Marginal Communities in Italy

NYU Florence professor David Forgacs joins La Pietra Dialogues on March 21 for Marginal Communities in Italy, a dialogue that is part of the Race, Racism and Xenophobia in a Global Context series. He will talk about the settlements of migrant Roma, fast-track removal centers, and the low-wage informal economy, as well as street vendors, Chinese garment workers and others who live on the margins in Italy.

In his recently published book, Italy’s Margins: Social Exclusion and Nation Formation since 1861, Forgacs examines five cases of political and social exclusion in Italy: “the peripheries of Italy’s major cities after unification; its East African colonies in the 1930s; the less developed areas of its south in the 1950s; its psychiatric hospitals before the reforms of the late 1970s; and its ‘nomad camps’ after 2000.” He explores how photography and writing both support and challenge these exclusions.

Forgacs holds the Guido and Mariuccia Zerilli-Marimò Chair of Contemporary Italian Studies and currently teaches Contemporary Italian Studies. He has taught at the University of Sussex; Cambridge; Royal Holloway, University of London; and University College London. His areas of research include cultural history, media and politics in contemporary Italy, cinema and photography. He has authored books on society, culture and social exclusion in Italy.

The Race, Racism and Xenophobia in a Global Context series will conclude on March 24 with a campus-wide teach-in Race, Racism and Xenophobia in a Global Context at the Odeon Cine Hall in downtown Florence. Artists like Sheila Pree Bright, Elliot Brown, Yemane Demissie, Misan Sagay and Igiaba Scego will join scholars from NYU and around Europe to discuss the critical issues surrounding how racism and discrimination operate in different geographical contexts, reflecting local tensions and prejudices and intersecting with issues of nationality, class, gender, religion, marginality, citizenship and globalization. NYU Florence students will present and perform at the conference and the day will conclude with a concert by internationally-known Italian singer Saba.

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