2017-2018 Colloquium Series

The Tourism Studies Working Group is pleased to announce
Notes on the Camp in Modern Italy

Stephanie Malia Hom
Co-founder of the Tourism Studies Working Group
Executive Director, Acus Foundation

Friday, March 2, 5:00pm
Gifford Room, 221 Kroeber Hall
University of California, Berkeley

This talk fleshes out a genealogy of camps in modern Italy, focusing attention on the present-day migrant detention center at Ponte Galeria, and its historical predecessors, the Italian-built concentration camps in eastern Libya (1929-1934), or what I identify as the alpha and the omega of the camp in the modern Italian context. Drawing on the mobility turn in social scientific research, it explores the ways in which mobility was brought into play as a relation of force. It became something to be allocated, re-appropriated, deflected, excluded, denied, deferred, and disavowed within their respective polities. In Italian colonial Libya, mobility was even weaponized in the form of tribunali volanti (flying courts). This talk weaves together the ways in which mobility consolidates and dissolves the ongoing “processes of decimation, displacement and reclamation” that constitute imperial formations. It maps, with intentional ebbs and flows, the entangled trajectories of camps in modern Italy so as to reflect the disparities between those who move by choice, like tourists, and those who are moved by force, like refugees.

Speaker Bio:
Stephanie Malia Hom is co-founder of the Tourism Studies Working Group and currently Executive Director of the Acus Foundation in Berkeley, CA. She previously held the position of Presidential Professor of Italian at the University of Oklahoma. She writes and lectures on modern Italian literature and culture; the theory, practice, and history of tourism; Italian colonialism and imperialism; and Italian mobilities, especially in the context of contemporary immigration in Italy and the EU. For her research, Hom has been awarded fellowships from the ACLS, American Academy in Rome, American School of Classical Studies in Athens, Harvard University, and Stanford Humanities Center. She is the author of The Beautiful Country: Tourism and the Impossible State of Destination Italy (University of Toronto Press, 2015) and the co-editor with Ruth Ben-Ghiat of Italian Mobilities (Routledge, 2016). Her second book manuscript in progress is titled, Empire’s Mobius Strip: Historical Echoes in Italy’s Crisis of Migration and Detention. She received her MA & PhD in Italian Studies from UC-Berkeley and her BA with Honors from Brown University.

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