Italian Studies Expert to Examine Migrations in Europe

April 9, 2019  | 1 min read

Federica Di BlasioFederica Di Blasio, teaching associate in the Department of Italian at University of California, Los Angeles, will present “Passeurs: Narrating illegal migrations in Europe, World War II to the present” in the Surfboard Room at Payson Library on Thursday, April 11, at noon.

The contemporary migration crisis destabilizing the European Union has revived political attention over borderlands at the center and the outskirts of the Schengen region. Crossing the Alps is a hazardous step in the route of migrants heading north, particularly traveled is the path to cross the French-Italian border. Episodes of life-threatening border crossings are not new in this region where professional people smugglers—passeurs in French—have existed since the 1920s.

Di Blasio will present some of the narratives—primarily biographies, documentaries, and novels—that shed light on the figure of passeurs as they have served different waves of migrants since World War II: Jews, Eastern Europeans, Africans, and Syrians.

For additional information about this lecture, visit the Pepperdine Libraries website.