Geographies of Un/-settlement: Unsettling Europe from the Black Mediterranean

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Torino, Giulia 

jats:pThis article questions the meaning and scope of “settling” in the context of racial capitalism and its structural displacements, from a perspective situated in the mobile and transborder geographies of labor and inhabitation that are proliferating at the crossroads of old and new Southern questions, between Southern Europe and Northern Africa. With an epistemic focus on what scholars have started to address as the “Black Mediterranean” and an empirical focus on Italy’s agro-industrial encampments, the article explores the emergence of a geography of unsettlement at the core of Europe. This condition, it argues, renders migrant spaces largely uninhabitable and highlights how borders impact not only labor regimes but also the politics of dwelling. At the same time, the article employs the notion of “unsettling” to inquire into the possibility for alternative notions of place that can overcome the necropolitics of the hold. While drawing new connections among cutting-edge debates that are reassessing Europeanness, trans-Mediterranean movement, and the labor-migration nexus, the article ultimately suggests that un/-settlement is a spatial poiesis of social life in the Mediterranean that is absorbed by and yet also manages to contravene the dualities of temporariness/ permanence, formality/informality, mobile/anchored, and settled/unsettled at the heart of the modern idea of Europe.</jats:p>

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South Atlantic Quarterly
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Duke University Press