“Fade to White”: Colonial Mulattoes in Cinema and Literature of Fascist Italy

Rosetta Giuliani-Caponetto, University of Connecticut

In 2006, Italy’s prime minister Silvio Berlusconi proclaimed, “We don’t want Italy to become a multiethnic, multicultural country. We are proud of our traditions.” The current anti-immigrant sentiment in Italy and the popular perception of Italian society as homogeneously white must be examined in relation to the Fascist era’s obsession with racial purity. Ethnic, racial, and cultural crossings during Mussolini’s regime were marked by cinematic and literary efforts to deny this social reality. Rosetta Giuliani-Caponetto will discuss the perceived threat and representations of biracial children of Italian men and African women from Italian colonies as found in 1930s popular novels and feature films.