Matthew Ellis & Steve Parker

Monday, May 3, 2021–6:00 PM
AAR Zoom
Central European Time
Rome, Italy
Color photograph of a boy listening to a sculptural creation made of repurposed tubas

Steve Parker, War Tuba, 2017, reclaimed brass, steel, and vinyl tubing, 7 x 4 x 4 ft. (photograph by Philip Rogers)

Matthew H. Ellis
Mobility and Modern Italian Citizenship: Lessons from Italy’s Colonial Past

Within a mere three decades of its unification as a modern nation-state in 1861, Italy expanded overseas and acquired its first colonial possessions (in the Eastern horn of Africa). By the end of Mussolini’s second decade in power, in 1942, the Italian empire now encompassed territories comprising modern-day Eritrea, Somalia, Ethiopia, Libya, the Dodecanese Islands, as well as Albania and other parts of the former Yugoslavia. This made the Italian government sovereign over around ten million Africans, in addition to thirteen million Europeans.

How did the Italian government view these diverse and far-flung populations under its sovereignty? How did it keep track of them, and how did it seek to define and legislate different criteria and norms for membership in this expansive Italian political community? In his talk, Matthew H. Ellis will address these questions by sharing some preliminary findings from his research into Italian colonialism in Libya—in particular, the ways the Italian colonial government responded to the challenge of Libyan mobility, as tens if not hundreds of thousands of Libyans fled Italian rule and took refuge in neighboring countries such as Tunisia and Egypt. In what ways did the mobility of Libyans in the Italian colonial era stretch the bounds of Italianness? And how might such lessons from the colonial period help us understand the relationship between mobility and Italian national identity today?

Matthew H. Ellis is the Paul Mellon/Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Rome Prize Fellow in Modern Italian Studies and professor in the Department of History at Sarah Lawrence College.

Steve Parker
Performative Listening

“I have nothing to say and I am saying it.”
John Cage, Silence

“Walk so silently that the bottoms of your feet become ears.”
Pauline Oliveros, Sonic Meditations

Marshawn Lynch, post-game interview, 11/23/14

Steve Parker is the Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon Polsky Rome Prize Fellow in Design. He is a lecturer in the College of Liberal and Fine Arts at the University of Texas at San Antonio and curator of SoundSpace at the Blanton Museum of Art.

The shoptalks will be held in English.

Watch the video