Images of Rome in Italian postcolonial women writers

Tuesday 6 June, 18.00–19.30

Images of Rome in Italian postcolonial women writers

Serena Alessi (BSR; Royal Holloway)

This talk examines the cultural significance of the city of Rome in Italian postcolonial literature produced by women authors over the last twenty years, by examining a number of works by Ribka Sibhatu (1962) and Igiaba Scego (1973).

Through the analysis of excerpts from novels, poems, a documentary and a photographic book, Serena will show how Sibhatu and Scego guide the reader around the city, re-mapping the urban space through both a gender and a postcolonial perspective. The whole of their oeuvre is imbued with the representation of Rome and of their peculiar sense of ‘romanità’, which is the consequence of their experience of migration and of the different languages and cultures they know.

Through the analysis of Sibhatu’s and Scego’s works, the aim of the talk is to shed light on the present identity of Rome as a complex city and a transnational space, where the heritage of the colonialism has created new identities and ‘nomadic subjectivities’.