I study borders, mobility, and how experiences of precarious migration are shaped by histories and institutions. My interdisciplinary research has focused especially on Africa-Europe mobilities and questions of asylum, migrant reception, human rights, and racial justice in the Italian context. This work bridges critical refugee studies, transnational Italian studies, and postcolonial studies, through methods including media, narrative, and discourse analysis, and oral history and ethnography. In analyzing shifting border dynamics and engaging a range of testimonial and documentary forms and practices, I aim to inform understandings of the relationship between mobility, sovereignty, memory, rights, and belonging in and beyond Italy and the Mediterranean.

My forthcoming book, Emergency in Transit, takes up these issues through a set of oral, written, and visual testimonies by Africans in Italy whose witnessing challenges the idea that their presence and movements constitute a crisis or emergency. This book is under contract with the University of California Press, in their Critical Refugee Studies Series.

I'm currently a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Italian Studies at Brown University, where I am also affiliated with the Cogut Institute for the Humanities. As an affiliate with Cornell University's Migrations initiative, I host the podcast Migrations: A World on the Move.

Monograph project

My book in progress, Emergency in Transit, investigates the discourses and experiences of “emergency” that are shaping contemporary Mediterranean migration to the EU. I turn to testimonial narratives, analyzing oral history interviews I conducted with migrants and aid workers in Italy, together with a range of visual and narrative texts that portray transit to Europe and within Italy. My published articles contribute to discussions of the role of colonial memory and racial and identity discourse in Europe, and the possibilities for migrant self-representation and witnessing in these contexts. More generally, this work responds to the colonial present made manifest through border violence and anti-immigrant racism.

Journal articles

Public Scholarship and Outreach

Translations and Reviews

Podcast Episodes