PhD, University of Connecticut, Storrs
BA, University of Bologna, Italy
Italy’s colonialism in East Africa, studies on nostalgia and the future, the Italian American diaspora, edible gardens, food movements and activism, philanthropy studies
She is the author of Fascist Hybridities. Racial Mixing and Diaspora Cultures under Mussolini (Palgrave, 2015). Under Italian Fascism, African-Italian mixed-race offspring and white Italians living in Egypt posed a particular threat to the pursuit of a homogenous national identity. The book examines novels and films of the period, showing that their attempts at stigmatization were self-undermining, forcing audiences to reassess their collective identity.
A scholar of Somali descent, she is one of the co-editors of Longing for an African Future. Mal d’Africa, Afro Optimism, and Perspectives on Somalia (Routledge, 2023). The volume integrates the current scholarship on Somalia with the most recent theoretical studies on nostalgia, trauma, visionary affect, colonial ruins, ecology, food and diaspora, performance and performativity, afro-optimism, and afro-fabulation.
In her manuscript, Planting the Future from the Seeds of Diaspora. Edible Gardens, Visual Art, and Spirituality (under contract, University of Wales Press), lush vegetable gardens and centuries of growing practices provide the backdrop for an exploration of the cultural and agricultural history of diasporic communities who plant crops to be connected spiritually to a world they left behind. The visual texts in the manuscript relate to edible gardens in the way they enable to imagine the private space of diasporic households, to explore the material, the cultural, and the spiritual, and to embrace the countless implications of the journey from seed to garden to kitchen table.