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Cambridge University Press
Expected online publication date:
June 2024
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Book description

How has migration shaped Mediterranean history? And what role did conflicting temporalities and the politics of departure play in the age of decolonisation? Using a microhistorical approach, Migration at the End of Empire explores the experiences of over 55,000 Italian subjects in Egypt during the late-nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Before 1937, Ottoman-era legal regimes fostered the coupling of nationalism and imperialism among Italians in Egypt, particularly as the fascist government sought to revive the myth of Mare Nostrum. With decolonisation, however, Italians began abandoning Egypt en masse. By 1960, over 40,000 had deserted Egypt; some as 'emigrants,' others as 'repatriates,'and still others as 'national refugees.' The departed community became an emblem around which political actors in post-colonial Italy and Egypt forged new ties. Anticipated, actual, and remembered departures of Italians from Egypt are at the heart of this book's ambition to rethink European and Mediterranean periodisation.


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