Zachary Aguilar

Zachary Aguilar's picture
Ph.D Student

Zachary Penati Aguilar’s research investigates the interplay between Italy’s marginality in Europe, its centrality in the Mediterranean, and its importance as a source and destination of migration, all with the goal of elucidating the mechanisms of racial and cultural discourses in Italy, South America, and Europe. His work is divided into two main historical periods.

The first regards Italian migration to South America from a literary and cultural perspective. This work analyzes the role of Italian migration in the exportation and development of European modernism abroad and how it intersected with the racial and cultural politics of nascent post-independence South American republics.

The second concerns contemporary migration to Italy and narratives from the so-called “second generation” in the context of a country that has largely failed to have any serious reckoning with fascism and colonialism. This research engages critically with the idea of italianità and its political implications through the texts of writers and thinkers who affirm the need for urgently updated discourse on identity, race, and ethnicity in Italy and Europe today.

Italian Studies
Fields of Interest: 
Transnational Italy, Italian migration to South America, contemporary and current migration to Italy, Race in Contemporary Italy