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Durham University

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Publication details for Prof Charles Burdett

Burdett, Charles (2018). Transnational Time: Reading Post-War Representations of the Italian Presence in East Africa. Italian Studies 73(3): 274-288.

Author(s) from Durham


Developing from a discussion of the importance of placing Italian culture in transnational perspective, this article addresses the representation of the Italian presence in East Africa during the colonial period and in the decades following the Second World War. It looks at the writings of Erminia Dell’Oro, Nicky Di Paolo and Gabriella Ghermandi. It argues that our ability to see these writings as a complex evocation of multi‐faceted material and psychic realities is enhanced if they are read in the light of recent theoretical work that has explored how the spectre of the past returns to trouble both individual consciousness and the collective imaginary. The article contends that by reading representations of the Italian presence in East Africa in this light we can gain a greater sense of how they attempt to represent the individual’s participation in some of the most deeply layered transnational social practices.