PhD, University of Connecticut, Storrs
BA, University of Bologna, Italy
Italy’s colonialism in East Africa, studies on nostalgia, humanitarian gaming, Italian American diaspora, 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, Somali Pain, and Afro Optimism (under contract, Routledge). The volume integrates the current scholarship on Somalia with the most recent theoretical studies on nostalgia, trauma, visionary affect, colonial ruins and imaginative geographies, ecology, food and diaspora, performance and performativity, humanitarianism in music, gaming, and media, afro optimism and afro utopia, forced migration, mobility, and business tourism.
She is currently researching an additional book-length project that focuses on diasporic Italians’ farming traditions in Alabama and Louisiana. She is also one of seven faculty advocates for Fostering Communities in the Kitchen and Garden, a multidisciplinary outreach, research, and teaching initiative that aims to provide foster youths who transition to independent living with cooking skills, nutrition education, horticultural training, and digital narrative journalism techniques. She serves on the College Board AP Reading committee for Italian. She is faculty affiliate of African American and Africana Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, Sustainability Studies, and the Italian Club faculty advisor.