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Is the notion of postcolonial Europe an oxymoron? How do colonial pasts inform the emergence of new subjectivities and political frontiers in contemporary Europe? Postcolonial Transitions in Europe explores these questions from different theoretical, geopolitical and media perspectives.

Drawing from the interdisciplinary tools of postcolonial critique, this book contests the idea that Europe developed within clear-cut geographical boundaries. It examines how experiences of colonialism and imperialism continue to be constitutive of the European space and of the very idea of Europe. By approaching Europe as a complex political space, the chapters investigate topical concerns around its politics of inclusion and exclusion towards migrants, asylum seekers and refugees, as well as its take on internal conflicts, transitions and cosmopolitan imaginaries.


With a foreword by Paul Gilroy

Paul Gilroy / Introduction: Europe in Transition, Gianmaria Colpani and Sandra Ponzanesi / Part I: Postcolonial Europe and its Discontents / 1. European Racial Triangulation, Anca Parvulescu / 2. EU Migration Policy Towards Africa: Demographic Logics and Colonial Legacies, Peo Hansen and Stefan Jonsson / 3. The Homeless, the Lawyer, and the Cardboard Sign: Charity in Contemporary Europe, Mireille Rosello / 4. Specters of Colonialism: The Anglo–Irish Conflict, Space, and the Body in Steve McQueen’s Hunger (2008), Sarah Fekadu–Uthoff / Part II: Postcolonial Times: Memory and Transition / 5. Hidden Memories: October 17, 1961, Charlie Hebdo, and Postcolonial Forgetting, Christine Quinan / 6. Under the Western Gaze: Sexuality and Postsocialist “Transition” in East Europe, Rasa Navickaitė / 7. Resentment at the Heart of Europe: Narratives by Afro–Surinamese Postcolonial Migrant Women in the Netherlands, Sabrina Marchetti / Part III: Postcolonial Spaces: Un/Doing Borders / 8. Postcolonial Citizenships and the “Refugeeization” of the Workforce: Migrant Agricultural Labor in the Italian Mezzogiorno, Nick Dines and Enrica Rigo / 9. Convivial Crossings in the European South: New Italian Representations, Annalisa Oboe / 10.Import Export — Explorations of Precarity in European Migratory Culture, Brigitte Hipfl / 11.“The Other Within”: Challenging Borders from the European Periphery, Milica Trakilović / Part IV: Postcolonial Mediations / 12. Reading The Herald Today: Postcolonial Notes on Journalism and Citizen Media, Bolette B. Blaagaard / 13. Social Media as Contact Zones: Young Londoners Remapping the Metropolis through Digital Media, Koen Leurs / 14. Digital Religion: Rethinking Multicultural Identities through Muslim Women’s Online Practices, Eva Midden / 15. Libidinal Cosmopolitanism: The Case of Digital Sexual Encounters in Post–Enlargement Europe, Nicholas Boston / Part V: Postcolonial Europe and Beyond: Cosmopolitan Reflections / 16. The Cosmopolitan Media Cultures of Europe, Anikó Imre / 17. Europe, Cosmopolitanism, and the Postcolonial Biennial, Monica Sassatelli / 18. Cosmopolitanism, Emplacement, and Identity in Recent Postcolonial Literature in German, Dirk Göttsche / 19. Cosmopolitanism from the Margins: Redefining the Idea of Europe through Postcoloniality, Feyzi Baban / About the Contributors / Index
Postcolonial Transitions in Europe is an extremely important and timely intervention into academic and public debates around the continent’s identity, its past, present and future. The volume offers rigorous and original scholarship that draws on a broad range of sources from popular culture to migration policies and ethnographic research. Its authors demonstrate how the concept of postcoloniality can be mobilized to productively address legacies of violence and inequality that have so far remained woefully undertheorized, while also pointing to more equitable ways for Europe to define itself and its place in the world. The accessible and thought-provoking interrogation of issues that will only become more pressing in the future make this an indispensible resource for anyone interested in what a postcolonial Europe might be.
Fatima El-Tayeb, Professor of Literature, University of California San Diego, author of European Others
This beautiful collection of essays, presenting and surpassing the state of the art in postcolonial thinking about Europe’s troubled identity in the early 21st Century, makes it possible for us to understand the combined effects of cycles now meeting with their simultaneous ends: eurocentrism, nation-building and collective identification through stable borders. Clearly Europe is the Post-Colony par excellence. It could have invented a new, equalitarian Cosmopolitanism. Or will it? The authors ask this burning question through investigation and imagination.
Etienne Balibar, author of We, the People of Europe?
Postcolonial Transitions in Europe is the bold attempt to unmask the colonial logic viciously at work, still today, within Europe itself. When crises and austerity have become system of governance; when neo-nationalisms, neo-racisms, and the policing of borders are trumpeted as the only alternative, this book has the courage to offer a new sense of orientation for a continent adrift.
Roberto Dainotto, author of Europe (in Theory)
Sandra Ponzanesi is Professor of Gender and Postcolonial Studies at the Department of Media and Culture Studies, Utrecht University.

Gianmaria Colpani is a PhD candidate of Philosophy and Gender Studies at the University of Verona and Utrecht University.

With a foreword by Paul Gilroy, Professor of American and English Literature at King's College London

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