Publications

The section presents a list of publications relevant to the project Europe’s (In)Visible Jewish Migrants

Rossetto P., Melilli M., (2021) “Mapping Memories, Charting Empathy. Framing a collaborative research-creation project”, From the European South 8: 145-151. http://europeansouth.postcolonialitalia.it/journal/2021-8/FES8_10.MelilliRossetto.pdf

This short dialogue presents the theoretical framework used by the two authors –a visual artist and a social anthropologist of Judaism –as the starting point for the development of a scientific partnership. The aim of the collaboration is to explore the potential of “research-creation” (Giacco et al. 2020) to find alternative ways of representing ‘difficult stories’,like those of Jewish migrants and refugees from the Middle East and North Africa. Specifically, the authors are experimenting with creative visualisations inspired by maps, in all their various forms and in all meanings of the word.

Rossetto P. (2020), “‘We Were all Italian!’: The Construction of a ‘sense of Italianness’ among Jews from Libya (1920s-1960s)”, History and Anthropology. DOI: 10.1080/02757206.2020.1848821

The paper explores how a ‘sense of Italianness’ formed among Jews in Libya during the Italian colonial period and in the decades following its formal end. Based on interviews with Jews born in Libya to different generations and currently living in Israel and Europe, the essay considers the concrete declensions of this socio-cultural phenomenon and the different meanings that the respondents ascribe to it. Meanings span from the macro level of historical events and societal changes, to the micro level of individual social relations and material culture. Viewed across generations and framed in the peculiarities of Italian colonial history, the ‘sense of Italianness’ expressed by Jews in Libya appears as both a colonial and post-colonial legacy.

Rossetto P. (2020), “Review of The Holocaust and North Africa, eds. Aomar Boum and Sarah Abrevaya Stein”, Quest. Issues in Contemporary Jewish History. Journal of the Fondazione CDEC, n. 17: 234-240. DOI : 10.48248/issn.2037-741X/1863

As clearly stated in the introduction to the volume by the editors Sarah Abrevaya Stein (historian) and Aomar Boum (anthropologist), a key question lies at the core of this project: “Why has North Africa been written out of Holocaust history and memory, and, conversely, why has the Holocaust been excised from so many narratives about North Africa?” (p. 2). To address this, the editors present a multidisciplinary collection of essays with this manifold aim: to enrich the understanding of how the Holocaust unfolded in North Africa; to offer new readings on the impact of the Holocaust on North African Jews and Muslims in the postwar period, by considering different realms in which this impact is expressed (literature, memoirs, politics); and finally, to incorporate these new insights in the “larger geographies of the Holocaust” (p. 16).

Rossetto P. (2017), “Dwelling in contradictions: deep maps and the memories of Jews from Libya”, Ethnologies 39/2: 167-187. https://www.erudit.org/en/journals/ethno/2017-v39-n2-ethno03988/1051669ar/

The article deals with performances of memories and identities by and about Jews from the Middle East and North Africa region, with a focus on Jews of Libyan descent. It acknowledges the complexity that intrinsically characterizes these sources in terms of the heterogeneity of their contents, but also the political implications inherent to their transmission and communication. What is needed, however, is to make this complexity readable, and to make it readable, the author suggests making it visible. To achieve this goal, the author proposes adopting a new research approach which takes inspiration from the field of digital humanities, to assist in thinking spatially and visually about the performances of memories and identities. This can bring about a kind of methodological reconciliation between the researcher, the complexity of the data, the necessity to transform them into accurate research results and the responsibility to effectively communicate them to the larger public.