1st Edition

Creating Europe from the Margins Mobilities and Racism in Postcolonial Europe

    230 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This edited volume explores the idea of Europe through a focus on its margins. The chapters in the volume inquire critically into the relations and tensions inherent in divisions between the Global North and the Global South as well as internal regional differentiation within Europe itself. In doing so, the volume stresses the need to consider Europe from critical interdisciplinary perspectives, highlighting historical and contemporary issues of racism and colonialism.

    While recent discussions of migration into ‘Fortress Europe’ seem to assume that Europe has clearly demarcated geographic, political and cultural boundaries, this book argues that the reality is more complex. The book explores margins conceptually and positions margins and centres as open to negotiation and contestation and characterized by ambiguity. As such, margins can be contextualized in relation to hierarchies within Europe, with different processes involved in creating boundaries and borders between different kinds of Europes and Europeans. Deploying case studies from different places, such as Iceland, Italy, Poland, Spain, Turkey, the UK, Romania, Cyprus, Greece, Sicily, European colonies in the Caribbean and the former Yugoslavia, the contributors analyse how different geopolitical hierarchies intersect with racialized subject positions of diverse people living in Europe, while also exploring issues of gender, class, sexuality, religion and nationality. Some chapters draw attention to the fortification of Europe’s ‘borderland,’ while others focus on internal hierarchies within Europe, critiquing the meaning of spatial boundaries in an increasingly digitalized Europe. In doing so, the chapters interrogate the hierarchies at play in the processes of being and becoming ‘European’ and the ongoing impacts of race and colonialism.

    This timely and thought-provoking collection will be of considerable significance to those in the humanities and social sciences with an interest in Europe.

    Chapter 11 of this book is freely available as a downloadable Open Access PDF at http://www.taylorfrancis.com under a Creative Commons [Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND)] 4.0 license.


    1. Creating Europe from the Margins: Introduction

    Kristín Loftsdóttir, Brigitte Hipfl and Sandra Ponzanesi

    2. Articulating Europe from the Sephardic Margin: Restoring Citizenship for Expulsed Jews, and not Muslims, in Spain?

    Maribel Casas-Cortes and Sebastian Cobarrubias Baglietto

    3. Racist and Imperial Genealogies in LGBT-free Zones and Struggles over Europe in Poland

    Paweł Lewicki

    4. ‘From Nowhere to Nowhere’ – Mapping Trajectories of Belonging within the Post-Yugoslav Field

    Milica Trakilović

    5. On the Margins of Europe: Migration and Sicilian Liminality

    Antonio Sorge

    6. Digital Media and Migration: Reflections from the Southern Margins of Europe

    Claudia Minchilli and Sandra Ponzanesi

    7. Gay Bod: Civic and LGBTQ+ Pride after Brexit in a City on the Margins of the UK and Europe

    Catherine Baker and Michael Howcroft

    8. Marginalized Bodies in Caribbean Europe: Between Vital Inequalities and Health (Im)mobilities

    Corinna A. Di Stefano, Fabio Santos and Manuela Boatcă

    9. Marketing Marginality: Creating Iceland as a White Privileged Destination

    Kristín Loftsdóttir

    10. Making Europe from Below: Intra EU-Migration and Mobilities Connecting the Margins

    Ignacio Fradejas-García, José Luis Molina and Miranda J. Lubbers

    11. When the Margins Enter the Centre: The Documentary Along the Borders of Turkey and its YouTube Comments as Conflicting Constructions of Europeanity

    Nico Carpentier and Vaia Doudaki

    12. Beating the Border: Playing with Migrant Experiences and Borderveillant Spectatorship in Channel 4’s Smuggled (2019)

    Lennart Soberon and Kevin Smets


    Kristín Loftsdóttir is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Iceland. Her research has focused on notions of exceptionalism, racialization of mobility, racism, gender, crisis, globalization, nationalism, migration and postcolonial Europe. Her publications include Crisis and Coloniality at Europe’s Margins: Creating Exotic Iceland (Routledge, 2019) and We Are All African Here: Race, Mobilities and West Africans in Europe (2021), and co-author of Exceptionalism (Routledge, 2021). She is also co-editor of Whiteness and Postcolonialism in the Nordic Region: Exceptionalism, Migrant Others and National Identities (Routledge, 2012), Crisis in the Nordic Nations and Beyond: At the Intersection of Environment, Finance and Multiculturalism (Routledge, 2014), and Messy Europe: Crisis, Race and the Nation State in a Postcolonial World (2018). She is currently the Principal Investigator of the CERM (Creating Europe through Racialized Mobilities) project.

    Brigitte Hipfl is Associate Professor Emerita in the Department of Media and Communication Studies at the University of Klagenfurt, Austria. Her research explores media, gender, race, and the affective dynamics of media with a focus on issues related to migration, conviviality, solidarity, and memory work. She is co-editor of Messy Europe: Crisis, Race and the Nation State in a Postcolonial World (2018), Wir und die Anderen: Visuelle Kultur zwischen Aneignung und Ausgrenzung (2020), Handbuch Medien und Geschlecht: Perspektiven und Befunde der feministischen Kommunikations- und Medienforschung (2023), and Intersektionale Solidaritäten: Beiträge zur gesellschaftskritischen Geschlechterforschung (2023).

    Sandra Ponzanesi is Chair and Professor of Media, Gender and Postcolonial Studies in the Department of Media and Culture Studies at Utrecht University, Netherlands, where she is also the founding director of the PCI (Postcolonial Studies Initiative). She has published widely in the field of media, postcolonial studies, digital migration, and cinema, with a particular focus on Postcolonial Europe from comparative and interdisciplinary perspectives. She is author of Paradoxes of Postcolonial Culture: Contemporary Women Writers of the Indian and Afro-Italian Diaspora (2004) and The Postcolonial Cultural Industry: Icons, Markets, Mythologies (2014). She is also editor of Gender, Globalization, and Violence: Postcolonial Conflict Zones (Routledge, 2016) and co-editor of numerous other edited collections, including Postcolonial Transitions in Europe (Rowman and Littlefield 2016), Postcolonial Cinema Studies (Routledge, 2012) and Deconstructing Europe: Postcolonial Perspectives (Routledge, 2012). She has also edited several special issues on digital migration, cinema, and Europe for a range of peer-reviewed journals.