Empire's Mobius Strip: Historical Echoes in Italy's Crisis of Migration and Detention (Hardcover)

Empire's Mobius Strip: Historical Echoes in Italy's Crisis of Migration and Detention By Stephanie Malia Hom Cover Image
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Its brilliant prose makes Empire's Mobius Strip] easily accessible to anyone interested in today's migration crisis in the Mediterranean and elsewhere in the world.American Historical Review

Italy's current crisis of Mediterranean migration and detention has its roots in early twentieth century imperial ambitions. Empire's Mobius Strip investigates how mobile populations were perceived to be major threats to Italian colonization, and how the state's historical mechanisms of control have resurfaced, with greater force, in today's refugee crisis.

What is at stake in Empire's Mobius Strip is a deeper understanding of the forces driving those who move by choice and those who are moved. Stephanie Malia Hom focuses on Libya, considered Italy's most valuable colony, both politically and economically. Often perceived as the least of the great powers, Italian imperialism has been framed as something of "colonialism lite." But Italian colonizers carried out genocide between 1929-33, targeting nomadic Bedouin and marching almost 100,000 of them across the desert, incarcerating them in camps where more than half who entered died, simply because the Italians considered their way of life suspect. There are uncanny echoes with the situation of the Roma and migrants today. Hom explores three sites, in novella-like essays, where Italy's colonial past touches down in the present: the island, the camp, and the village.

Empire's Mobius Strip brings into relief Italy's shifting constellations of mobility and empire, giving them space to surface, submerge, stretch out across time, and fold back on themselves like a Mobius strip. It deftly shows that mobility forges lasting connections between colonial imperialism and neoliberal empire, establishing Italy as a key site for the study of imperial formations in Europe and the Mediterranean.

About the Author

Stephanie Malia Hom is Executive Director of the Acus Foundation. She is author of The Beautiful Country and tweets @empirestrip.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781501739897
ISBN-10: 1501739891
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publication Date: September 15th, 2019
Pages: 270
Language: English