• GEM LAB

Materialising the invasion: race, borders, and the semiotic reproduction of racial capitalism

With Dr. Gaia Giuliani (University of Coimbra, Portugal)

//October 5th, 2022

//5:30 PM EST

//GEM Lab

//1250 Guy, FB 630.15


About the event: My talk draws largely from my research on the Italian case within the collective 3-year project “(De)Othering: Deconstructing Risk and Otherness: hegemonic scripts and counter-narratives on migrants/refugees and ‘internal Others’ in Portuguese and European mediascapes.” This study’s aim is to understand which imaginary underpins an idea of Italy and Europe at large as isolated from the rest of the world, innocent and at siege. It then builds on both my books Race Nation and Gender in Modern Italy: Intersectional Representation in Visual Culture (2019) and Monsters, Catastrophes and the Anthropocene (2021), where I developed a postcolonial critique to examine some material and symbolic dispositifs that reproduce specific colonial discourses and power relations through the “semiotic power of borders.”


Gaia Giuliani is a political philosopher and a permanent researcher at the Center for Social Studies (CES), University of Coimbra, Portugal. Her research interests focus on visual constructions of race and whiteness from an intersectional viewpoint in British and Italian nation-building processes and colonial experiences, the US, the Pacific, and postcolonial Europe. Her methodology crosses Critical Race and Whiteness Studies, Postcolonial Theory, Cultural and Gender Studies. Her current research aims at developing a critical discourse analysis of texts coding “fears of disasters and crisis” and their symbolic and material impact on European and Western self-representations in the context of the post-9/11 terrorist threat, the so-called migrant and refugee crises, and environmental catastrophes including Covid-19 pandemic. In 2018, she became Principal investigator of the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT)-funded three-year project "(De)OTHERING - Deconstructing Risk and Otherness: hegemonic scripts and counter-narratives on migrants/refugees and 'internal Others' in Portuguese and European mediascapes"(2018-2121). Since 2020 she is member of the Management Committee of the COST Action CA19129 - Decolonising Development: Research, Teaching and Practice (2020-2024).

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