ANGELINA IONE ZONTINE, then a student at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts, received a grant in October 2008 to aid research on 'Remaking the Political in 'Fortress Europe:' Cultural and Political Practice In Italian Social Centers,' supervised by Dr. Jacqueline L. Urla. This research project investigates the political activism and creation of culture being carried out at collectively run social centers in Bologna, Italy. Described by participants as 'laboratories' for the creation of alternative modes of exchange, interaction (between native-born Italians and migrants), socializing, and extra-electoral political participation, these centers would seem to provide an example of active citizenship as participants enact political engagement through a range of cultural practices. In a seeming paradox, however, these centers are censured by authorities and targeted for relocation as part of ongoing 'security'-oriented campaigns against 'illegality' and 'urban blight' that cast social centers as fonts of illegal and 'uncivil' activity. Using participant observation, interviews and discourse analysis, the research project investigates the character and internal organization of these social center order to discern the opportunities afforded and tensions generated by this form of political engagement. At the same time, it explores the controversy surrounding Bolognese social centers in order to explore how participants struggle to rework or enlarge the restrictive parameters of belonging and participation in the natoinal and political communities of both the city and the nation-state, thus engaging and opposing prevailing models of citizenship.
Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
Massachusetts, Amherst, U. of
Zontine, Angelina Ione, U. of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA - To aid research on 'Remaking the Political in 'Fortress Europe': Cultural and Political Practice n Italian Social Centers,' supervised by Dr. Jacqueline L. Urla