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European Scholars for the Humanities


from Bari, to Villa Vigoni, to Europe and beyond 


As scholars working in the humanities we are committed to the values from which our disciplines stem and are aware of our responsibility in ensuring that the societies we live in respect and implement these principles. We believe that it is our responsibility, as scholars and citizens of Europe, to do so.

It is our belief that universities cannot operate as isolated institutions disconnected from the material, social, economic and political events of the now: our institutions are not only rooted in territorial moorings, they have been through history, and shall continue to be pivotal places for the sharing and spreading of knowledge.

We are convinced that teaching and research are an integral part of the education – in the broadest sense of the term – of our postcolonial societies, and our intellectual practices do not disregard, nor can ignore, the practices of cultural, social and political life of the specific place we inhabit.

The rise of clannish/racist sentiments and of populist/sovranist impulses in many European countries, accompanied by a violent backlash against women’s rights, feminist activism and gender issues, take us back to a not so distant past and force us to remember that indifference is never harmless and that inaction can be as dangerous as action. This also encourages us to remember that cultural work offers the possibilities of critical thinking, of doubting, and even of thinking and acting against the grain wherever and whenever it becomes necessary.

It is our commitment, therefore, to be present and intervene with our students and in public debates to openly discuss racism, migration, diversity, the waning of liberal humanism and the shrinking of human rights in general, among the many questions that concern life in common.

We are also committed to asking that our universities be open and welcoming places that offer cultural exchanges with immigrants and with activists and associations that work daily to make our societies more hospitable. Also, we ask that our universities offer spaces for intercultural meetings, seminars, teaching and research activities that seriously and honestly address urgent issues that political propaganda subtracts from critical thinking.

Finally, it is our commitment that the University as institution is always a place of critical training and debate, of encounters and forward-looking cultural practices, which can never be separated from power relations, and therefore from political issues.


I see this MANIFESTO as a call for translating academic knowledge into “acts of citizenship”.
It is the result of a long-distance collaboration between the members of AISCLI (Associazione Italiana per lo Studio delle Culture e Letterature in lingua Inglese) who gathered at the University of Bari in February 2019, and a wide network of postcolonial scholars who took part in the “Citizenship, Law and Literature” workshop at Villa Vigoni (Loveno di Menaggio, Como) in March 2019.
At Villa Vigoni we shared the original Italian document proposed by our AISCLI colleagues Marta Cariello and Luigi Cazzato; we translated and reworked it, having shared a set of preoccupations concerning the way contemporary European societies are moving, as well as our trust in the role academic institutions and the humanities can still play in keeping democracy and freedom in view.

As academics, we should work to develop joint agendas for public engagement, which, for academic institutions, means a concrete effort to open up the university and share knowledge beyond its walls, with society at large; it also means to devote time and energy to engaging the legal, the economic, the political in closer dialogue, locally, nationally and transnationally.
We are sending out this MANIFESTO as a message in a bottle, hoping it may reach as many people as possible. We ask all who read and agree with its contents to sign and disseminate it widely through their own networks, institutions, associations, and in their academic environment.
This is no time for inaction or silence, thank you.


Annalisa Oboe

Director of the  postcolonialitalia project

Editor of 

From the European South
a transdisciplinary journal of postcolonial humanities







The signatories of the Villa Vigoni Manifesto


Avtar Brah, Birkbeck, University of London, UK

Annalisa Oboe, University of Padova, Italy

Chandani Lokuge, Monash University, Australia

Daniela Carpi, University of Verona, Italy

Elisa Bordin, Università di Padova, Italy

Enrica Rigo, Università RomaTre, Italy

Françoise Kral, Université Paris Nanterre, France

Jesper Reddig, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Muenster, Germany

Katia Sarkowsky, University of Augsburg, Germany

Klaus Stierstorfer, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität., Muenster, Germany

Laura Zander, Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich, Germany

Nilufer Bharucha, University of Mumbai, India

Sridhar Rajeswaran, CASII, Centre for Advanced Studies, India

Valentina Adami, University of Verona, Italy


Please see below the Call for applications for

up to 5 Grants (Travel and Accommodation) for Ph.D. students or post-docs for participation in the Villa Vigoni Symposium: "Citizenship, Law and Literature"

Villa Vigoni, Loveno di Menaggio (CO), Italy, 25-28 March, 2019
Coordinators: Prof. Annalisa Oboe (Padua) and Prof. Klaus Stierstorfer (Muenster)
Deadline: 8 February, 2019

