1st Edition

Longing for the Future Mal D’Afrique and Afro-Optimism in Perspectives on Somalia

    180 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This volume focuses on a longing projected mostly toward the past (mal d’Afrique) alongside a longing toward the future (afro-optimism), and the different manifestations, shifting meanings, and potential points of contact of these two stances. The volume introduces a new perspective into the discussion of Somalia in Italian Studies. This is an intersectional work of Italian Studies scholarship, whose contributors help re-imagine the field and its relationship to Somalia with their diverse backgrounds, unique insights, and global breadth.

    The book integrates the current scholarship on Somalia with the most recent theoretical studies on nostalgia, visionary affect, colonial ruins, silenced archives, melancholy, ecology, food and diaspora, classical studies and performativity, storytelling, afro-fabulation and queer literature, media and humanitarianism, and afro optimism.

    The book will serve as an invaluable reference in multidisciplinary programs such as Global History, Africana Studies, Diaspora Studies, Migration Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies, Integrity and Global Studies, as well as Italian Studies and various core courses. Because of its interdisciplinary discussion of Somalia, the volume will draw the interest of a large readership among scholars, and non-scholars, from different disciplines and geographic affiliation.

    1. Mal d’Afrique, Mass Communication and Colonial Underpinnings of Humanitarian Interventions in Somalia
    Idil Osman

    2. Mogadishu’s MeaningScape: Visionary Nostalgia and Mal d’Afrique in
    Architecture Exhibitions, Architecture, and Social Media
    Giusy Di Filippo

    3. Edible Nation: Imagining Somalia Through Cuisine
    Vetri Nathan

    4. Mogadishu and Love Melancholia in the Work of Nuruddin Farah, Ubah Cristina Ali Farah, and Shirin Ramzanali Fazel
    F. Fiona Moolla

    5. Maryam/Regina: Violenza segreta (1963): A Certain Postcolonialism
    Shelleen Greene

    6. Nostalgias in Ilaria Alpi – Il più crudele dei giorni: Between Affectivity and Mal d'Afrique
    Anita Virga

    7. “Performative Piracy” in a Somali Context: Staging the Myth of the Communis Hostis Omnium 
    Martina Di Florio

    8. Mal d'Afrique and the Postcolony: From Nostalgia to New Forms of Exploitation in Somalia
    Awet T. Weldemichael

    9. Queering Somali Storytelling: Afro-Fabulation, Narration, and the Queer Black Body in Diriye Osman’s The Butterfly Jungle
    Ryan Calabretta-Sajder

    10. Somalia as it Will Have Been: Afro-Optimism and Stories in the Future Perfect
    Rosetta Giuliani Caponetto


    Rosetta Giuliani Caponetto is an Associate Professor at Auburn University. Their research interests include Italy’s colonialism in East Africa, the Italian American diaspora, studies on nostalgia, and food movements and activism. Their publications include Fascist Hybridities. Racial Mixing and Diaspora Cultures under Mussolini (2015).

    Dr. Giusy Di Filippo is an Assistant Professor at College of the Holy Cross. Their research interests include migration, race, and diaspora studies and digital motherhood studies. Their publications include Migrazioni contemporanee. Testi e Contesti (with Martina Di Florio, 2017).

    Dr. Martina Di Florio is a Senior Lecturer at Trinity College. Their research interests include migrant and postcolonial writing in Italy; diaspora studies; classical and Mediterranean studies. Their publications include Migrazioni contemporanee. Testi e Contesti (with Giusy Di Filippo, 2017).