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Rationing and illegal food trade in Second World War Italy have received very little scholarly attention in comparison to the scale and impact they had on people's daily life. This article contributes to filling this gap, first by providing an overview of the dynamics that already in the early years of the war determined the development of an illegal system of food trade. It then considers the experience of the black market through two wartime diaries, one published and the other unpublished, written by women of opposite political views, both living in Rome and its outskirts. The analysis of the diaries considers women's attitudes towards the black market. The article argues that the Fascist propaganda of duty to the homeland, so intensively practised through domestic literature during the 1920s and 1930s, was again exploited in wartime in the discourse around the black market and hid the political responsibilities of the government.
If the ‘colour line’ was prophetically defined as the issue of the twentieth century, in the twenty-first century the concern of many scholars is with the research methodology that the attention on the colour line has generated. Migration, postcolonial, and blackness studies focusing on Italy have all asked fundamental questions on how to reframe history, memory, and culture. Charles Burdett (2018) has posited that migration and mobility are vital for the repositioning of the discipline of Italian Studies and Modern Languages as a whole. Critics have argued that Italian Black literature is redefining Italian literature (Romeo 2017) and its reception (Patriarca 2018). Alessandra Ciucci's recent monograph The Voice of the Rural: Music, Poetry and Masculinity among Migrant Moroccan Men in Umbria (2022) and the volume The Black Mediterranean: Borders, Bodies and Citizenship (2021) edited by the Black Mediterranean Collective contribute to this discussion. Both books offer new approaches to analyse migration and deconstruct Eurocentrism. They both emphasise the migrants’ agency and theorise the researcher's position as a tool for the decolonisation of culture.