This track investigates forms of subjectivation of migrant labour in relation to contemporary Italian agribusiness and their genealogies. It argues that the trajectories and experiences of migrants employed in Italy’s agro-industrial sector, and of those who attend to their reproductive needs, can only be understood by reference to a composite assemblage created at the intersection between the operations of global supply chains, on the one hand, and multiple dispositifs of mobility control, gendering and racialisation on the other. Whilst these two sets of processes are connected, they cannot be reduced to one another, nor, however, can they be seen as totalising and all-encompassing forms of command and control, for they are ever-incomplete and transgressed in various ways. At the same time, this line of research unravels the complex tangles which relate both those operations and dispositifs to past dynamics, highlighting the ways in which the latter haunt the present.


Irene Peano

I work on migrant labour and its reproduction in contemporary Italy’s agro-industrial districts, investigating forms of containment, discipline, fragmentation and differential inclusion, and resistance to them. Legal, spatial, racialising and gendering dispositifs, their genealogies in colonial and modernising projects carried out by the Italian state, and their contemporary afterlives are among the main themes of my research.

Associate Researchers

Seth Holmes

Kishor Subba Limbu


Peano, Irene. 2021. “Containment and turbulences in the camp archipelago: Competing mobilities of labour, migration and their logistics in Italian agro-industrial enclaves.” Mobilities, Special Issue on Mobile Labour, ed. Nóvoa, André, Cristiana Bastos and Noel Salazar; accepted 11 November 2020.

Esposito Francesca, Alí Murtaza, Irene Peano & Francesco Vacchiano. 2020. “Fragmented citizenship: contemporary infrastructures of mobility containment along two migratory routes.” Citizenship Studies 24 (5): 625-641.

Peano, Irene. 2020. “Ways of making an otherwise human: After-ethnography with migrant labourers in Italian agro-industrial enclaves” Pp. 219-230 in Modos de Fazer=Ways of Makinged. Jorge, Vítor Oliveira, Porto: Universidade do Porto. Faculdade de Letras. CITCEM: Centro de Investigação Transdisciplinar Cultura, Espaço e Memória.

Peano, Irene and Nicolò Cuppini, eds. 2019 Un mondo logistico. Sguardi critici su lavoro, migrazioni, politica e globalizzazione. Milano: Ledizioni;

Peano, Irene. 2019. “Supply chain affettive tra agro-industria e migrazioni, contenimento e rifugio.” Pp.63-76 in Un mondo logistico. Sguardi critici su lavoro, migrazioni, politica e globalizzazione, ed. Peano, Irene and Nicolò Cuppini. Milano: Ledizioni

Peano, Irene. 2019. “Gender, Utopias and the Savage Slot: The Role of Anthropology in the (De)Construction of a Concept.” Ethics in Progress 10(1): 112-128.

Conferences and seminars

Peano, Irene,  Plantation Europe: The afterlife of a racialising machine at the intersection of migration management and agri-business.” paper presentation, Panel P033 Bringing race-making and class struggles in plantations and export industries back to the research agenda”, 16th EASA Biennial Conference, Lisbon, 22 July 2020

Peano, Irene. “Migrant Labor Struggles in Italian Agriculture”, invited lecture on the paper titled “Emergenc(i)es in the fields: Affective composition and counter-camps against the exploitation of migrant farm labour in Italy” (2016), the John Hope Franklin Humanities, Institute at Duke University, 22 January 2020

International Symposium “Plantations and their afterlives: materialities, durabilities and struggles”, convenors: Marta Macedo, Irene Peano, Colette Le Petitcorps, ICS-ULisboa, 16-18 & 24-25 September 2020

Peano, Irene, Genealogies of containment: Migrant labour, bonifica integrale and carceral regimes in an Italian agro-industrial enclave”, paper presentation, 3rd International Conference of the Quarantine Studies Network “Matters of containment: Material approaches to the handling of threats in the modern world”, Lisbon, 28-29 May 2020 – postponed to 3 September 2020

Peano, Irene. “Competing mobilities, between containment and excess: agribusiness, migration and logistical governance in contemporary Italy“, paper presentation, International Symposium “The Mobile Labour Symposium” organized by COLOUR project in collaboration with the EASA network Anthropomob, ICS-ULisboa, 26-27 March 2019

Peano, Irene. “‘New slavery’ and the afterlives of the plantation in contemporary Europe – reflections from Italy’s agro-industrial enclaves”. Seminários GI – Identidades, Culturas, Vulnerabilidades, ICS-ULisboa, 31 May 2019

Peano, Irene. “Refugeeisation of the agricultural labour force? Humanitarian spectacles in and around Italian agro-industrial enclaves“, paper presentation, Workshop and International Conference “The State of the Global Protection System for Refugees and Migrants”, Kolkata, 25-30 November 2018


Peano, Irene. 2020. “Mondragone: behind the scenes of long-announced, recurrent dramas.” dversia, 29 September

Peano, Irene. 2020. “Missing farm workers in pandemic times: Is it really “the virus’s fault”? The view from Italy.” LeftEast, 15 May

Peano, Irene. 2020. “Operai agricoli, virus e regolarizzazione. Cosa nascondono i numeri ufficiali e le proposte di sanatoria.” La rivista Il Mulino, 5 May

Peano, Irene. 2019. “Gendering logistics: Subjectivities, biopolitics and extraction in supply chains.” Into the Black Box, 20 December


Peano, Irene. 2020. “Radio Interview with Jean Renè Bilongo and Jara Henar on the living conditions of irregular migrant workers in Italy, Spain and Portugal.” Radio ActionAid Italia, 13 May