Best wishes,

Annalisa Oboe and Klaus Stierstorfer


Costruire un archivio personale per raccontare una storia condivisa

Università di Padova
Aula terzo piano via Beldomandi, 14.30-16.00


partecipiamo a

The idea of post-colonial culture:
inclusions and exclusions

Stellenbosch University, South Africa


Visualità e (anti) razzismo


Università di Padova
in collaborazione con postcolonialitalia

sito e programma

Postcolonial passages into the 21st century

Università di Bologna

sito AISCLI | programma

Voci, linguaggi e suoni fra Etiopia e Italia

incontro con

Gabriella Ghermandi

ore 15.00

Sala Bortolami, Palazzo Jonoch Gulinelli (1° piano)
Via del Vescovado, 30 Padova

locandina dell'evento

a seguire concerto con Atse Tewodros Project

volantino | poster dell'evento

Black Icons.
Seminario di ricerca su 'razza' e visualità

Aula F, Palazzo Maldura, Padova

3 giugno 2015, ore 14.30 - 19.00
4 giugno 2015, ore 9.00 - 13.30


partecipiamo a

Il cammino della tolleranza.
Storia critica di un concetto politico
dall'epoca moderna al dibattito contemporaneo

organizzato dalla Scuola Galileiana di Studi Superiori

Aula Magna del Collegio Morgagni, Via San Massimo 33, Padova

locandina dell'evento

From the European South.
New representations of
contemporary Italy

a talk by Annalisa Oboe

presented by

Contemporary Culture and Creative Production Concentration and
Identities and Representations Concentration and
Global Cultures Committee in Global Liberal Studies,

New York University

locandina dell'evento

"Postcoloniale e revisione dei saperi": da postcolonialitalia ad aut aut

Nell'ultimo numero di aut aut (364, ottobre-dicembre 2014) è uscita una raccolta di interventi dal titolo "Postcoloniale e revisione dei saperi", che fa seguito al workshop postcolonialitalia su "Gli studi postcoloniali nelle scienze umane: teorie, storie, metodi e pratiche italiane" (6 dicembre 2013).


autaut copertina


Annalisa Oboe Saperi in transito
Iain Chambers La sfida postcoloniale, l'Italia e il Mediterraneo
Roberto Derobertis La critica italiana tra narrazioni, pratiche sociali e culturali
Emanuele Zinato Teoria e critica della letteratura in Italia: sollecitazioni e rischi postcoloniali
Davide Zoletto Verso una rilettura postcoloniale dei luoghi dell'educazione
Farah Polato Il cinema, il postcoloniale e il nuovo millennio nel panorama italiano
Roberto Beneduce Il rumore sordo del sottosuolo. Per un'antropologia postcoloniale


Per ogni altra informazione e per leggere un'anteprima: http://autaut.ilsaggiatore.com/2015/01/364/


Per una recensione dettagliata, si veda JOMEC Journal su "Italian Cultural Studies. Being on the Part of the Future" (8, Nov. 2015): 

Archivi del futuro
il postcoloniale, l'Italia e il tempo a venire

Università degli Studi di Padova

vai al sito

partecipiamo a

Intorno alla costruzione storica, sociale e culturale del corpo

Università di Padova

via del Vescovado 30, Sala Bortolami, 9.30 – 18.30

locandina dell'evento

partecipiamo a

Il postcoloniale italiano
Prospettive future entro e oltre i confini della nazione

Università degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza"

via dei Volsci 122, aula A, ore 9.30

locandina dell'evento

incontro con il regista Fred Kuwornu

Padova, Spazio Co+, Piazza Gasparotto 7, ore 18.30

locandina dell'evento

Il postcoloniale nell'anglistica italiana

Palazzo Liviano, Aula Diano, ore 10.00 – 17.00

Università di Padova

locandina dell'evento

partecipiamo a

Cultura, transcultura, razza:
Categorie della differenza, dinamiche di differenziazione e razzializzazione transnazionali

Palazzo Ugolini, aula B

Università di Macerata

locandina dell'evento

partecipiamo a

Mediterranean Fractures:
Postcolonial Displacements, Political Insurgencies

Centre for Postcolonial Studies
(the University of Kent, Canterbury)

locandina dell'evento

partecipiamo a

Memoria, Storia, Diritti civili

due incontri con il regista Fred Kuwornu

progetto ImmaginAfrica

segnaliamo l'incontro

Ripensando il Sud

con Carlo Borgomeo e Gian Antonio Stella

locandina dell'evento

Seminario in collaborazione con la Scuola di Dottorato in
Storia, Critica e Conservazione dei Beni Culturali

Palazzo Liviano, aula Diano, ore 14.30 – 19.00

Università di Padova

locandina dell'evento

Gli studi postcoloniali nelle scienze umane
teorie, storie, metodi e pratiche italiane


Iain Chambers (Napoli l'Orientale), Annalisa Oboe (Padova), Roberto Beneduce (Torino), Anna Scacchi (Padova), Roberto Derobertis (Bari), Emanuele Zinato (Padova), Carmen Concilio (Torino), Farah Polato (Padova), Leonardo De Franceschi (Roma Tre), Giangiorgio Pasqualotto (Padova), Shaul Bassi (Ca' Foscari), Tania Rossetto (Padova), Davide Zoletto (Udine), Marcello Ghilardi (Padova), Sandro Mezzadra (Bologna), Giangiorgio Pasqualotto (Padova), Giulia D'Agostini (Padova), Adone Brandalise (Padova)

locandina dell'evento

Proiezione del film Va' pensiero di Dagmawi Yimer
e incontro con il regista

Palazzo Liviano, aula S, ore 14.30

Università di Padova

scheda dell'evento