feminists@law, Vol 4, No 1 (2014)

Gaia Giuliani, 'Black and White: History of Racial Identity in Italy'

This is a video, with accompanying powerpoint slides, of a lecture given by Dr Gaia Giuliani at the Leeds Humanities Research Institute, University of Leeds, on 23 October 2013. Drawing on her book co-authored with Cristina Lombardi-Diop, Bianco e nero: Storia dell'identità razziale degli Italiani (2013), the lecture traces back the political, cultural and visual history of Italian racial identity from unification to the economic boom, through Fascism and the post-war era. Dr Giuliani uses analytical categories derived from political philosophy, critical race theory, whiteness studies and postcolonial studies, and examines political theories of race, scientific literature and legislation related to emigration in order to trace the different processes of self-racialisation in the political discourse from the unification period up to 1936. The lecture also looks at Italian contemporary racism, analysing mass culture products (1980s-2007), TV coverage of racist events (2010-2012), and the intertwining of masculinity, virility, whiteness and race in Berlusconi’s sexual scandals.

Gaia Giuliani from donatella alessandrini on Vimeo.

Gaia Guiuliani is research assistant in Political Theory and Colonial and Postcolonial Studies at the University of Bologna, Department of Social and Political Sciences. She has been an honorary visiting scholar at the University of Technology Sydney, NSW (2007-2011) and at the University of Leeds, UK (Oct-Dec 2013). Her first book was Beyond curiosity. James Mill e la nascita del governo coloniale britannico in India (Aracne, Roma 2008), and in 2014-2015 she will publish a co-authored book with Dr Gabriele Proglio, DistopieStoria della paura nella narrazione fantascientifica e horror dal dopoguerra a oggi (Dystopias: History of Fear from the Aftermath of WWII to Today) (Le Monnier-Mondadori Education, Milano). She will also edit the collective book E gli italiani divennero bianchi. Razza, genere e classe nell’Italia contemporanea (And Italians Became White: Race, Gender, and Class in Contemporary Italy) (Ediesse, Roma).  She is has also edited a book on affectivities and changes: G. Giuliani et al., L’Amore ai tempi dello tsunami. Amore, Sessualità e Modelli di Genere in Mutamento which will be published in May 2014. For a more detailed bio see academia.edu/drGaiaGiuliani.