Displacing Postcolonial and Decolonial Studies

On the Coloniality of the Southern Italian Archive

  • Carmine Conelli University of Naples "L'Orientale"
Keywords: southern question, southernism, postcolonial studies, decolonial studies, coloniality, Gramsci


Since Italian unification in 1861, the Italian South has been persistently marginalized from the national narrative of progress and development. The aim of this article is to verify the validity of decolonial and postcolonial tools to deconstruct the Eurocentric premises of the discourse on southern backwardness. In this regard, I aim at exposing the coloniality of the longstanding concepts of ‘southern question’ and ‘southernism’. Then, I offer a critique of three different epistemological reactions (Southern thought, neo-Bourbon movement, Meridiana) born in the 1990s as a reaction against the exacerbation of the dualist interpretation of the Southern Question. Finally, I propose a Gramscian-decolonial method in order to pursuit the decolonization of the southern Italian archive. The adoption of the Italian South as a privileged point of observation provides here an interesting move in order to displace both postcolonial studies and decolonial studies.