Equivocal Subjects

Equivocal Subjects: Between Italy and Africa—Constructions of Racial and National Identity in the Italian Cinema

by Shelleen Greene

Shelleen Greene is Assistant Professor, Department of Art and Design, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Bloomsbury Academic, 2012
  • DOI:
  • ISBN:
    9781441190437 (hardback)

    9781472535214 (paperback)

    9781441107442 (epub)

    9781441136145 (epdf)

    9781628928686 (online)
  • Edition:
    First edition
  • Place of Publication:
    New York
Equivocal Subjects
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Equivocal Subjects puts forth an innovative reading of the Italian national cinema. Shelleen Greene argues that from the silent era to the present, the cinematic representation of the “mixed-race” or interracial subject has served as a means by which Italian racial and national identity have been negotiated and re-defined. She examines Italy’s colonial legacy, histories of immigration and emigration, and contemporary politics of multiculturalism through its cultural production, providing new insights into its traditional film canon.

Analysing the depiction of African Italian mixed-race subjects from the historical epics of the Italian silent “golden” era to the contemporary period, this enlightening book engages the history of Italian nationalism and colonialism through theories of subject formation, ideologies of race, and postcolonial theory. Greene’s approach also provides a novel interpretation of recent developments surrounding Italy’s status as a major passage for immigrants seeking to enter the European Union. This book provides an original theoretical approach to the Italian cinema that speaks to the nation’s current political and social climate.