This book engages with the question of what makes Europe postcolonial and how memory, whiteness and religion figure in representations and manifestations of European ‘identity’ and self-perception. To deconstruct Europe is necessary as its definition is now contested more than ever, both internally (through the proliferation of ethnic, religious, regional differences) and externally (Europe expanding its boundaries but closing its borders).
This edited volume explores a number of theoretical discussions on the meaning of Europe and proposes analyzing some of the deeds committed, both today and in the past, in the name of Europe by foregrounding a postcolonial approach. To deconstruct Europe as a postcolonial place does not imply that Europe’s imperial past is over, but on the contrary that Europe’s idea of self, and of its polity, is still struggling with the continuing hold of colonialist and imperialist attitudes. The objective of this volume is to account for historical legacies which have been denied, forgotten or silenced, such as the histories of minor and peripheral colonialisms (Nordic colonialisms or Austrian, Spanish and Italian colonialism) and to account for the realities of geographical margins within Europe, such as the Mediterranean and the Eastern border while tracing alternative models for solidarity and conviviality. The chapters deal with social and political formations as well as cultural and artistic practices drawing from different disciplinary backgrounds and methodological traditions. As such it creates an innovative space for comparative and cross-disciplinary exchanges.
This book was previously published as a special issue of the journal Social Identities.
Table of Contents
Introduction: In the Name of Europe Sandra Ponzanesi, Utrecht University, The Netherlands, and Bolette Blaagaard, City University London, UK
Part I: Outbound: Geographical Margins, Historical Cores
1. Negotiating White Icelandic Identity: Multicultural and Colonial Identity Formations Kristín Loftsdóttir, University of Iceland
2. Asylum seekers as Austria’s Other: The re-emergence of Austria’s colonial past in a state-of-exception Brigitte Hipfl and Daniela Gronold, University of Klagenfurt, Austria
3. Spelling out exclusion in Southern Italy Claudia Buonaiuto and Marie-Hélène Laforest, University of Naples, Italy
4. Whose freedom? Whose memories?: Commemorating Danish colonialism in St Croix Bolette B. Blaagaard, City University London, UK
Part II: Deconstructing Europe: Conviviality and Invisibility
5. Europe in Motion: Migrant cinema and the politics of encounter Sandra Ponzanesi, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
6. Multiculturalism in a Selection of English and Spanish Fiction and Artworks L. López-Ropero, University of Alicante, Spain, and A. Moreno-Álvarez, University of Oviedo, Spain
7. Adrift on the Black Mediterranean Diaspora: African Migrant Writing in Spain Esther Sanchez-Pardo, Complutense University Madrid, Spain
8. "Rented spaces": Italian postcolonial literature Manuela Coppola, University of Calabria, Italy
9. "Dubbing di Diaspora": Gender and Reggae Music inna Babylon Sonia Sabelli, University of Rome, La Sapienza, Italy
Coda: Workings of whiteness: Interview with Vron Ware Conducted by Bolette B. Blaagaard, City University London, UK
Sandra Ponzanesi is Associate Professor of Gender and Postcolonial Critique in the Department of Media and Culture Studies/Gender Programme at Utrecht University, the Netherlands. Among her publications are Paradoxes of Postcolonial Culture (2004), Migrant Cartographies (2005) and Postcolonial Cinema Studies (2011).
Bolette B. Blaagaard is Research fellow at the Centre for Law, Justice and Journalism at City University London, UK. She has published articles and contributed to edited volumes on issues of Nordic colonialism and whiteness in the Nordic region as well as the ethics of journalistic practices, objectivity and freedom of speech.
Deconstructing Europeis a truly cross disciplinary anthology which takes up an important debate about the future development of Europe as a multicultural project - Paulina Gasior, in the journal Postcolonial Europe