived itself more as a colonised country than as a coloniser. As a matter of fact, Italian society has been characterised until recently by the absence of a critical debate on issues of race and gender.
In our chapter we would like to suggest how the complicity with a repressed or unquestioned colonial heritage has heavily shaped the present social and political situation, generating particular and worrying weaknesses in the Italian school system. In this light, we seek to explore the existing gap between an emerging corpus of critical work on the persisting impact of colonialism on present-day racism and sexism, and the everyday practice of teaching to the new generations. However, the chapter also attempts to offer new perspectives on school curricula, mapping some “virtuous” examples of critical reflection and outlining possible future directions for a redefinition of Italian identities in terms of race and gender.

Posted in scritti da me, studi delle donne e di genere, testi collettivi.

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